Wage preemption, pandemic protection sets labor's 2022 legislative agenda

James Call, Tallahasee Democrat, 12/29/21

AFSCME, an AFL-CIO affiliate that represents public sector workers, will lobby lawmakers to ensure that the $225 million Gov. Ron DeSantis earmarked for a state pay raise in his budget recommendations go towards the lowest paid state workers — not supervisors and higher management. 

Vicki Hall

Bonuses for state workers, especially those 'burned out' from COVID

Vicki Hall, recently reelected president of the 40,000-member union, said many workers at state hospitals, for example, are “burned out” from the COVID pandemic. Staff shortages are making matters worse. 

Hall wants lawmakers to consider bonuses for long-serving state workers and to impose procedures to provide better COVID protection for workers. 

Workers will “not risk their lives for employers who do not choose to offer protection, adequate compensation, and fair treatment,” Hall said about workplace shortages and the so-called Great Resignation of workers since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

“Florida voters need to hear from their top elected officials that workers will be respected, and the state could model family-friendly work policies, such as adequate paid leave during illness and flexibility to offer safe remote work,” Hall said. 

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