You Said It: State Workers Reach Tentative Agreement On Raises

On Feb, 15, Molly Dureig, reports for Spectrum News, after listening in to the negotiating session: "Union members negotiating on behalf of Florida's state employees tentatively agreed Wednesday to a proposal from state management, which includes a 5% wage increase for all state workers, plus additional raises for “hard-to-hire” positions."

Several members of the negotiating committee are quoted. 

Sheron Mickens, an employee with Florida’s Department of Children and Families, told Spectrum News she hopes the universal 5% raise will help boost employee morale, retain staff and improve state agencies’ ability to serve the public. “I think [people] will be more satisfied with the services that state workers actually provide for them,” Mickens said. “And when you have people that feel good about coming to their job, it’s always a win-win situation.”

Reggie Brady, a longtime Child Protective Investigator (CPI) with DCF in Jacksonville, helped lead the union’s negotiations, “My co-workers and I visit homes across the state to make sure children are safe and protected, but we are challenged to keep up with our caseloads, We are charged with protecting children’s lives, but are asked to manage 20 to 40 families—more than double the caseload recommended for keeping our families and communities safe.”  

Richard Flamm, a research scientist with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said, “We have a 20% vacancy rate [across the state], and we do not want that to get worse. That makes it more difficult for state employees to serve the public as effectively as they can. When we’re successful, everyone benefits, including the public."

AFSCME’s Hector Ramos chas been negotiating state contracts for decades, but typically, such agreements between the state and union aren’t reached, leaving the legislature to determine whether or not state workers should get a raise. “This is certainly a first for me,” said Ramos

Read full story and watch video: Florida workers’ union reaches rare, tentative agreement with state management