Ketha D. Otis has joined AFSCME Florida staff as Chief of Staff, working with President Vicki Hall and elected leadership to build power for working families in the Florida. 

The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time when our nation’s health care workers were already experiencing burnout.

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. 

AFSCME Florida Council 79 members held a two-day virtual convention December 10 to 11. The convention was focused on ways the Council’s 58 locals could continue the successful internal and external organizing that has been the hallmark of the last years. Members committed the Council to a robust program of actions to continue the struggle for fair contracts, safe working conditions with respect and dignity for workers.

AFSCME, the labor union representing state workers, said it "appreciates" DeSantis recognizing there's been "years of undervaluing" state workers.

But “it is outrageous that some full-time state workers currently qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (or food stamps) even while they administer the program,” according to Vickie Hall, the union president.

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Vicki Hall, president of AFSCME Florida, a labor group, told the Phoenix in an email that the state should also focus on raising pay for other workers in the prison system. Overall, the union is advocating for all “state workers who are currently facing continually rising expenses for food, housing and gas,” Hall said.

Striketober and Strikesgiving are over, but worker strikes are still going strong. As I write this, Kellogg’s workers are holding the line in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Memphis. Alabama miners are heading into their ninth month of standing up to Warrior Met Coal. And the wave of worker actions demonstrating power and the fight for fairness continues to rise.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders on Monday joined President Joe Biden and members of his administration, as well as a bipartisan group of lawmakers, for the signing ceremony of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

A virtual convention for AFSCME Florida - Council 79 has been scheduled for December 10-11, 2021. The convention will be held virtually and will convene at 1:00 P.M. EST on Friday, December 10, 2021. The virtual convention will continue Saturday, December 11, 2021, beginning at 9:30 A.M. EST, and conclude when the business of the convention is completed.

The House of Representatives has passed President Joe Biden’s transformational bipartisan infrastructure plan, which Biden will soon sign into law. The passage earned praise from AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who, in a statement, said, “We are turning a corner.”