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Last Friday, State employees sat down at the bargaining table with the State of Florida to discuss what the future will look like for nearly 49,000 dedicated public service workers who have not see

For almost four years, as attacks against organized labor reached a fever pitch nationwide, AFSCME members in Florida responded by launching a fierce and unprecedented organizing campaign unlike any the Sunshine State had seen before. Today, members started writing a new chapter in their union’s proud history by ratifying a new constitution on the first day of the AFSCME Florida Council 79's convention. 

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

For two decades, the dedicated employees at Florida's State Mental Hospitals have tried to convey to lawmakers the perilous nature of the work they do day in and day out. These tireless public servants work directly with individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity or who have been found to be a danger to themselves or to others.

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.

Tallahassee--Dozens of workers with AFSCME Local 3343 at Florida A&M University took the fight for fair wages and respect directly to the Board of Trustees on Thursday after the school offered a ZERO PERCENT pay increase after several months of ardous contract negotiations. "FAMU is clearly not willing to negotiate in good faith," said Andre Crumity, President of Local 3343. "We work hard to make this University function properly yet we are deciding which bills we can afford to pay each month.

Representative Vance Aloupis and Senator Manny Diaz Jr. filed a bill this week that would reclassify nearly two thousand state employees who work at facilities and perform services for individuals who have a mental illness and are involved with the criminal justice system. The Special Risk Class would afford just protections, higher compensation and early retirement for workers that spend at least 65 percent of their time in direct contact with residents and patients. 

I have always believed in unions. When I was presented with the opportunity to join AFSCME upon accepting a job with DCF, I did not hesitate. That would prove to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. After less than a year on the job, I was assigned to a new position without proper training. Rather than providing coaching, I was terminated abruptly. Losing my job was devastating for me because I was a new resident of Florida with no family and very few associates. The absence of a viable support system weighed heavily on me.
AFSCME Local 1584, the union that represents bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, and other support staff at the Manatee County School district, ratified a historic agreement Saturday which provides substantial raises for all employees and significant improvements in working conditions. 
The contract, which was approved by nearly 90% of workers that voted Saturday at the Palmetto Youth Center includes: