Florida labor organizations bill could impact teachers unions

SOURCE: MGN
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FLORIDA -- (WTVY) A labor organizations bill in the Florida Legislature could have a big impact on teachers unions if passed.
"What it would do is enshrine into law that any teachers union in the state that has less than 50 percent of the teachers as members could be de-certified by the school board," Alexis Underwood, President of the Association of Bay County Educators, said.

House Bill 25 pertains to labor organizations, but the membership language excludes law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and firefighters.

"We're above the 50 percent line. More than 50 percent of our teachers are members and we work really hard to increase membership. It wouldn't have an immediate impact on Bay District," Underwood said.

She is concerned the possibility of de-certifying teachers unions impacts the very people teachers are trying to serve.

"Our concern is that without the union there to advocate for the interest of teachers, it's students who lose. Most of the work I do as a union professional here in Bay County eventually circles back around to serve the best interest of students," Underwood said.

Joanne McCall, the Florida Education Association President, said the state's teachers union is the largest union in Florida.

She said the FEA is reaching out to representatives to speak out against the bill.

"We're hopeful that we'll be able to fight it in that former fashion, but we're also doing all of our leg work in our locals [teachers unions] to make sure that all of our locals are above that 50 percent density mark," McCall said.

If the bill is passed, it would take effect July 1st.



 
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