Thursday Morning, February 13th, the State Affairs Committee Approved House Bill 1 12-7. This Bill is a Blatant Attack on Florida’s Workers.
An out-of-state billionaire funded think tank has cooked up a new scheme to attack the unions representing our teachers, state and municipal workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other public sector workers. The bill is similar to policies that have been enacted in Alaska (although currently being blocked by a court order) to change the ways in which union members can keep their membership.
HB 1 will make it far more difficult for all public sector workers to exercise their constitutional right to stay in their union!
· HB 1 would require dues authorizations to be renewed every three years or upon authorization of a new contract, meaning the union would have to chase down re-authorization forms from members who have no intention of leaving the union.
· After the employer receives a signed dues authorization, deductions would not start until the employer goes on to “confirm with the employee, electronically or by other means, that he or she authorized the deduction of dues and uniform assessments.” This puts the employer in charge of the dues authorization process for the first time in history. Our public sector workers will have an indeterminate period of confusion and fear as they wait for their employer to verify their membership. There is no time frame or penalty for employers in the bill.
Public sector workers understand their Right to Work. This language is intended to tip the scales against membership.
· HB 1 is unnecessary. Florida’s workers NEVER have to join their union. It is their choice and they can cancel their membership at any time.
· HB 1 places a burden on workers who want to be a member in their union. It forces them to reauthorize every three years or upon authorization of a new contract, even though they can already quit at any time.
· HB 1 will create chaos. There are no time limits or other requirements for the employer to confirm the membership authorizations. They can simply ignore the requests for long periods of time.