I wish this note was about the social event we held last week. (It was great to see some familiar faces and meet a few new ones!) Unfortunately, it’s been a busy legislative season that has seen a lot of ‘culture war’ bills targeting those of us in higher ed. You’ve probably heard about the “Post Secondary Education” bill (HB7051/SB7044) that foolishly requires the SUS to change their accreditation body every cycle, puts your past syllabi on a public website, and encourages the BOG to implement mandatory post-tenure performance reviews. Now, the Florida legislature has lobbed one last Hail Mary union-busting bill in the last week of the session. For the moment, this bill has not yet been vetted in a committee – very unusual – and may get a vote soon.
HB 1197 has the elements we’ve seen in past years’ versions. If passed, this bill would ban workers from having their dues automatically deducted from their paycheck and encourage anti-union messaging on membership forms. Most damning, union chapters with less than 50% participation would be dissolved and forced to go through the process of reorganization. If passed, about 1 million public employee union members will lose organizing rights we’ve had since 1974. SAVE OUR UNION! I’m asking all of you, whether you’re a member or not, to take 3 minutes right now to call or email our representatives.
Members, you know all that we have to lose if we lose our union. Cost-of-living adjustments and wage increases are only ours if WE fight for them. Just review the list of gains we’ve won on everyone’s behalf. Non-members, won’t you take an additional 2 minutes to fill out a membership form?