Jan 22, 2018

Florida Bill Seeks to Weaken EMS Unions

House Bill 25 seeks to complicate union workers’ right to organize in the state of Florida.

HB 25 threatens members’ rights to union representation, workplace actions, and contract negotiation by adding hurdles to the recertification process of almost every union in the state. However, it is important to note that police, firefighters, and correctional officers are exempt from these extra requirements. The bill not only requires more work of the members of EMS unions, but also unfairly treats EMS professionals differently from other first responders in the state.

To recertify their unit, the union-busting bill requires that unions take extra steps annually to file paperwork proving that more than 50% of local members pay dues. IAEP National Director Phil Petit said, “the motive behind requiring additional unnecessary steps to the recertification process is clear: the bill attempts to make it harder for our members to stand with their EMS brothers and sisters have a voice within their workplace and communities.”

The following was reported of Rep. Scott Plakon, writer of HB 25, in the Orlando Sentinel on January 17, 2018:
"When speaking to a House committee last month, he claimed he chose to exempt law-enforcement unions from his union-busting bills because he didn’t want to 'risk labor unrest with those who protect us from harm.' "
“Evidence that the bill is fundamentally flawed can be found in Plakon’s own statement,” said Petit, “he not only admits that the bill may cause labor unrest, but chooses to exclude EMS professionals, whose lives are dedicated to the safety of their communities, in his grouping of those who protect us from harm.”

Read the full bill text by clicking here. 

The Florida House will vote on HB 25 either on Wednesday 1/24 or Thursday 1/25. The IAEP urges all Florida residents to call your representatives and ask them to oppose HB 25.
Click here, scroll down to the middle of the article, and type your address into the search bar to find your representative’s email and phone number.

You can also call your representative using the Florida AFL-CIO hotline: 855-235-2469.

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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