As I watch the legislation that made it past the House in Florida to cut the power of the Unions, I am reminded of our history. The History that a lot of people seem to forget. I was raised in a very unionized family. My dad is a retired UAW worker, 2 of my Aunts and an Uncle are retired UAW, my great-grandmother was in the teachers union, and several family members were in different unions for working in grocery stores. The unions brought to us fair wages, collective bargaining, paid time off, and holiday pay. A lot of current workers do not realize the strength that unions do have. The fought to get us safe working conditions. They fought to get fair pay. They fought to make sure that employers could not mistreat employees. Unions have brought a voice to the workers.
We currently have legislation that might pass that will take away the power that people have to organize and become one united voice. What people forget is that one voice can be ignored but a multitude of voices cannot be ignored. The power that collective bargaining has is amazing. I have sat with one of the local unions during their bargaining session and watched as the HR director and the people there were rude and disrespectful and refused to listen to the workers. If this is how they treat people during raises, how do they treat them everyday? The fact that we lose people often to counties that pay better is an issue. We waste time training new employees and wages because we have to train people. When if we paid them a fair wage we would not be losing our staff as often as we do. This was even said during the BOCC that we need to give a raise because of this. Yet when the raise was approved at 4 percent, HR is fighting to make it only 2 percent and possible merit based pay. Here is the issue. When you promise 4 percent you give 4 percent. Not 2 percent and maybe 4 percent. That is not bring the current employees up to where they need to be. I understand that we have budget shortfalls in certain areas of the county. Like our Parks being 14 million behind in maintenance because our budget to fix them is only 9 million. We will continue to see these shortfalls as our equipment continues to break or the plumbing or the electrical fails, but that is something the BOCC should have been looking at and planning for.
So if you can please call your current Legislators and tell them that this bill does not represent the people of Florida. The many unions that we have here help all of the people. The better wages means that people can afford to spend money here in the county. It means that people can save for their kids to go to college. It means that they can buy and invest in their homes. The main thing that unions help with, is they help to combat poverty. Something that we have a lot of here in Pasco. If we want to improve the quality of life for the people here, we need to stand up and say enough is enough. Stand up to help our unions and to protect them. https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/02/09/florida-house-passes-major-education-bill-including-union-busting-measure-for-teachers