The “Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees” bill (Fl. SB 256) stipulates that a public sector union must have 60% of its eligible employees pay dues to avoid a decertification process. Previously, the threshold had been 50 percent. The new Florida law also bars public sector unions from deducting dues from members’ paychecks, requiring employees to write checks instead. Police and Firefighter unions are exempt.
DeSantis signed the bill into law earlier this year.
The United Teachers of Dade union, the largest education union in the state, currently has a membership of 58.4%, and represents over 20,000 teachers, guidance counselors and librarians.
If the union does not meet the 60% threshold, it must submit a petition to the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) — a three-member commission that oversees the new union regulations. Unions must include with the petition “valid showing of interest statements signed by at least 30% of the employees in the unit.”
According to the 2022-2023 report compiled by the Florida State Board of Education, there is a critical teacher shortage in at least seven general topic areas, including English, Math, Reading and Science. Some have described it as ‘the worse shortage in history’.
About the writer: Matthew Woodruff is an Independent Journalist and Author who believes in Freely Accessible, Honest and Open Reporting. Visit at matthewcwoodruff.com