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Senate Bill 256 would change Florida's unions

Posted at 8:06 PM, Mar 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 20:06:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Senate Bill 256 is changing how unions will operate in the state of Florida. Senator Blaise Ingoglia explains that it will require members to sign a membership authorization form that recognizes Florida as a right to work state starting January 1. It would also make it so dues have to be paid directly to a union instead of it being taken from an employees paycheck. Plus:

"Unions negotiating on issues with members and non-members should have at least 60 percent of eligible members paying dues," Senator Ingoglia explained.

Dozens of people were outside the senate chambers at the State Capitol Thursday to protest the bill including Jordan Scott, president of the big bend labor chapter of the central labor council. He's also a member of the Florida state university graduate assistants united. He said he was protesting what he calls union busting.

"They're attacking our public sector unions through this SB 256 and we want to make sure the senators vote no on this bill," Scott said.

Scott said he believes if this bill passes it could hurt jobs that are known for having unions. He uses teachers as an example.

"Essentially the only barrier between teachers and fighting back for teachers, students, and parents against what the state government has been doing. You can guarantee if they lose their collective bargain, teachers won't want to come to Florida."

Robert Arnold came from Gainesville to protest today... he says SB 256 is not the first time the state has tried to change how unions work.

"It's gone before the house and the senate, year after year trying to raise that because they know the harder unattainable it is the harder it is to maintain membership," Arnold said. "Because the ultimate goal is to decertify us and make us go away."

According to the bill history, it had a first reading March 21 for the fiscal policy committee.