Though Florida unions are unhappy with several pieces of legislation moving through his chamber, Senate President Mike Haridopolos said Wednesday that the coming Florida legislative session would contain no attack on the rights of union members to organize and collectively bargain like the controversial debate going on in Wisconsin. The state’s leading teachers union, the Florida Education Association, is opposed to an effort to revive last year’s controversial merit pay bill for educators, the Police Benevolent Association opposes proposed prison privatization, and unions for state workers are against an effort to increase the amount state workers contribute to their pensions. But Haridopolos said the Legislature would not go further and try to bar the unions from collectively bargaining at all, like Wisconsin has. “State workers have collecting bargaining rights now. I’ve not seen anybody going after that at this point,” Haridopolos said. “What they’re doing in Wisconsin is what they are doing in Wisconsin. What we’re focused on are immediate issues. We’ve got enough stuff to worry about tomorrow.” Earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott similarly said he does not have a problem with collective bargaining.
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