House Passes Union-Busting Legislation

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Police, firefighters, teachers, and many other public employees will no longer have their union dues deducted from their paychecks if legislation approved by the Florida House becomes law.

This remark,“Unions are great”, from Republican Rick Workman brought laughter from union members in the House gallery. Republicans who defended the bill say government has no business collecting union dues.

“We just had an election, unless you were not paying attention, the people spoke loud and clear: they want government out of their business,” Rep. Mike Horner (R-Kissimmee) said. “This gets government out of their way.”

Union members say the legislation singles them out because of support for Democratic candidates. The bill still permits deductions for 300 other organizations.

“What we’ve found were dozens [of organizations] that made direct political contributions in the 2010 political cycle, and those contributions dwarfed anything that any unions spent in the state of Florida,” Rich Templin, with Florida AFL-CIO, said.

The legislature’s own analysis says it will likely be more difficult to get union members to write a check for their dues.

Despite the language in the analysis, sponsor Chris Dorworth (R-Seminole County) says the bill has nothing to do with union busting.

“This bill very clearly promotes the rights of members of the unions,” Dorworth said.

Reporter: How so?

“By granting them the authority over their decision,” Dorworth said.

If the legislation becomes law, and that’s still a big if, it is likely to be challenged under the Federal labor law.

The legislation was approved with just one Republican voting “no” and seven others taking a walk.


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  • by Rita on Mar 26, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    Election time, the citizens of Florida are going to vote legislature-busting. They forget they were elected to represent US. We can fire their sorry butts and we will. Let's start by cutting THEIR benefits!
  • by MzConceited Location: Tallahassee on Mar 26, 2011 at 04:08 PM
    Let's not be stupid!!Who would like to pay for their own drug test when we haven't had a raise in years. If Rick Scott wants a drug test let him pay for it. He's the billionaire!!!!
  • by TJ Location: Miami on Mar 26, 2011 at 01:34 PM
    Thanks for your concern about how we can get government out of our lives by no longer having union dues collected by public employers. I am going to then help you with this effort and discontinue my payroll deduction of 1 days pay for United Way so as to get government out of the business of charities.
  • by Kiki Location: Tallahassee on Mar 26, 2011 at 05:46 AM
    I'm so glad our legislature is working hard to create jobs and take care of our most vulnerable citizens...oh wait, never mind, they're playing games again. What a bunch of slackers. "Liberal money has bought politicians for many years"? That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. Most of the Republicans are in big businesses pocket and beholden to them and looking out for their interests and not yours.
  • by matt on Mar 26, 2011 at 05:09 AM
    Why are Republicans making so many enemies so early in the term? We just got a majority, and now we're squandering it. Cutting salaries for state workers. Cutting salary for teachers through "merit pay". Attacking unions who fight for my 28000 a year salary. Now millions spent on drug testing. Where are the jobs, Gov. Scott? You promised 700,000 jobs, but is that after you cut 200000 jobs? You've sold a state plane-great. Now leave us poor folks alone.
    • reply
      by CJ on Mar 26, 2011 at 07:50 AM in reply to matt
      Matt, the republicans aren't squandering anything. We voted them in to cut spending. We are broke and can't afford to pay the benefits for state workers. We can't afford to keep ineffective teachers while our student's test scores are dropping. We have to cut spending or the state and country are going to go bankrupt. Nobody said the cuts would be painless. Unfortunately, the people making the most noise are the ones that have benefited from the huge gov't spending and entitlement programs. We have to run the gov't like I run my house...pay for the necessities and cut waste. By cutting state spending, we will save and create jobs in the private sector that don't cost the taxpayers. We have to look at the big picture to protect our future.
      • reply
        by No voice allowed on Mar 26, 2011 at 12:13 PM in reply to CJ
        Why isn't the Governor/Legislature looking at closing the special interest loopholes that would generate billions of dollars in revenue? I though he bought the election and could not be influenced by special interest? Here is the first $668 million dollars-Right now, attorneys and other service occupations don't have to collect taxes on their bills. For attorneys alone, that means exempting more than $668 million. How about these? Farm feed for ostriches and racehorses ($30.2 million); newspaper and magazine inserts ($42.7 million); dry-cleaning ($66.6 million) and even construction services ($2.7 billion). Seems to me that taking care of your friends is priority one, not taking care of Florida. Making draconian cuts is not the only answer. Having an equitable tax structure would help but it will never happen.
      • reply
        by matt on Mar 26, 2011 at 01:15 PM in reply to CJ
        We can't afford to keep ineffective teachers-that's very true. Every teacher in the state can currently be fired.Florida doesn't have a tenure system, its called professional services contract. It means they must show you're an ineffective teacher. Sadly, "merit pay" is just a ploy to pay teachers even less.Education will never be "waste spending". Remember when Jeb started privatization? They found out quickly that the private companies couldn't do all that was asked for the price the Government agencies did it;we ended up paying for both private and public sector services. And now that we're bankrupt Republicans are focusing on the one area that was destroying by passing Right to Work: Poor People.
      • reply
        by Rita on Mar 26, 2011 at 04:37 PM in reply to CJ
        The only way the kids' scores will improve is to teach strictly to the test and believe that kids, all kids, care. Most kids don't. Most kids' parents are more worried about having help around the house to provide food on the table than standardized test scores. The majority of State workers are underpaid. The difference in what a person makes working for the Dtate versus what they could make in the private sector is made up by benefits. Take the benefits away and you're going to have your typical finger biting Wal-Mart employee looking up your personal information. Obviously, some Floridians haven't stopped to think about the quality of state employees they're going to end up having. Cutting the jobs from State government and putting them in the private sector WILL cost more. And, if Rick Scott is anything like Jeb Bush, thosemjobsmoutsourced will be to their cronies out-of-state companies. Research where the money went back then because it's getting ready t happen again. You worry about benefits...what about the proposal that will cost YOU to have State employees drug tested quarterly? Somebody's going to pay for it and it will be coming from the pockets of Florida citizens. What is happening is we have a governor that wants to award his millionaire buddies with tax cuts while he sticks it to middle class Floridians.
      • reply
        by @ CJ on Mar 28, 2011 at 06:42 AM in reply to CJ
        We can't afford good teachers, either! We can't afford education because it's obviously not important. We are burying the future generations and they won't be smart enough to help themselves. Here comes the downward spiral...
  • by Hypocrites Location: TLH on Mar 25, 2011 at 06:45 PM
    Rep. Workman, if you are "keeping government out of my way, then you'd better reverse the legislation forcing me to have an ultrasound at my cost-against my will- before I have a pregnancy terminated. And Scott, you need to reverse your drug testing order for state employees at taxpayer cost. Why should I pay for mass testing with minimal gain? Get your government out of my way and out of my pocket- you bunch of hypocrites.
    • reply
      by Docker on Mar 26, 2011 at 05:24 AM in reply to Hypocrites
      If you want an abortion and don't want an ultrasound go to a private doctor.No one is forcing you to do anything. If you want a FREE abortion you must play by the rules. I don't care what you do with your body.Take responsibility and keep the rest of us out of it.
    • reply
      by Billy on Mar 26, 2011 at 07:13 AM in reply to Hypocrites
      I agree that the state shouldn't have to pay for drug testing. The person who is tested should pay for it.
      • reply
        by MzConceited on Mar 26, 2011 at 04:05 PM in reply to Billy
        Let's not be stupid. Who will like to pay for their own drug test when we haven't had a raise in years. Think about that.
      • reply
        by @Billy on Mar 28, 2011 at 06:39 AM in reply to Billy
        You must be crazy! I am drug-free and this would basically be a quarterly expense. The state can already test me if they have cause, I didn't ask for this so I'm not paying for something that I don't want and the state can't afford!
  • by Proud union member Location: Tallahassee on Mar 25, 2011 at 05:32 PM
    If republicans want government to stay out lives than why do they want to control what comes out of my paycheck??????
    • reply
      by Docker on Mar 26, 2011 at 05:19 AM in reply to Proud union member
      How does refusing to let govt collect union dues control your paycheck? Now you will be able to make a concious decision to pay your union dues. Think for yourself for a change.
      • reply
        by So What on Mar 26, 2011 at 04:09 PM in reply to Docker
        Docker - Union members CHOSE to be in the Union in the first place. Within 1 month every Union member in the State will know how to set up a direct pay with their bank to pay their dues. We have always made a concious choice. This law did nothing but take up the tax payers time and money (but you already knew that - right?).
      • reply
        by @Docker on Mar 28, 2011 at 06:36 AM in reply to Docker
        Why don't you think for yourself... Do you think other auto-debit organizations don't make political contributions??? How about the Chamber or the insurance industry? Why do the repubs only care about the one that doesn't support the GOP? The point is if Republicans want less govt, then get out of my personal finances!
  • by Buddy Location: Madison on Mar 25, 2011 at 05:09 PM
    The Mafia Union Bosses have lost their calculated scheme to steal money from workers. Now I hope every state will pass the same law. Liberal money has bought Politicians for many years and now is time to stop. Thank You Governor for doing the right thing.
    • reply
      by haha! on Mar 28, 2011 at 06:29 AM in reply to Buddy
      The affluent right would never dare do such a thing!
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