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Florida Senate Democrats Slam Governor for Signing "Union-Busting" Legislation

Florida - Wednesday May 10, 2023: Governor DeSantis has come under strong criticism from Senate Democrats in the Florida Legislature, the Florida Education Association (FEA), and others, after he signed into law what the critics are calling "union-busting" legislation.

SB 256, targets teachers’ unions, some of its provisions apply to all unions, except for those who are members of police or firefighter unions. The measure was one of 5 education related bills, passed by the Republican dominated Legislature, and signed into law Tuesday by the Governor.

"The Legislature put hurdles in the way of many public unions, taking away voluntary automatic deductions and making it harder for them to exist by adding more red tape," said Democratic Leader Lauren Book (D-Davie). "Attempting to silence the groups that advocate for better pay and better working conditions is unconstitutional and undemocratic.”

SB 256 prohibits unions from automatically deducting union dues from an employee's paycheck; it requires unions to notify members of the costs of membership, it requires unions to represent at least 60% of employees, an increase from the current 50%, it requires annual audits and financial disclosures for unions restrictions, and it gives state employees the right to immediately quit a union, for no reason. If the number of dues-paying state union members drops below 60% of those eligible to join, then the new law requires the union to recertify.

“The same men and women who were front and center during COVID are now collateral damage," said Senator Shevrin Jones (D-Miami Gardens), "all because they don’t support the Governor and the Republicans with their fascist policies. Florida is not free! "

SB 256 “will lead to mass decertification of Florida’s unions," said Senator Lori Berman (D- Boynton Beach). "DeSantis may garner campaign donations and favor from big corporations and wealthy elites by signing SB 256, but he’ll never regain the trust of working Floridians.”

"These attempts at union-busting and decertifying public teachers unions across Florida will make the teacher shortage worse," said Senator Victor Torres (D- Orlando).