(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the country’s most aggressive state labor reform in more than a decade. The new law will allow state government employees more control over their workplace representation and hold unions accountable to their membership.
The Freedom Foundation is pleased to have worked with Florida lawmakers and the governor to bring about these important reforms.
The new law requires government employee unions to prove on a yearly basis at least 60 percent of workers in the affected bargaining unit are dues-paying members — and triggers a decertification vote if they aren’t.
Additionally, the legislation ends the automatic government union dues deductions from public-sector employee paychecks, which means unions will have to set up their own payment collection system.
The Freedom Foundation helped a similar “paycheck protection” bill become law in Arkansas last month. Kentucky and Tennessee also passed paycheck protection laws, and Oklahoma is working on its own version.
“These laws are gaining in popularity because people see that public-sector unions are using taxpayer money to play political games, and they’re tired of the corruption,” said Rusty Brown, Freedom Foundation southern director. “Government employee unions have long been political entities, but until recently they flew under the radar. Government-imposed lockdowns, particularly in schools, exposed the corrupting influence of teachers’ unions. It really opened the public’s eyes.”
Brown continued, “By signing this bill into law, Gov. DeSantis is standing up for government employees who have been held hostage by their unions. Until recently, government unions held a monopoly on workplace representation, making it exceedingly difficult for public employees to resign from their union and stop dues deductions.”
Brown concluded. “The Freedom Foundation applauds those in the state legislature, who supported the bill, and Gov. DeSantis for ending this government union charade against public employees.”
During his bill signing press conference today, Gov. DeSantis told attendees, “Some of the school unions were holding up the pay increases. They had the money in July of 2022, and we got into the end of the year; (the labor leaders) still had not given pay increases to their teachers because they were trying to leverage that for other things to benefit the school unions.”
DeSantis continued, “A lot of parents were able to see, ‘okay these are political organizations that are not looking out for the interests of parents or the interests of students’.”