FLORIDA HOUSE PASSES BILL TO INCREASE THE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
Tallahassee, FL—Today, Speaker Richard Corcoran and Representative Scott Plakon released the following statements on passage of HB 25, requiring labor organizations to be more transparent and accountable.
Speaker Corcoran said, “It’s an automatic red flag when any group advocates a position that encourages less transparency and accountability. The answers to our problems are never solved with less transparency. Every organization has a duty to be upfront, transparent, and accountable to its members in all aspects of its operations. It’s no secret that the Florida House is committed to strengthening transparency and accountability wherever and whenever possible. Employees shouldn’t be forced to be represented by an organization they disagree with or no longer support. The House will always fight to empower individuals over bureaucrats.
Representative Plakon said, “This bill makes organizations more transparent and accountable to those they represent. It’s important that we provide dissatisfied workers with an effective and fair process to redress their grievances to bring about greater accountability. This will help ensure these organizations are meeting the needs of the hard-working people they have the honor and privilege to represent.”
Passed the House floor with a vote of 75-41 in 2017
Passed today by a vote of 65-41
Collective bargaining is a constitutional right afforded to public employees in Florida. Through collective bargaining, public employees collectively negotiate with their public employer in the determination of the terms and conditions of their employment. The Public Employees Relations Commission (commission) is responsible for assisting in resolving disputes between public employees and public employers.
Current law specifies that public employees have the right to be represented in collective bargaining by any employee organization of their own choosing or to refrain from being represented. An employee organization that is authorized to represent public employees is known as a certified bargaining agent. An employee organization seeking to become a certified bargaining agent for a unit of public employees must register with and be certified by the commission. A registration granted to an employee organization is valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The renewal application must include a current annual financial report that contains specific information.
The bill requires an employee organization to include the following information in its annual financial report for each certified bargaining unit that the organization represents:
- The number of employees in the bargaining unit who are eligible for representation by the employee organization; and
- The number of employees who are represented by the organization, specifying the number of members who pay dues and the number of members who do not pay dues.
If a registered employee organization does not submit this information for a certified bargaining unit it represents, the organization’s certification for that unit is revoked. This provision does not apply to an employee organization that represents, or seeks to represent, employees who are law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or firefighters.
The bill also requires an employee organization that has been certified as the bargaining agent for a unit whose dues-paying membership is less than 50 percent of the employees eligible for representation in that unit to petition the commission for recertification as the exclusive representative of all employees in the unit within one month after the date on which the organization applies for registration renewal. The petition must be accompanied by dated statements signed by at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit, indicating that such employees desire to be represented by the employee organization. If the commission determines the petition to be sufficient, it must order an election to determine whether the employee organization will be certified. The certification of an employee organization that does not comply with this recertification requirement is revoked. This requirement does not apply to an employee organization that represents, or seeks to represent, employees who are law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or firefighters.