Limiting Educators’ Freedoms, SB 1458

What the Bill Does

  • SB 1458 (full text)/HB 1197 (full text) eliminates educators’ freedom to have union dues deducted from their paycheck.
  • Educators currently have the right to have payments for many items such as health insurance, life insurance, gym membership, union dues and much more deducted directly from their paychecks. In some counties, there are more than 500 options available to educators for payroll deductions, and this bill attacks just one of them – the right to pay union dues in the manner of the educator’s choosing.
  • The provisions of SB 1458/HB 1197 apply to all public sector unions except for those representing police, firefighters and corrections officers.
  • SB 1458 forces your local union to share the name and signature of every member with the state government, allowing the state to create a database of union members. (Note: this provision is not currently found in HB 1197.)
  • A non-partisan analysis of a similar bill last session showed the bill will cost taxpayers almost $400,000 because additional staff will need to be hired to deal with increased paperwork at the Public Employees Relations Commission. SB 1458 requires significantly more paperwork than last year’s version of the bill, meaning the cost would likely be significantly higher.

What’s Next

Talking Points

  • Educators have gone above and beyond to ensure their students’ needs are met during the course of the pandemic. It is shameful that in return for their dedication they are facing divisive attacks from lawmakers.
  • SB 1458/HB 1197 limit your freedom to join with your fellow educators to advocate for your working conditions and for the needs of the students you serve.
  • Florida’s teacher and staff shortage did not materialize out of thin air. It is a direct result of bad policies passed in Tallahassee going back over a decade. These bills continue in that line of bad policy. They will further weaken our schools and drive dedicated professionals to seek employment elsewhere.
  • Students deserve fully staffed schools with small classroom sizes so they can receive the individual attention they need. SB 1458/HB 1197 will only make the teacher and staff shortage worse, meaning students will be the ones who suffer.
  • Educators in Florida remain among the worst paid in the nation, while our state is one of the wealthiest states. Legislators’ focus should be on increasing the salaries of educators to help strengthen our schools instead of finding additional ways to burden them with paperwork and bureaucracy like these bills do.
  • These bills are pushed by out-of-state corporations that don’t have the best interest of Florida’s students or educators in mind. Florida’s legislators should be focused on making our schools the strongest in the nation instead of carrying water for out-of-state interests.
  • It’s time for legislators to listen to educators and give them the support they need instead of continuing to offer solutions to problems that simply don’t exist.

UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

University of Florida students and faculty gather Nov. 12, 2021, to advocate for free speech and academic freedom. The United Faculty of Florida, FEA’s higher education affiliate, has stepped forward…

Read more about UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

Celebrating American Education Week

Neighborhood public schools are a vital part of our communities, and about 90 percent of Florida’s students are educated in public schools. Join us in celebrating public education and all…

Read more about Celebrating American Education Week

Op-ed: Curing Covid wouldn’t fix teacher, staff shortages

The reports of severe staffing shortages in our schools keep coming. In districts throughout the state, there aren’t enough people to teach, transport, feed and otherwise care for Florida’s students.…

Read more about Op-ed: Curing Covid wouldn’t fix teacher, staff shortages

New numbers make clear the severity of staff shortages in our schools

As senators may take up a bill Tuesday that would help get more support staff working in our schools, a new count of advertised vacancies makes clear just how desperate…

Read more about New numbers make clear the severity of staff shortages in our schools

Governor’s education plan falls short — all of Florida’s children deserve strong public schools

As we enter a third pandemic year, Florida’s public schools are facing a significant crisis. Every student has been affected by disruptions related to Covid. Second-graders have never experienced a…

Read more about Governor’s education plan falls short — all of Florida’s children deserve strong public schools

FEA: We look forward to finding solutions that truly meet students’ needs

As Gov. DeSantis releases his state budget recommendations for 2022-2023, the Florida Education Association (FEA) is looking ahead to the legislative session and what needs to happen for our students,…

Read more about FEA: We look forward to finding solutions that truly meet students’ needs