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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.
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