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Teachers, staff, faculty travel to Tallahassee to oppose anti-educator bill

TALLAHASSEE — Even in the midst of a pandemic, more than 80 teachers, education support staff, higher education faculty and graduate assistants have come from around the state to speak Wednesday in opposition to the anti-freedom, anti-educator Senate Bill 1014. Given that the Capitol is largely locked down to visitors, they will gather at the Tucker Civic Center, socially distanced, to make their voices heard as the Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee considers this contentious and divisive legislation.

Educators will converge outside the Tucker Center starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday before remotely attending the 9 a.m. committee meeting; a press event will be held on the west side of the building at 11:45 a.m., after the meeting is scheduled to conclude.

“Our educators have done tremendous work over the past year to keep students safe and learning,” said Florida Education Association (FEA) President Andrew Spar. “They deserve appreciation and support. Instead, some state lawmakers want to make their lives harder. This bill is an assault on the rights and freedoms of public school teachers, higher education faculty and graduate assistants. It puts big government between educators and their constitutionally guaranteed right to join in union to advocate for their students and profession. We call on lawmakers to do right by the people who serve our students. Most of these educators gave up part of their well-deserved spring break to come here, despite the fact that the Capitol is locked down. Educators must be heard.”

EVENT DETAILS

What: FEA press conference regarding SB 1014

When: 11:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday, March 17; educators will gather starting at 8 a.m.

Where: Outside the west side (facing the main parking lot) of the Tucker Civic Center, 505 W. Pensacola St., Tallahassee              

Who: FEA President Andrew Spar, Secretary-Treasurer Nandi Riley and educators from throughout the state

No matter anyone’s political beliefs, we should all agree that working people in all professions deserve the basic freedom to join together to speak for themselves and the people they serve. SB 1014 attacks that freedom for one group, educators in our public schools, colleges and universities. It would not regulate any other public sector unions, such as those for police, firefighters and corrections workers.

CONTACT: Joni Branch, joni.branch@floridaea.org

The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees. Connect with FEA on Facebook, Twitter and at https://feaweb.org.

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