A move by the Republican-led Legislature that could weaken the Democratic-allied state teachers unions is showing signs of having the opposite effect as an epic election-year unfolds in Florida.
A provision tucked into a sweeping education proposal recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott requires local unions to have a majority of a county’s eligible teachers as dues-paying members, or face possible decertification as a collective bargaining unit.
While the new law appears threatening, the Florida Education Association said it’s turning into a rallying point for recruiting in a union that already has added 3,200 members statewide in the past nine months.
“We saw this coming and know it’s driven by politics, plain and simple,” said FEA President Joanne McCall, whose 140,000-member union is the largest labor organization in the Southeast and traditionally a major contributor to Democratic candidates and the Florida Democratic Party.