History of revisions
Florida Senate Bill 256: Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees (final)
Summarized by: Chat GPT and Wayne McEachron aka Osiris
Florida Senate Bill 256: Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees
CS/CS/SB 256: Employee Organizations Representing Public Employees
- This bill relates to employee organizations representing public employees in Florida.
- It requires public employees who want to join an employee organization to sign a membership authorization form starting on a specified date.
- Public employees can revoke their membership at any time, and the employee organization must revoke it upon receipt of a written request.
- Employee organizations cannot limit the right to revoke membership to certain dates or require a reason for revoking membership.
- Employee organizations must retain authorization forms and requests for revocation for inspection by the Public Employees Relations Commission.
- The commission can waive certain provisions for specified employee organizations and adopt rules.
- Certain employee organizations are prohibited from having dues and uniform assessments deducted and collected by the employer from salaries.
- Public employees can pay dues and assessments directly to the employee organization.
- Requirements for initial registrations and renewals of registration of employee organizations are revised.
- Certain employee organizations must petition the commission for recertification as bargaining agents.
- The commission can revoke or deny an employee organization's registration or certification under certain circumstances.
- Employee organizations must provide members with an annual audited financial report and notify them annually of all costs of membership.
- The bill amends and revises prohibitions for employee organizations and certain persons/entities related to employee organizations.
- The bill removes duplicative provisions and amends sections related to employee wage deductions and violation of strike prohibition and penalties.
- Effective dates are provided for these changes.
- Public employers are prohibited from any involvement in the collection of fines, penalties, or special assessments.
- Employee organizations seeking to become certified bargaining agents must register with the commission prior to requesting recognition or submitting a petition for certification.
- The application for registration should include the organization's name, address, principal officers, initiation fee, monthly dues, annual audited financial statement, business agent, local agent for service of process, pledge to conform to state laws, current constitution and bylaws, and affiliations.
- Registrations are valid for one year and must be renewed annually with updated information, including a current annual audited financial statement.
- Employee organizations certified as bargaining agents must include additional information in their renewal applications, such as the number of employees in the bargaining unit eligible for representation and the number of employees who have authorized the deduction and collection of dues.
- The membership authorization form must contain a statement in 14-point type about Florida being a right-to-work state and that union membership and dues payment are voluntary.
- This paragraph does not apply to members of employee organizations representing law enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, or firefighters.
- The commission may adopt rules to implement this paragraph.
- The bill allows the commission to waive certain prohibitions and requirements for employee organizations representing mass transit employees if the employer's protective arrangement does not meet federal requirements and jeopardizes eligibility for federal funding.
- Employee organizations representing law enforcement officers, correctional officers, correctional probation officers, or firefighters have the right to have their dues and assessments deducted and collected by the employer, with employee authorization.
- The bill specifies that authorization for deductions is revocable upon the employee's request with 30 days' written notice to the employer and employee organization.
- The right to deduction remains in force as long as the employee organization remains the certified bargaining agent for the employees in the unit.
- Employee organizations must provide the public employer a copy of their renewal application on the same day it is submitted to the commission.
- Incomplete renewal applications will not be considered and must be dismissed if not completed within 10 days after receiving notice.
- Employee organizations with less than 60% of eligible employees paying dues during their last registration period must petition for recertification within one month after applying for renewal.
- Public employers or bargaining unit employees may challenge the accuracy of an employee organization's renewal application, leading to a possible revocation of registration and certification.
- The commission may investigate the validity of submitted information and revoke or deny registration or certification for non-cooperation or intentional misrepresentation.
- Subsections regarding renewal application requirements do not apply to organizations representing law enforcement officers, correctional officers, probation officers, or firefighters.
- Registration fees for applications or renewals shall not exceed $15.
- Employee organizations must keep accurate accounts of income and expenses, provide annual audited financial reports to members, and notify members of membership costs.
- Employee organizations and their representatives are prohibited from offering anything of value or compensation to public officers that they are not allowed to accept under Florida Statutes sections 112.313(2) and 112.313(4).
- Deduction of an employee's membership dues for an employee organization is only allowed for organizations certified as the exclusive bargaining agent.
- These deductions are subject to the provisions of section 447.303.
- If the commission determines that an employee organization has violated the strike prohibition, it may issue cease and desist orders, suspend or revoke certification, revoke the right of dues deduction and collection, or fine the organization up to $20,000 for each day of violation.
- Fines collected from the organization will be used by the public employer to replace services denied due to the strike.
- The act takes effect upon becoming law, except where expressly provided otherwise.