Your Vote Is Your Voice... Be Heard
Dear Union Member,
In September, the United School Employees of Pasco successfully re-registered as your collective bargaining agent. In spite of targeted attacks on teacher unions from Tallahassee, we were able to push our density above the 50% requirement expected of all instructional bargaining units under new Florida law. Though we should always be engaged in building the strength of our union, the urgent growth of our organization to the required density consumed valuable time, effort and resources from our professional organization—time, effort and resources that might have otherwise been invested in member services.
Hostile legislation like last year’s HB 7055 has become all too common. As the election draws near, we must question why we were targeted and by whom. And more importantly, what can we do to turn the tide?
We must recognize that it has not only been our collective bargaining rights under attack, public education itself has been threatened by those who would use voucher schemes and unfunded mandates to move us further away from our state’s constitutional obligation to offer ‘a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education.’ When we think about our mission as educators, we must ask ourselves if we are holding policy makers accountable for the conditions they have created for learning in our schools. Who will work to ensure that our neighborhood public schools have the best resources to meet our students’ needs?
The outcomes of these elections will be decided by people who are informed and dedicated to representing their interests at the polls. While the candidates themselves are not perfect, our state and national affiliates have poured over resumes, voting records and platforms to make recommendations based on who best represents the issues impacting Public Education, our schools and students, and our working families. It is important not only that you vote, but also your family members as well. We need to educate our neighbors, fellow employees and others we come in regular contact with to the concerns of Public Education and how bad legislation affects our students, our employees and our district. We MUST vote our profession and understand those candidates who support our issues.
Voting is a personal decision, and I would never tell you how to vote. What I WOULD ask of you is to review the information in this UNITER. Your union and our state and national affiliates have participated in a process to endorse the best choices for workers in our state. These candidates have avowed themselves to fight for the working families here in Pasco County, in Florida, and nationally as well. It is your civic responsibility and duty to vote. Get your family and friends involved in this election. Take a stand, and TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Don Peace, President