House OKs bill to eliminate automatic dues for some public sector unions
Dean Black is proof positive that Duval County has shifted further to the right. Image via Dean Black.

'All this bill does is put an unnecessary burden on unions.'

Some public sector unions would no longer be able to automatically deduct union dues from their members’ paychecks under a bill passed by the House, over the objections of Democrats who said it unfairly targeted unions that support their party while exempting unions that often support Republicans.

The bill (SB 256) doesn’t apply to police, firefighters, prison guards and probation officers, but does apply to unions for teachers, nurses and other public sector jobs.

“All this bill does is put an unnecessary burden on unions,” said Rep. Rita Harris, an Orlando Democrat. “This is going to make it painfully difficult for unions to exist.”

Republicans, though, defended the measure as requiring transparency from unions, which in turn would make them more responsive to their members.

“This bill is good for workers and it will be good for the unions,” said Rep. Dean Black, a Jacksonville Republican who sponsored the House version of the bill. “Their union isn’t going away.”

The bill passed the House on a 72-44 vote, with nine Republicans joining Democrats voting against it. The measure passed the Senate last month and will next head to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.

Other parts of the bill would require unions to include the names and salaries of the five highest paid officers and employees of the union and allow employees to revoke their membership at any time during the year. Public safety unions for police, firefighters and prison guards are also exempt from those requirements.

Unions would also be required to have their financial statements audited by a certified public accountant to have their registration renewed each year.

Annual renewals would also require unions to name the number of employees eligible for members and the number of actual members. If a union doesn’t have at least 60% membership it must reapply for certification.

Several union groups traveled to Tallahassee to protest the bill this week. The Florida Chamber of Commerce, though, supported the move.

“In Florida, government unions often negotiate directly against taxpayers,” Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson said in a released statement.

“As both the employer and steward of public funds, state and local governments have an obligation to spend taxpayer dollars in the best interest of the taxpayer, so we applaud the Florida Legislature for passing much needed paycheck protection accountability and transparency legislation. This will make Florida more competitive while protecting consumers and taxpayers.

Gray Rohrer


  • FLPatriotNotaCon

    April 27, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    This won’t make Florida more competitive in hiring school staff and teachers. We are already at the bottom and this will accelerate that trip. We need to remove the super majority do the politician can be held accountable to the people.

    • Michael K

      April 27, 2023 at 2:36 pm

      Yep. Just saw the Forbes top 50 universities list. California, New York and other “blue” states dominate the list – Florida has only one at #25.

      Teachers are leaving in droves – disgusted, angry, and hurt by the nastiness and cruelty.

  • PJ W

    April 30, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    This is Union Busting 101. Florida salaries are a joke to begin with so the reasoning that this will add “transparency” is lame. If a union member needs legal counsel it was offered because of union membership. Now the person will have to pay out of pocket if his/her union doesn’t exist. Republicans are now picking winners and losers. They are not the party that helps all, they are the party that helps donors. Remember each and every House member and vote them out next election!

Comments are closed.


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