Florida Teachers Unions Sue over Violation of Constitutional Rights
On July 2nd, a group of Florida teachers and teacher organizations sued over a new union certification law that went into effect, arguing that it deprived them of their collective bargaining rights, as guaranteed in the Florida constitution. According to the teachers, their organizations were unfairly signaled out for these certification measures, while other organizations that rely on collective bargaining for employees were not.
Specifically, the teachers claim that the new law directly interferes with the ability for teachers’ associations to obtain eligible teachers to join, which then leaves the association potentially facing decertification (and thus no longer being able to collectively bargain on behalf of local teachers). They also argued that the labor issue was improperly injected into the bill, even though it had nothing to do with other elements of the measure, which could open it up to a court killing those labor-related aspects of the measure.
Your Rights under the Florida Constitution
The Florida Constitution guarantees equal protection under Article I, Section II. According to the complaint, the legislature has singled out members of certain staffers within the public school boards to be treated differently than all other classes of public employees. As plaintiffs, the teachers are seeking a determination that the new law was enacted in violation of the “single subject” rule of Article III, Section 6 of the Florida Constitution (that portion of the law treats K-12 instructional bargaining units differently than all other classes of public employees in violation of equal protection requirements), and that their right to exercise their collective bargaining rights have been violated.
Florida’s right to bargain collectively is based on Section 6 of the state constitution, which states that the right of persons to work and employees to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union. There must be a compelling state interest implemented by the least restrictive means to justify denying or abridging these rights.
In addition, the Florida Constitution also dictates that “every law shall embrace but one subject and matter properly connected.” The teachers thus argue that the new law contains multiple subjects that have little relationship to one another and no relationship whatsoever to the recertification requirement contained in the new law, and there exists no logical or natural connection amongst the various provisions.
Orlando Civil Rights Lawyer
You are afforded certain rights under the Florida and U.S. Constitution, and that includes the right to equal protection and the right to collective bargaining. If your rights have been violated in Florida, contact the Baez Law Firm to find out how we can help ensure that justice is done for you and your family.