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Florida AFSCME Demands 5% Raise for State Workers

December 26, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida state workers rallied outside the capitol building here Dec. 18, urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to grant them 5% raises and 2% cost-of-living increases. The governor’s proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year does not include funding for any raises for the almost 50,000 state employees represented by AFSCME Florida. Instead, he announced Dec. 17 that he would give them Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 off “in recognition… [of their] hard work and dedication.” “We appreciate that,” said AFSCME Florida President Vicki Hall, adding, “These workers need to be paid correctly.” Florida’s approximately 100,000 state employees have received only two pay increases since 2006, and those were offset by the state requiring them to contribute 3% of their salaries for pensions. The union says their purchasing power has decreased by 25% since 2006, and many make less than $40,000. “It is not something you can raise a family on and beyond that, there are many employees that make significantly less than that. I make $26,000 a year,” Jordan Scott of AFSCME Local 3037 in Tallahassee told WJHG-TV from Panama City. State Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), however, said a raise was “not off the table.” Read more

December 26, 2019

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