SEIU Florida, our state’s largest community union, empowers working people to fight for equality, justice, and progressive reform. Our organizers across the state work tirelessly to ensure issues our communities face are fought for and protected.
Defending Our Communities
Preserve Our Rights to Negotiate Collectively and a Secure Retirement
All workers should have the right to a voice in the workplace. Special interests, big business and their lawmaker friends have worked to take away the protections we have worked so hard to secure over the years. To preserve that right to negotiate collectively, we must stand united to fight detrimental union-busting efforts. It is a basic right for workers to be able to join together and fairly balance the power of their employer to negotiate for better, safer working conditions and fair wages. Additionally, the Florida Retirement System and local government pensions must be protected from misguided and unnecessary reform.
Protect Ability for Local Decisions to be Made Locally
Cities and counties in Florida are very different and their residents have unique needs. As such, local governments are the closest to the people and are best suited to make local decisions that meet those needs. The leadership in Tallahassee, however, has passed laws that strip away power from the local governments and puts the authority to decide what happens in our communities in a few, powerful hands - theirs.
Fighting for Our Future
An Economy that is Fair for all Floridians
Right now, our economic market in Florida favors the rich. Plain and simple. And the majority of counties in Florida are worse off today than before the recession. We need an economy that is built with every Floridian in mind. One that gives us the opportunity and freedom to succeed and prosper. After twenty years of a Republican led economy - leading to stagnant wages, depleting affordable housing, and tax policies that line the pockets of large corporations without proper job growth - it is time we try something different, align economic priorities with the real needs of everyday people and create avenues for individual and community wealth.
A Minimum Wage that Works for All Floridians and Paid Leave
If you work 40 hours a week, you shouldn’t live in poverty. By this minimum standard of living, hardworking Floridians deserve to make a wage that will allow them to afford housing, health insurance, child care, etc. Too many people are working hard for an unfair wages and can't meet those most basic needs. They struggle, go deeper in debt and fall prey to predatory lenders. Even more disheartening, many Floridians are unable to take time off to care for sick family members and are themselves forced to go to work when they are sick as there is no requirement for employers to provide earned paid sick leave. SEIU Florida is standing up by advocating for increased wages and paid leave. A $15 an hour minimum wage isn’t a luxury, it is the minimum we should do for working people in the state.
Increase Access to Quality and Truly Affordable Health Care
The ﬁght is far from over to protect healthcare. Millions are losing and still at risk of losing insurance. Leaders in Congress and the White House have striped coverage protections and given power back to insurance companies resulting in less coverage and higher premiums. No one should have to face bankruptcy because they got sick or operate in fear of being one accident away from financial ruin. Access to affordable healthcare should be a right of all Americans. SEIU Florida will work to expand Medicaid coverage to those who can’t otherwise afford insurance, fight to preserve insurance for people who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and fight to improve standards so the coverage they receive in Florida is of the highest quality.
Affordable Housing for all Floridians
Florida has a housing problem. People cannot afford to live here. They are paying more and more of their wages on housing. But for the last several years, Governor Scott and Legislature have raided the affordable housing trust fund and used the $1.3 billion it has accumulated since the Great Recession to give tax cuts and other incentives to businesses, among other things. All Floridians should have access to housing they can afford and they can’t afford elected leaders continuing to ignore the problem or making it worse.
Welcoming All to Florida
We are a country of immigrants. Nearly 25% of people living in Florida immigrated to the state. One in four people in our communities, churches, schools, and workplace bring a new and different perspective to our day to day lives. Immigrants are part of our Florida community, and we must protect them against racist, xenophobic, and hateful legislation that is meant to break hard working people away from their families. It is time for real protections, for all Floridians.
“Too Poor To Make Bail” Shouldn’t Be a Reason to Sit Behind Bars
“Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t apply to the bail system in Florida. Those who have not been convicted of any crime, but await a slow judicial proces -and are poor- sit behind bars simply because they can not afford to make bail, many on low-level, non-violent crimes with small bail amounts. This can lead to lost time at work, missed housing payments and/or an inability to care for their children, while people with money who as suspected of the same crime get to walk out. Wealth should not be a determinant of freedom and poverty is not an indication of guilt. SEIU Florida will stand strong in favor of real reform to our bail system and on other reforms that decriminalize poverty.
Fully Funding Public Education
As our communities have grown and become more complex, the need for public education has followed. At the same time from the leadership in Tallahassee, we have seen a intentional decrease in appropriate funding for our children and deliberate actions to weaken our schools. SEIU Florida will work to ensure Tallahassee provides resources to support public schools which are the backbone of our communities and institutions of higher learning to support a well-qualified workforce.
Regaining the Right to Vote
Florida is one of only three states that strip all individuals with past felony convictions of their civil rights, including their fundamental right to vote, even after completion of their sentences. There are 1.2 million Floridians who are not afforded their constitutional right to a vote and have no clear path to regaining the right, because of an archaic rule that is being held up by bureaucratic red tape. SEIU Florida will stand up for all Floridians - including those who deserve their right to vote.