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On Monday June 29, AFSCME Local 199 was informed that the Clerk of Courts had a budget shortfall of more than $9 million dollars and that this shortfall would result in around 107 layoffs and furloughs for all of our 2,000 Clerk of Court employees in Miami-Dade County. On July 2nd, Local 199 held a Zoom meeting to discuss our options and put a plan of action in place to avert these changes and remind the County of the value of our dedicated employees.

President Brown laid out an emergency call to action for members to contact lawmakers both in Tallahassee and Miami-Dade County and Local 199 members came through big time. With an overwhelming number of calls and emails to County Commissioners, President Brown was able to work closely with Deputy Mayor Moon, County Clerk Harvey Ruvin, and Miami-Dade County lawmakers to make up the shortfall from other areas of the budget and avoid the lay offs and furloughs entirely.

Freedom is one of the most cherished American principles. But freedom means more than the ability to speak your mind, practice your religion, or choose your own democratically elected leaders. Our freedoms don’t end with the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is one of the crown jewels of Miami-Dade County, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. But after decades of providing committed service to their neighbors, employees are facing an uncertain future now that the county is moving management to a non-profit trust.

With Florida’s 2017 legislative session passing the halfway mark, many critical issues facing AFSCME members remain in flux. While the attacks to retirement security, health care and even the very right to a democratic voiceon the job continue, the weeks of incredible outreach over the phones, in person and at events around the state by AFSCME members and allies have had a real impact.

Last year, the members of AFSCME Local 199 wanted to show that their commitment to a stronger Miami-Dade County didn’t stop when the work day ended. That is why they made giving back through community service and charitable contributions a topic of focus at every membership meeting.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article87234657.html

I was paying close attention to the Zika bill that failed to get the necessary votes in the Senate last week.

Some fine print stood out because it really tells you what’s wrong with today’s politicians.

Hidden in the bill was a clause that would withhold money to Planned Parenthood that would be used for contraception to fight the Zika virus.

It has taken us years to restore what we lost during the economic downturn and to then build on top of that for a stronger future.

One of the key pieces came in December when we turned out and ratified a tentative agreement with Miami-Dade County that guaranteed a 1% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) in October of this year. If tax revenue estimates came in high enough that COLA increase stood to go up to 4%.

For almost two decades, Moby White has served his community as one of four crane operators with Miami-Dade County’s Public Works Department. From safely placing heavy equipment onto the tops of buildings to assisting fire and police personal as a first responder after a hurricane anywhere in the state, White never quits no matter where his job takes him.

Across the country, the protections that new hires can access from their union during their probationary period can be confusing. This too often allows anti-labor managers to tell new employees they shouldn’t, or even can’t, join the union or turn to them if something comes up.

But in Miami-Dade County, AFSCME Local 199 is fighting back.