AFSCME Local 1584 members approved an agreement which increases salaries and provides a retention bonus.

Local 10 Tampa Bay News quoted Local President Deena Howell. "I think overall we have a great contract and everyone from the administration to the employees demonstrated a lot of passion and commitment in coming to this agreement," she said.

Howell has been a school bus driver with the district for 17 years and said many like her had started to feel over-worked and undervalued.

When contract negotiations started last fall, Jackson Health System workers had weathered multiple surges of COVID-19.

The hardworking front-line staff of South Florida’s largest public safety-net health system were hopeful that their next Local 1363 (AFSCME Florida) contract would recognize how they pulled together to serve their community even when patients levels were high and staffing levels were battered by infections, burnout and more.

It did.

Following the explosive story by Lawrence Mower on the lack of transparency for state workers concerning COVID-19 exposure, the editorial board for Florida's largest newspaper weighed in. 

On Monday, September 27, Lawrence Mower, the Tallahassee Correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times / Miami Herald group, wrote an extensive piece detailing how state workers have been left in the dark, on purpose, about COVID issues in the workplace. 

"Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to keep Florida open has been felt acutely by many state workers, some of whom have been among the earliest to return to in-office meetings," he writes. 

Brothers and Sisters,

It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the passing of Esther Lopez, a long time member and organizer of AFSCME Local 199. Esther lost her battle to cancer yesterday, January 6. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. 

AFSCME is a Union that is dedicated to public service, both in and outside of the workplace. We embody that dedication at Local 199 with the work we do in our communities. This holiday season, Local 199 in collaboration with WJFP 91.1 FM, and Lady Migos Entertainment hosted our first annual Toy Drive for underprivileged children and families in Fort Pierce. The event brought together over 100 children and adults receiving gifts, and charity during these challenging economic times.

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.

Ashley Sanders has an essential job. As a Home Care Aide with the Community Action and Human Services Department in Miami Dade County for the past seven years, she cares for elderly residents with disabilities and helps them to lead healthy and active lives in their own homes and communities. "I love what I do," said Sanders,  "I care for people and help make their lives better. It's challenging but fulfilling work."