Unionizing At Marion County Sheriff's Office?
When the tax cut amendment was passed, it resulted in reduced funding statewide. Now that the impact of that vote is being felt, those on the receiving end say they want to band together to make sure there's enough cushion to absorb the blow.
Dan Kuhn, Chief of Staff at the Marion County Sheriff's Office says his staff had reasons to be concerned about their job security.
"It was really an unstable time statewide," said Kuhn. "People did not know how budgets were going to be affected and at that time we did not have a proposed budget for next year."
77 employees signed cards in support of establishing a union for the first time. The Florida State Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Police Benvolent Association have both filed petitions to assume collective bargaining duties. Kuhn thinks it's unnecessary.
"Our position is that there's no need for a union because we'll do our best to provide for our employees so that their needs are met," said Kuhn.
A memo Sheriff Ed Dean sent out last month states, "Our position is that we do not believe that theÂ FOP or any union is in the best interest of our employees or our agency; and therefore there is no need for employees to be represented by any union."
FOP President, Sergeant Charles Eades, believes otherwise.
"This allows fairness," said Eades. "Things that are already fair in the system to solidify. This will also keep situations that may appear to be unfair from occuring. They will all be unified under one voice."
A date has not been set yet, but within the next two months all 260 eligible employees must vote. They'll have to decide if they want their bargaining to be done by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Police Benevolent Association, or to not have either and remain un-unionized.
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