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Season 5, Episode 33

UTD fighting back against decertification from florida senate bill 256

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Guest Name:

Karla Hernandez-Mats

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https://www.utd.org/ 

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President of United Teachers of Dade, Karla Hernandez-Mats, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss Florida Senate Bill 256 and it’s impact on public sector unions. Hernandez-Mats also discussed the attacks on education in the state and how it has created a workforce shortage.

Hernandez-Mats comes from a pro-labor family, led by her father who ensured that she would know her rights as a worker. As Hernandez-Mats grew up, she sought out a career as a teacher, becoming a special education teacher and joining the UTD. She spoke about the influence the American Federation of Teachers Secretary Treasurer Fedrick Ingram, then President of the UTD, played in her journey. After Ingram moved on to become Secretary Treasurer of the AFT, Hernandez-Mats was elected President of the Local.

Florida Senate Bill 256 has continued to damage public unions in the state. The new law was rewritten to target all public unions except fire and correctional officers. There are several parts to the bill, but one of the issues is an increase of the union membership threshold to 60 percent of the total workers within the unit or risk decertification. The UTD has been successfully fighting back against the law, however several Local’s for other unions like AFSCME have suffered the most, Hernandez-Mats said.

Many of the attacks on teachers and unions are being led by a small group of individuals, according to Hernandez-Mats. She talked about the focused effort to ban multi-cultural books from public school libraries and eliminating AP Black History courses from the curriculum. These attacks have created a declining teacher workforce, with several current teachers seeking other career paths and college graduates are not seeking roles in the educational sector. 

Listen to the show above for more information on the attacks on education in Florida.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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