That Union Thing

The Florida Education Association and the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association have filed a lawsuit against the new merit-pay law.
The unions claim that the law violates public employees' constitutional right to collectively bargain over wages and employment conditions. The new law eliminates tenure and ties salaries and hiring in part to student performance on standardized tests.

The Police Benevolent Association has called on Miami-Dade County to crack down on homestead exemption fraud, rather than cut wages, to fill the $400 million gap in its budget. County employees may face pay cuts of 8 percent or more if the County cannot find additional revenue or other expenses to cut.

Figures released by the Census Bureau show that the recession has been harder on south Florida than the rest of the United States. Median income in 2010 in south Florida was on average $7000 less than in 2007, a drop of 12 percent, or twice the national average drop of 6 percent. Those living below the poverty line increased from 1 in 10 in 2007 to 1 in 7 in 2010, and more than 1 in 4 of those living in south Florida lack health insurance. The high unemployment rate in south Florida is largely to blame for the declining incomes.


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