That Union Thing

According to a study by Florida International University, median incomes of Floridians has declined by more than 11 percent between 2007 and 2011.

African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be in poverty, and women are still on average paid significantly less than men.

Federal officials have found that Florida violated individuals civil rights by requiring them to take an online assessment before receiving benefits. Florida has the lowest rate of eligible people receiving jobless benefits, with only 16 percent of those eligible for unemployment benefits actually receiving benefits.

Food service workers at the University of Miami have voted to be represented by Service Employees International Union. The union will begin negotiating a contract with Chartwells Dining Services, which is the food service contractor for UM. Workers are looking for better pay, meaningful benefits, and respect at work.

The United States is the only advanced economy that does not require employers to provide paid vacation benefits. According to a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 23 percent of Americans have no paid vacation. The European Union requires that workers receive at least 20 days a year in paid vacation, and Canada and Japan require ten days.

A report by America's Health Rankings shows that Florida has the highest percentage of seniors with chronic health conditions, and the second highest percentage with chronic drinking problems. Nearly 44 percent of seniors in Florida have more than one chronic health problem. The senior population in Florida is expected to increase by 88 percent in the next 15 years, which could create more stress on the Medicare system should these trends continue.

Meanwhile, Florida legislators have failed to reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion. Over 1 million Floridians lack health insurance, the nearly 400,000 of them making up to 138 percent of the poverty level would have qualified for an expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Health Care Act. Uninsured will still be able to purchase insurance on an exchange and those making up to 400 percent of the poverty level will be able to receive tax credits subsidizing their coverage, starting in 2014.


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