DeSantis Signs Teacher Pay Raises and Union Crackdown Bill Despite Pushback from Unions

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Among the measures are a $1 billion pay raise, a bill of rights for teachers, streamlining of teacher certifications, and instruction on social media safety.

DeSantis Signs Teacher Pay Raises
DeSantis Signs Teacher Pay Raises ( Photo: Florida National News )

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a package of bills that he claims will provide unprecedented support for Florida’s teachers

DeSantis also signed a bill that limits school board members to two, four-year terms. The legislation has not been met with universal praise. Teachers’ unions argue that one of the bills the Governor signed into law Tuesday will hamper their ability to bargain collectively for pay raises. The legislation cracks down on public sector unions, except those representing first responders. It requires more financial transparency, raises the membership threshold for certification, and prohibits automatic dues deductions.

Andrew Spar, President of the Florida Education Association, said in an interview in late April after the union bill cleared the legislature that “what this legislation is going to do is it’s going to make it harder for teachers and staff and professors to have a voice in their profession… The Governor has done nothing to address the teacher and staff shortage, and in fact, this legislation will make the teacher and staff shortage worse.”

DeSantis believes that the bill is pro-teacher and will force unions to be more accountable to those they represent

He said, “Now you’re in a situation where people can say, okay they get their paycheck, if they want to then take a check and write that to the union they have every right to do it, but they’ll be doing it with eyes wide open and they’ll know exactly how much money they’re talking about.”

The FEA has also expressed concerns that new auditing requirements in the law could bankrupt some local chapters. It is expected that unions will challenge the new law in the courts.


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