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Union Fight To Represent Florida’s Corrections Officers Will Be Decided In November

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Starting next month, thousands of Florida’s correctional and probation officers will decide which union they want representing them. The choice is between the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Teamsters Union.

After collecting and verifying more than 6,000 signatures, the Florida Police Benevolent Association triggered the election. Back in 2011, the Association lost the election to the Teamsters Union—that contract to represent the state’s correctional and probation officers expired in June.

The PBA’s Matt Puckett says one main complaint he’s heard is the Teamsters’ lack of legislative presence.

“We feel like there is a lot of momentum right now for an election and hopefully, to bring us back, and we’re looking forward to continuing to talk to the officers out there about what we’ve done in the past and what we can do going forward,” said Puckett.

Kim Schultz is the newly elected President of the Teamsters. She agrees there’s more her union could be doing. And, Schultz says with new leadership in place, one of her goals is step up their legislative presence.

“I think Teamsters, we can do a lot better than we can with PBA,” said Schultz. “And, I think people will see a difference, and they’re starting to see a difference now.”

The secret ballot process for the election will start October 10th and must be returned to the Public Employees Relations Commission by November 14th.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.