Legislative Session Review

May 2, 2022

Legislative Session Review - English | Revisión de la Sesión Legislativa

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.26.43 AM.pngThe 2022 Florida Legislative Session was a significant challenge as the governor and Republican leadership continued to carve out favors for big business and special interests by cutting nursing home staffing, and attacking voting, free speech and reproductive healthcare rights. They should be focusing on priorities for working Floridians like creating good jobs that retain healthcare heroes. Instead, they focused on imaginary racebased and gender-based threats in an attempt to divide us.

Despite this, I’m extremely proud of what my fellow 1199SEIU members were able to accomplish through an unprecedented level of lobby visits, testimony, calls and actions. It’s critical that elected officials see our faces, hear our voices and feel the power of our vote. By doing so, we were able to fight off several harmful bills and helped get important legislation passed highlighted in this newsletter. As we approach the critical November 2022 election, we look forward to building on this momentum to elect new, responsible leaders who will truly serve the people.

In Unity,

Penny Ceasar, 1199SEIU Delegate & Broward Member Political Organizer

Union Members Win $15/Hour Minimum Wage and Additional Victories for Healthcare Heroes in Hospitals & Nursing Homes

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.32.02 AM.pngFacing a retention and staffing crisis in our hospitals and nursing homes, the collective lobbying strength of 1199SEIU members won a $15 per hour minimum wage for all nursing home workers and direct care workers in hospitals that receive Medicaid funding. This long-fought victory, included in the state budget, is a step forward in recognizing essential workers who have risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is more progress to be made, and we will continue holding our elected officials accountable. Additional victories included:

Passed legislation that brings financial transparency to the nursing home industry.

Defeated hospital funding cuts

Defeated worker suppression bills.

Defeated wage reduction bills.

Caregivers Protest as Legislature Cuts Nursing Home Staffing

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.38.34 AM.pngAfter weeks of lobbying in Tallahassee, dozens of union members led an inspiring vigil in the Capitol to rally against House Bill 1239 pushed by the nursing home industry to increase profits by cutting staffing and bedside care. Members were joined by clergy, AARP, legislative allies like State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith and other champions of seniors and their caregivers. Rousing renditions of “We Shall Overcome,” “Lean On Me” and “Victory Is Mine” echoed throughout the Capitol reminding lawmakers that anyone who makes Florida unsafe for seniors will be held accountable.

What Do Staffing Cuts Mean for Workers and Seniors?

As a special favor to the nursing home industry, Governor DeSantis and Republican leadership in Tallahassee rolled back staffing standards almost to where they were 20 years ago. Starting in July, CNA minimum staffing will be reduced from 2.5 hours to 2.0 hours per patient per day and we know that every minute counts. Nursing homes can now count social workers, therapists and others in staffing requirements. This will result in overworked CNAs, and residents will have to wait longer to be fed, helped out of bed, helped to the restroom and bathed. Without enough staff, loved ones will remain in soiled sheets, suffer bedsores and be at greater risk for contracting infections. Take action by visiting EveryMinuteCountsFlorida.org

Now is the Time to Join Our Retention and Staffing Campaign!

Screen Shot 2022-05-02 at 10.44.39 AM.pngWe need to keep the pressure on to make sure elected officials understand and address the staffing and retention crisis in our hospitals and nursing homes. It is critical that every 1199SEIU member document staffing issues and concerns at work so that we can let legislators and the public know how their health and safety is at risk when we lose experienced healthcare heroes.

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We are stronger together, and we look forward to working with you in our retention and staffing campaign.

In Unity,

Coy Jones, Political Coordinator – Central Florida
Coy.Jones@1199.org | 954-895-2081

Jason Morales, Political Coordinator – South Florida
Jason.Morales@1199.org | 646-413-2755