One of the hardest fights in our history

July 2, 2016

This month, hundreds of caregivers in Florida should benefit from a significant increase in the minimum wage.

After one of the most difficult fights in our history as a union in Florida, we settled a contract with Consulate Health Care to increase the minimum wage from $8.05 to $10.40. The new contract goes into effect in July and it should cover at least 700 caregivers. That's huge.

Wins like these don't happen every day, and they definitely don't just happen over night.

Consulate Health Care is the largest private nursing home chain in Florida and one of the largest in the country. It took us months of pressure, thousands of petitions, pickets and a full strike to finally move Consulate Executives and bring caregivers one step closer to a living wage of $15 an hour.

Of course this victory didn't come without sacrifice. Even though it ensures 8% raises to all employees from 2017 to 2020, our Bargaining Committee decided to sacrifice raises this year so we could raise the minimum wage for our coworkers who needed it the most.

This should send a clear message to Governor Rick Scott who constantly says private businesses cannot afford higher wages and a path to $15. Yes they can!

We know this is just a first step in our Fight for $15 and there is still a long way until all hardworking Floridians earn a living wage. But now we know we can win. The fight continues.