â€œWe are very pleased at the decision handed down by Judge Usan this morning. All we asked was that he follow the rule of law, and he did. We want to thank PBA attorneys Eric Schwartzreich and Anthony Bruno, and their team of investigators, for the aggressive, vigorous defense of Deputy Peraza. We also want to thank our membership for their emotional and monetary support of Deputy Peraza and his family during this very difficult time. We have said from the outset this was a justifiable shooting and the Judgeâ€™s ruling confirms that fact.â€
With 6,108 Correctional and Probation Officer signatures in hand, representatives of the PBA officially filed an election petition with the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) today. The petition requests an election be held between the Florida PBA and the Teamsters to determine which organization will be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the Department of Corrections’ bargaining unit.
Under PERC election rules, today is the first day to file our petition.
Thanks to the officers’ response in the field, we gathered more than enough signatures in a record amount of time (six weeks) to be able to file this morning. We collected an average of 1,000 petitions per week with an estimated 80% of officers we came into contact with signing on. And we will continue to visit each institution and probation office in order to speak directly with you. However, our decision to file today underscores our desire to have the election completed before the start of the next legislative session in March of 2017. Having a successful legislative session was the top priority for the officers signing petitions.
It is our opinion that dragging out an election into the new year severely undermines your legislative strategy. We plan to pursue an expedited election per PERC rules. If delays do occur, it will be a tactic by the Teamsters not from us.
We are very grateful for the support we have received since day one of the petition drive. The next step is PERC will determine if the petitions meet legal sufficiency. Please stay tuned.
Thank you for reading this email and, as always, stay safe.