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Florida Education Association meets, says: "We Are One - Union Strong"

By Fernando Figueroa |
October 31, 2011
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Far left Graham Picklesimer, GAU Co-Bargaining Chair, Steve Picklesimer, Highlan
Far left Graham Picklesimer, GAU Co-Bargaining Chair, Steve Picklesimer, Highlands County Education Association President, Debbie Picklesimer, FEA Delegate, Ed Mitchell, UFF Execute Director, and Jose “Beto” Soto, GAU Chief-Steward. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Orlando, FL - The Florida Education Association (FEA) held their 2011 Delegate Assembly Oct. 27-29 at the Rosen Centre Hotel of Orlando, Florida, with the theme of "We Are One - Union Strong." The event opened with the famous IWW Solidarity Forever union song and was attended by more than 600 delegates from all over the state of Florida.

University of Florida Graduate Assistants United's Chief Steward and Co-Bargaining Chair, José "Beto" Soto and Graham Picklesimer, respectively, were present to lobby and talk to FEA delegates about the recent cuts to the New Membership Rebates, a program designed to incentivize recruitment. According to Mr. Picklesimer, "this program disproportionally affected GAU, given their high turnover rates of graduating students with really low wages."

Recording Secretary José Soto and Alachua County Educators Association President Karen McCann represented the North Central Florida Central Labor Council. Mr. Soto invited FEA delegates to the upcoming Fight Back Florida conference in Orlando, on Nov. 5 at the Painters Hall.

The FEA Delegate Assembly concluded on Oct. 29, with a heartwarming speech by Sen. Nelson condemning the recent incident involving Volusia County teacher Jill Cicciarelli. The teacher faces thousands of dollars in fines for pre-registering high school students to vote. The senator called the new Florida voter registration laws “anti-democratic.”

Fernando Figueroa is a member of Gainesville SDS