The next stop for Senate Bill 610 is the Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability. The message that the Deputies in this state do not appreciate the members of Legislators voting their hard earned and constitutional right to collectively bargain, in good faith on a fair playing field away, is not appreciated.

Below is a list of the members that will be voting on this bill February 16th, 2010 at 4pm.

PERC has continually agreed with the FOP on this matter, The Florida Sheriffs Association, is pushing this bill through to circumvent current law and rulings from PERC. You can find the recent PERC decisions by clicking on this link,

Some have made reference to this Bill as the “Union Busting Act of 2010”, even though it would be hard to believe a legislator would knowingly take such measures on behalf of some Sheriffs, who have been charged with ULP’s.

Though the argument was that the County Commission should not have the authority to tell a Sheriff how to spend his budget, this bill will not do anything to the budgetary issue, it is specifically drafted to 447.403 which has nothing to do with budget, and deals with issues of impasse only.

This bill will allow a Sheriff to negotiate, declare and rule on his own contract impasse.

The Florida Constitution states “The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on the account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or organization. The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged.” This bill will definitely abridge
the rights of a public employee to collectively bargain, it will make this constitutional right meaningless.

In case number CA-2008-026 PERC , in reference to the Sheriff as a legislative body ruled “if we were to conclude otherwise the sheriff's employees would be left with no mechanism for resolving the impasse and their constitutional right to collectively bargain would be rendered meaningless. Article 1 section 6, Florida Constitution;
S. S. 447. 201, 447. 301, and 447.403, Florida statute."

If you email the legislators, please email Lisa Henning of the FOP a copy of your correspondence to If a legislator has any questions please refer them to Lisa Henning at 850-766-8808.

Please call, email or fax these legislators, to ask them to vote no on Senate Bill 610. A couple sample e-mails are located at the bottom of this posting. You can draft your own or cut and paste all or some of the samples. Thank you for your support against such a damaging bill for law enforcement.

Senator Jeremy Ring
Phone: (954) 917-1392
Fax: (954) 917-1394

Senator Gary Siplin
Phone: (407) 297-2071
Fax: (407) 522-2153

Senator Victor Crist
Phone: (813) 975-6658
Fax: (888) 263-3681

Senator Charlie Dean
Phone: (352) 860-5175

Senator Dennis Jones
Phone: (727) 549-6411
Fax: (727) 549-6413

Senator Al Lawson
Phone: (727) 549-6411
Fax: (727) 549-6413

Senator Eleanor Sobel
Phone: (954) 924-3693
Fax: (954) 924-3695


(Sample Letter 1)

[Your Name]
[Street Address]
[City, State Zip Code]
[Date in the format of MM/DD/YY]

Dear :

I am writing to ask you not to support Senate Bill 610. This bill will soon come to a vote in the state senate.

Senate Bill 610 is an extremely unfair bill to deputy sheriffs in the state of Florida, due to the fact that
this would give complete autonomous power to each of the county sheriffs in Florida. The Florida Sheriff's
Association has been looking for ways to return the powers that were stripped from them by the Florida Supreme
Court several years ago. They have stalled on actually allowing their deputies to have a negotiated contract
by declaring impasses and then declaring themselves a "legislative body". It is important that you, the
officers and our legislators understand that there are no checks and balance when a constitutional officer
is allowed to negotiate, declare an impasse, and then rule on his own impasse. There are several counties
in the state of Florida, where the commission members are unable to have any impact upon a Sheriff in their
community. We, the Fraternal Order of Police are not happy that our legislators are being placed in such a
controversial position during an election year but we cannot stand idly by as the Sheriff's Association tries
to erode the limited rights that deputies have.

These same sheriffs who will try and say that the officers are protected by the Bill of Rights and in the same
breath say that they are exempted from statute 112 the Bill of Rights. If the Sheriff is declared a legislative
body they will not only be able to negotiate, declare impasse, and rule on their own impasse, but are also making
themselves completely autonomous from following even the most basic of guidelines in the treatment of their
officers. We are not the ones requesting that our government make a change, it is the sheriffs and people should
be asking themselves why they need complete autonomous powers that a police chief does not have. Our system of
government has always prided itself on its and checks and balances, by declaring themselves a legislative body these
Sheriffs are looking to find a way to return themselves to the position of doing as they please, when they please,
and how they please. Thank you for your support.


Your Name


(Sample letter 2)


Re: Please protect the protectors. Reject SB 610 and HB 0417.

Honorable Senator:

Many law enforcement officers throughout the state are saddened to see such a negative Bill being introduced
for consideration and review. This Bill’s sole purpose is aimed at circumventing a current Florida Supreme Court
decisione and going against the recommendation of PERC, a governing body purposely empowered by Florida
Lawmakers to oversee such matters.

This Bill, if allowed to progress, will give ultimate power to one and only one individual. This Bill will
essentially allow ONE, the power person, to decide over their own decision without any regard for the facts.
This Bill will essentially allow a Sheriff to rule over his/her own decisions in issues solely related to
collective bargaining.

In the House and Senate, there are many who have a say before a law is either accepted or not. If lawmakers
gave such power to the Governor of the State, as this Bill will give to single Sheriffs, any negotiations
would be for naught. The Governor would be able to hear your concerns, yet still go forward with his own
agenda. Simply put, the Governor would be able to be the decision maker on his own decisions.

Here in Pasco and Clay Counties, the respective Sheriffs want that power to rule over their own decisions
when there is a disagreement in labor contractual matters. For over three years, PERC has sided with the
Fraternal Order of Police, yet this law is aimed solely at circumventing current Florida Statutes and the
decisions already made by PERC.

The Fraternal Order of Police are in an impasse over placing “just cause” into a contract, giving members
a fair disciplinary process. The Sheriff wants to be able to give out discipline without practicing “just
cause”. All supervisors are on permanent probation, as the Sheriff can demote any supervisor one rank every
6 months for NO CAUSE at all. Clearly this is not a fair practice and the ability to have a say in your career
should be afforded to every member.

I have in the past likened the process to a deputy writing a traffic ticket to a citizen who says he will
contest this matter before the courts. On the day of court, he shows up to contest his ticket and who does
he see presiding on the bench?…. The deputy who wrote the ticket.

In closing, the FOP has stood fast in requesting the County Commissioners (current law) continue to have
the authority to hear any impasse issues which are in dispute between the labor units and the Sheriff. Current
law supports this, as does PERC. I pray for you and your decision which will affect all of the citizens of
this State and those whose chosen profession is to protect them.