VIERA, Florida – About 50 Brevard teachers met on Thursday with a Daytona Beach-based labor union to explore the possibility of changing contract negotiating representation away from the Brevard Federation of Teachers.
Currently CFPEA represents about 40 agencies in Florida, including entities in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Brevard County Tax Collector’s office. The vast majority of the agencies currently represented by CFPEA are related to law enforcement.
CFPEA President Vince Champion told the group that if about 2,000 teachers signed “blue cards” (Authorization For Representation cards) then – after approval by the Public Employees Relations Commission – all teachers would have the opportunity to vote to retain BFT, choose CFPEA, or even vote for no union representation.
Space Coast Junior/Senior High School teacher Kim Hunt is one of the leaders of the teachers who have been researching options. She said her advocacy was prompted by recent changes to the teachers’ contract that will have secondary teachers reduced to one planning period each day.
“I feel strongly we need someone new to negotiate for us. It is about money and working conditions. I tried to work within the union and felt I wasn’t being listened to,” Hunt said.