• We, and we are certain many others, were becoming more and more disillusioned with the contracts BFT was negotiating on our behalf. Working from within BFT, (two of us were building representatives and one of us was an area director) our efforts seemed futile. Hours of researching and communicating the needs of classroom teachers were ignored. We contacted FEA’s home office and were told they do not get involved in “local union issues.” At this point, we realized we had exhausted all avenues to change the way the current union was handling issues that determine our ability to continue to be successful professionals and decided it was time to give teachers another option for representation. We contacted Coastal Florida PEA and met with their president, general counsel, and other representatives. We realized this was a great fit for teachers who desired something different in the way of union representation. Teachers and law enforcement officers are cut of the same cloth. There is strength in numbers and the possibilities that will come with teachers, law enforcement, and public employees joining together in a union are numerous.
We were most impressed by their professional negotiators; the president of the organization has been negotiating contracts for 20 years. Their attorneys assist them during contract negotiations. Open dialog with members is encouraged and appreciated during contract negotiations. Bottom line: Teachers should have an option and we felt it was time for a professional organization with experienced people to do the job.
Can CFPEA handle a grievance or disciplinary action for me right now, this school year?
• Yes. Coastal Florida Public Employees Association (CFPEA) CAN represent any Brevard County public school teacher who is a member in a grievance or in disciplinary matters. Teachers DO NOT have to use the current bargaining agent for representation in these matters.
Can CFPEA bargain our contract?
• CFPEA cannot bargain our contract currently, however, when approximately 30 percent of Brevard County public school teachers sign a “blue”/interest card, there will be a vote by all teachers to determine who, CFPEA or BFT, will bargain our contract. You do not have to be a member of either union to sign the card or vote.
How much are CFPEA dues?
• Monthly dues for CFPEA are $35.57 per month.
Will I be charged extra if I need an attorney?
• If you are charged with a crime or under investigation by BPS while in the scope of your duties as an employee, CFPEA will defend you against these charges at NO COST to you. Depending on the nature of the charges, CFPEA will provide you with expert legal representation including hearings, court appearances and appeals. Most important, there is NO LIMIT on the amount of legal services we provide, CFPEA will be there for you all the way! CFPEA has three full-time, on-staff attorneys in their office as well as three full-time staff representatives. Each of these individuals is available to serve you as a member. We would like to see at least one building rep at every school. CFPEA will provide free training to any member interested in becoming a BR.
Is there someone I can call directly if I have any questions about CFPEA?
• The association president and staff can be reached directly at (800) 625-5451.
What steps do I need to take to stop my membership with BFT and become a member of CFPEA?
• Send a letter or email to BFT and Cc Jenifer Hofer at BPS stating that you would like to cancel your membership and cease automatic withdrawal of dues. If you send these notices via email, use the delivery and read receipt feature.
To become a member of CFPEA, go to www.CFPEA.us and fill out the on-line form or call (800) 625-5451 and an application will be mailed to you.
What other benefits does CFPEA offer to its members?
• Legal Issues Not Covered By Membership – As a member, you are eligible for a free 30-minute initial consultation and a referral to an attorney that may be able to assist in such personal legal matters not covered (i.e. FMLA, EEOC, Disability, Worker’s Comp, etc.)
• Estate Planning and Living Wills
If you have any other questions you would like answered feel free to call or private message us. We promise to get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.