Apopka police officers have overwhelmingly rejected a forming a union with officers voting 38-14, or 73 percent, against union representation. Meanwhile, members of the Apopka Fire Department have until May 18 to cast their ballots for or against union representation.
The vote against the police union representation, which was counted Wednesday, April 28, in Tallahassee by the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC), means the city of Apopka’s law enforcement officers will continue to work in a non-union agency as it has been throughout its existence.
Gregg Morton, general counsel for PERC, confirmed the vote results, and said that state law prohibits another union vote for a year.
This vote by the police officers was a runoff of the first vote several weeks ago that ended in a tie to 17 votes for no union, 17 votes for representation by the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), and 2 votes for Fraternal Order of Police. There were 86 officers eligible to vote in that election with only 36 participating. This time, 52 officers voted.
Mayor Nelson said the support for the union came after the City Council voted last September to give city employees up to a 3-percent merit pay raise instead of the traditional 6 percent.
Morton, the PERC general counsel, said Apopka’s fire fighters are in the midst of two union votes, one for the rank-and-file of the Apopka Fire Department and one for those in supervisory positions.
The vote for those unions will be counted on May 18, Morton said.
In both cases, the vote is between representation by the International Association of Fire Fighters or no representation, according to the PERC web site.
The full story begins on page 1A of the Friday, April 30, issue of The Apopka Chief.
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