After a full hearing, a Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) hearing officer found that Miami-Dade County once again violated the law by circumventing the bargaining process and arbitrarily increasing health insurance premiums for employees represented by the Dade County PBA. Under Florida law, issues pertaining to health insurance must be negotiated. The ruling states that the County must re-establish the old insurance rates and refund employees all the money that was taken illegally.
“The result of this bargaining violation and PERC finding will cost the county additional millions of dollars on top of what is already owed back to employees from a previous ruling. Mayor Carlos Gimenez has once again bargained in bad faith and again illegally taken money from employees. This is yet another case where Mayor Gimenez’ bad decisions and poor management will cost the taxpayers more money than if he had just followed the law,” said PBA President John Rivera.
This decision comes on the heels of another recent legal win by PBA. Earlier this month the Florida Supreme Court declined to review an appellate court ruling stating that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez does not have the authority to veto an impasse hearing resolved by the legislative body. The case dealt with the imposition of a second (additional) 5% that the Mayor wanted taken out of employees’ paychecks. The County appealed the ruling to the Florida Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case thereby upholding the appellate court’s ruling that the Mayor’s veto action was illegal. As a remedy to that case, the PBA is requesting that the County immediately return to employees all of the money that was illegally taken.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Stephanie M. Womble at (305) 593-0044.