December 3, 2012
As shared on the Florida Public Employees Facebook page. On behalf of the Public Employees we advocate for:
Thank you Madam Representative.
November 21, 2012
Dear Governor Scott:
It has been an honor working with you and your staff this past year crafting solutions to the challenges that face our state. As we prepare this holiday season to give thanks for the many blessings that we enjoy here in Florida, I would like to respectfully suggest that you authorize an additional two days of holiday leave for our hard working state employees. This has been done in previous years as a way to say to our workforce: “We value and respect you and want to reward your hard work for the past year.”
I believe that these additional days of holiday leave should be offered not in lieu of a raise, but rather in anticipation of raises long overdue. As you are aware, our state employees’ salaries just aren’t keeping up with the increasing costs of everyday living. The reality is that these dedicated public servants have a positive effect on the quality of life of all Floridians. Law enforcement, hurricane preparedness and recovery, child protection, the education of our next generation of innovators, food safety, conservation of our natural resources, consumer advocacy with insurance, banking, and many other areas, are just a few of the ways that state employees keep us safe, healthy and financially sound.
In addition to the previously scheduled days of holiday leave, I suggest closing state offices on Monday, December 24th and Monday, December 31st, 2012. For those who must work to keep our citizens safe or others who are unable to take advantage of the additional holiday leave, they should receive compensatory time which they may use after the first of the year.
This model has worked successfully in our public colleges and universities for a number of years; FSU saves an estimated $200,000 in utilities alone each year that they have closed during winter break. Think of the savings to our taxpayers if we are able to replicate this savings in the Capitol and other state offices.
Public service is an honorable profession, one that puts others above self, one that creates a public trust and bond. Very few private companies would forego employee raises for six years. That just isn’t good business. We would do well to remember that none of us would be successful if not for our state’s dignified and professional public workforce.
Thank you for your consideration.
Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda
Representative, District 9
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