Today, the Public Employees Relations Commission in Tallahassee confirmed that the Law Enforcement Sergeants of the Lee County Sheriffs Office voted 65 percent to decertify the International Union of Police Associations as their bargaining unit.
"This was a far more decisive mandate than the vote by this group that originally ushered the union in and speaks volumes to the failure of union leadership to deliver what it promised," said Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.
The sergeants were the first group to unionize and, therefore, the first eligible to disband as the rules require the union be in place a full year before a vote can be organized to decertify. The local Law Enforcement Deputies are not yet eligible to petition PERC for a recall of their union since they organized well after the sergeants and have not been in place for a year.
Sergeants are leaders by virtue of their rank, which they have earned due to many factors, none the least of which are experience and agency knowledge. Efforts to dismiss IUPA have been underway for several months and their decision may or may not influence others.
After learning the news of the vote, Sheriff Scott said, "While some have sensationalized and others have politicized the union issue for some time now, I respect the process and have complied with it from the beginning. Everyone is frustrated by these economic conditions which have been the worst of our lifetime; however, the sentiment across the country appears to be that there is waning sympathy for union demands."