Legal Affairs FAQs

Do I have to join the Faculty Union because I am a full-time instructor at Seminole State College?
No. Florida is a right-to-work state, and you do not have to join the union. Also, if/when there is a contract ratification vote, you can vote even if you are not a union member.
Does it cost money to belong to a union?
Yes. Unions charge dues. Usually, dues average about 1 percent. This money may be taken directly out of your paycheck and sent to the union if you sign the forms. If you do not wish to continue being a dues paying member of UFF, you can revoke your union membership with 30 days notice. This is guaranteed in the Public Employee Relations Act (Florida Statute 447.303).
I have been approached in my office by people soliciting for the union. Is this proper for them to do so?
No. Solicitation for union purposes should not take place during working time and in working areas. This would include your office. Even if the person who approaches you is on break, if you are working, this could be a violation of the law and could result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Employees are prohibited from “soliciting public employees during working hours of any employee who is involved in the solicitation” including “distributing literature during working hours in areas where the actual work of public employees is performed, such as offices, warehouses, schools…and any similar public installations.” (F.S. 447.509)
Are strikes legal in the public sector in Florida?
No. No public employee or employee organization may participate in a strike against a public employer by instigating or supporting, in any manner, a strike. F.S. 447.505 Any public employee who violates this provision can face serious consequences including termination or loss of pay. If a Union is found to have violated this provision its certification can be revoked, it can be fined and can incur other penalties. F.S. 447.507
Do I have to file Annual Leave forms to attend or participate in any union-related activity during my working hours?
Yes. Union-related activities are not part of your job duties. For that reason, you must account for your time away from your job by using your accrued annual or personal leave, or by taking leave without pay. A Leave of Absence (LOA) request form must be completed when taking leave and all leave requests must have required approvals. The LOA form can be found at


J. Paul Carland, II
Vice President, Public Policy and General Counsel

Betsy Whittenbarger
Executive Assistant

Julie Overstreet
Manager, Risk Assessment, Environmental Health, Safety & Compliance

Jonathan Squires
Associate General Counsel

Seminole State College
Office of Legal and Government Affairs
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773-6199