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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Don't blame unions, Pasco school employees leader Webb says



As part of her new duties as president of the West Florida AFL-CIO central labor council, United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb got to give one of the key speeches at Tuesday's Awake the State rally in Tampa.

Before her talk, she got some pushback from some in the organization who had grown accustomed to male, trades-oriented leaders. Afterward, she got cheers and woo-hoos.

"Union workers did not wreck our economy. Union workers did not bankrupt our state," she said. "Union workers are the ones who built this country!" (Hear the full remarks here.)

Webb was exhiliarated by the event, and hopeful that the message gets through to lawmakers as they take on key labor issues relating to teachers, as well as other public-sector workers.

Even if the measures pass, Webb said, the tide seems to be turning against the anti-labor sentiment in Florida and elsewhere. "There will be a reverse in the pendulum. The legislators are going too far," she told the Gradebook. "Come 2012, it's going to be a different story."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 3:27pm]


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