TALLAHASSEE - Rally, strike or protests are all words that matter linked to Monday’s Take on Tallahassee rally sponsored by the Florida Education Association.
- Florida Constitution prohibits public school teachers from striking
- Florida is a Right to Work state
- Teacher strikes at other Right to Work states have been successful
- LIVE UPDATES from Take on Tallahassee rally
Why can't teachers go on strike?
It would violate the Florida Constitution.
“Public employees shall not have the right to strike,” reads Article I, Section 6 of the document.
It's been the law for more than 50 years, according to the National Right to Work Committee.
A right to work law first showed up in the Florida law books in the 1940s but the laws addressing public employees were codified and amended to the constitution in 1968, according to a Florida State University Law Review article.
Coincidentally, it was the same year the first statewide teacher's strike happened in the U.S. in Florida.
Florida as one of the first right to work states in the country doesn't allow for teachers to strike but there are laws against public employers from restraining or coercing public employees to exercise their rights.
That's why union leaders are calling this a planned rally with teachers taking the time-off to make their voices heard.
State education officials backed off from the letter warning Polk County teachers if they planned to strike, which the teacher's labor union said they were not.
The teacher strikes in the last two years in Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky all happened in right to work states like Florida.
The teacher strikes there led to successful raises in teachers’ salaries.