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Florida Keys Public College Professors Are Latest To Form Union

David Gross
Miami Herald
An aerial drone photograph shows Anne's Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key in the Village of Islamorada. Professors at the public college in the Florida Keys have voted to unionize.

Public college professors in the Florida Keys have voted 20-to-13 to form a union, with nearly all faculty members participating in the three-week election conducted by mail ballot.

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The College of the Florida Keys is establishing a new chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, a statewide union representing professors and graduate assistants at public and private higher education institutions. UFF has steadily grown its ranks in recent years, adding faculty chapters throughout the state, even as organized labor has suffered blows from state and federal government.

UFF is under the umbrella of the statewide Florida Education Association and affiliated with the the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association.

When the faculty announced their effort to unionize late last year, professors said they hoped to see higher pay to match the cost of living in the Keys. The median salary for a full-time faculty member is about $66,000, according to a spokeswoman for the college.