|STEADMAN STAHL, PBA President
September is here! Do you know what that means? Summer is over, school is back in session, and there is a lot more traffic to and from work. I hope everyone had a good summer and was able to get in some invaluable personal time for themselves and with their families.
As we go into September, we will be celebrating Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday of the month. Although it was initially celebrated on a Tuesday (September 5, 1882) in New York City, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Wendel's Elm Park for a picnic, concert and speeches. There has been some debate on who actually proposed that Labor Day become an official Federal Holiday, but the two who are given credit as the co-founders are Peter J. McGuire, who was with the American Federation of Labor, and Matthew Maguire, who was a machinist. Labor Day was started as part of a labor union movement to recognize the contributions of men and women in the U.S work force. Prior to unions getting involved, the average American laborer worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week, during the nineteenth century. On September 3, 1916, the Adamson Act was passed and the 8-hour work day was established.
Right here in Miami-Dade County the PBA was established in 1962, by a man named Charlie Maddox, who began fighting for the rights of public safety workers. In 1966, the County Manager announced that he would grant collective bargaining rights to all County employees with the exception of law enforcement officers. The PBA, under the leadership of Charlie Maddox, sued the County Manager to receive the same rights as other employees participating in collective bargaining. After years of litigation, the first contract became effective on October 1, 1971. And, for the very first time and by a unanimous vote, law enforcement officers had a written document that spelled out their wages, fringe benefits, terms and working conditions of employment. Throughout the years, the PBA has continued to fight for better working conditions and benefits such as the take home car program which started under the then PBA President Mike Clifton. Charlie Maddox later went on to start the Florida PBA in 1976, and today, along with the Dade County PBA, it is one of the largest and most powerful unions in the U.S. As I have said before, the past has been challenging and the PBA has made great progress. We do not know what the future may hold, but we will persevere through present circumstances, and continue on fighting for your rights and for better working conditions.
As we continue in the election cycle please help us help you, and vote the PBA way. We here at the PBA have taken a lot of time to meet with some great candidates who want to continue to make public safety a top priority. As I said in last month’s article, please vote the person and NOT the party.
TIME MARCHES ON
We had another changing of the guard, Chief Freddie Maas of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department recently retired. Chief Maas has a long history in public safety and as he said in his farewell speech after 42 years of working it was time for him to keep his promise to his wife and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Chief Maas has worked for Miami-Dade Police Department and he also started the Sunny Isles Police Department, and was recently inducted in the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame in Tallahassee. The newly promoted Chief is Dwight Snyder, who also started with the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department from its inception and I'm sure will make a great Chief. We here at the PBA congratulate Chief Maas and Chief Snyder on their future endeavors.
I hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day holiday, and for those that will be working in public safety and serving this great country of ours, know that we here at the PBA see you and we say thank you.
The PBA Board of Directors and staff send our prayers and best wishes for a quick recovery to Maggie Bambach, who was recently injured in a motorcycle accident. Maggie’s husband, RPOC President Dennis Bambach, was fortunate enough to walk away with only minor injuries.