In 2007, state employees came together to form Colorado Workers for Innovative and New Solutions (WINS). Members from three of the state’s employee organizations decided to pool our resources for a greater voice to improve state jobs and services. We work in partnership with the state to improve quality of services, working conditions, safety, conflict resolution, staff attrition, pay and benefits and more to ensure that we have an effective workforce to serve all Coloradans.
Since our start we’ve been able to improve state services, jobs and build a strong, member-driven employee organization. Some of Colorado WINS members’ recent accomplishments include:
- 2% salary survey increase for state employees: The Joint Budget Committee (JBC), approved a 2% salary survey increase on Jan. 30, 2013. With this vote, some high performing employees could see a raise of as much as 4.4%.
- 2.5% back into paychecks: Since July 2010, state workers have been forced to pay an additional 2.5% into PERA (10.5% total) while the state reduced its contribution. Colorado WINS members collected and delivered more than 1,700 petition signatures to the DPA Director and more than 3,200 postcards to the Governor urging them to restore the 2.5% cost shift back to employee paychecks, while keeping PERA solvent. This will keep about $20 million in employees’ pockets when this provision goes into effect on July 1, 2012.
- Full funding for health premium increases: In 2013, according to figures from the JBC, it appears that employee out-of-pocket healthcare cost will not increase on July 1. In fact, current figures show slight decreases in out of pocket costs. In 2012, the JBC voted not to increase the employee contribution for healthcare premiums. This was the first time in at least 4 years that employees did not pay more for healthcare premiums.
- Nearly 500 jobs saved: In 2012, Colorado WINS opposed any layoffs and urged lawmakers to keep full funding of the Health, Life and Dental premium increase. On March 29, 2012, JBC members approved a 1% personal services reduction, exempting 24-hour (24/7) facilities, Public Safety and divisions with less than 20 FTE. This meant that correctional facilities and DHS facilities were held harmless and experienced no reductions. The Governor’s office made clear that other divisions that fall under the 1% can manage the cuts without layoffs.
- Dept. of Corrections Partnership: Elected Colorado WINS members on the DOC Partnership Team are actively engaging DOC management in discussions on how to fix these problems. The Partnership team’s ongoing goal is to address any hot button issues and overarching problems at DOC. Right now, the Partnership team is working on finding solutions to the 28-day system.
- Healthcare Partnership: Elected WINS Healthcare representative have been working with the Dept. of Personnel and Administration on finding ways to provide better healthcare at reasonable costs. Early conversations about cost-containment methods for healthcare have centered state Wellness programs, similar to ones in Connecticut, Oregon and Montana.
- Established employee voice in the workplace through facility level committees at the worksite that share in problem solving and decision making with management in the Department of Human Services.
- Improved communication and efficiency of services through an on-going taskforce to modernize communication through intranet, email and other means in the Department of Revenue
- Restored flex time scheduling and through identified efficiencies saved the Department of Labor and Employment thousands of dollars in overhead expenses.