There’s no denying the crisis affecting the vital services we provide. Because of understaffing — with one in five jobs left unfilled, mandatory overtime to cover these vacancies, and low morale — communities across the state don’t receive services that are up to the standards we know how to provide.
We’re not alone, though. Last week, Rep. Daneya Esgar introduced a critically important bill — the WINS bill — that would give us the freedom to collectively bargain a union contract.
We’re on the frontlines and know best how to solve the issues facing our communities because of these crises. The WINS bill is our pathway to advancing solutions and making Colorado work for everyone.
We have just a few weeks to come together and get this bill passed. Everyone in Colorado has a stake in giving the experts — us — a real say in keeping our state running smoothly and safely.
We need everyone working together to pass the Colorado WINS bill. Here are the steps you can take right now to help:
Take the first step to a better Colorado and add your name to our petition.
You see the crisis up close every day. By sharing your story, you can help make lawmakers understand how dire the situation is.
You’ll be among the first to know what’s happening, and be able to connect with other state employees and supporters.
WINS members like you have powerful voices. Share these videos to amplify stories like yours.
The State Capitol is where many decisions are made about how state employees are expected to do their work, the pay and benefits you will receive, and what rights we can secure. There is a lot of work to be done in 2019.
Some of the legislative priorities we have for 2019 include:
At the Planning Session we’ll talk about these goals and how we can work together, motivate our membership, and drive our members to action. But beyond our legislative goals, we’ll also talk about how to hold politicians accountable and make sure they stand up for state workers, like they committed to doing before the elections.
We will need to see legislators’ words turn into action: introducing and passing legislation that benefits state workers and therefore the state as a whole.
We know this will be a productive session for us as union members and state workers. Join us in the Springs to ensure your opinion is included in our plans.
This is hardly news to Correctional Officers, but the occupational stress of working in prisons reduces life expectancy, increases heart disease, and manifests itself in higher rates of alcoholism and divorce rates.
Below you’ll find links and excerpts of articles detailing the consequences of job stress in Correctional Officers. (more…)
As required by the state, this year will trigger an automatic sunset review of the Psychiatric Technician licensing.
A sunset review is a regularly scheduled review into the regulations that govern a license and whether the regulation of such license needs to continue. This means an analyst will review information to determine whether the State Board of Nursing should continue regulating the Licensed Psychiatric Technician (LPT) program.
Colorado WINS member believe it is crucial that LPT licenses continue to be issued, regulated, and reviewed by the State Board of Nursing, because it protects the welfare of our vulnerable population, keeps standards high for LPTs, and ensures program efficacy statewide.
Psychiatric technicians are caregivers for mentally ill or developmentally disabled individuals who are institutionalized and are at great risk of inadequate care due to the often extreme nature of their illnesses. These patients require specialized care not necessarily available in a traditional medical setting.
LPTs work at many CDHS facilities, including the Mental Health Institutes at Pueblo and Ft. Logan, Regional Centers in Pueblo, Grand Junction, and Wheat Ridge, as well as in other state-run centers and institutes. Psychiatric Technicians fill an ongoing critical void in the health care delivery system. LPTs are uniquely equipped, through their education and license, to help the vulnerable populations they serve on their recovery journey.
The impact of not employing Licensed Psychiatric Technicians at CDHS facilities would be a substantial loss. The workload of the Registered Nurses would increase dramatically, safety and security would be greatly impacted, and patient care would suffer.
We believe the licensing of LPTs should continue to be done by the State Board of Nursing, and not be relocated under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Dept. of Human Services.
By regulating and licensing the Psychiatric Technician Licenses, the State Board of Nursing ensures the quality of patient care is optimal and remains at a high standard. Not regulating and not licensing the Psychiatric Technicians could jeopardize the health and welfare of this vulnerable population and significantly lowers the level of consumer protection.
The State Board of Nursing provides oversight of the accreditation of the educational program, examination process, and keeps licensing and regulation separate from CDHS. This is necessary to provide transparency, keep standards high, and avoid any conflicts within the department where LPTs work.
If you would like to submit a comment about the Sunset Review of the LPT program, please click here, fill out the required information and select “Psychiatric Technicians, Regulation of – 2018” from the drop-down menu.
As part of the state budget, also known as the Long Bill, the legislature approved salary adjustment raises for direct care staff in the two Mental Health Institutes in Pueblo and Ft. Logan.
Almost 5 years ago nursing staff at Ft. Logan brought forward concerns about veteran staff making the same as or less than new hires. This issue had also been raised by social workers at CMHIP. From there the issue was brought to the employee management committee, the DHS Partnership team, and finally to the state legislatfivere.
It was WINS members, who for four long years continuing to push the issue and worked to find a solution, that made this possible.
We know this raise is just a stepping stone in fixing our state’s broken pay system.
Other job classes, departments, and facilities are still losing valuable and experienced staff without clear mechanisms to help move staff through their salary range. WINS members are continuing to show their dedication to fixing these and other problems.
If you’re not a member of Colorado WINS, join today.
Fort Logan RNs came together in WINS to work in partnership with the Department of Human Services to address the increasing issue of compression pay at Fort Logan. This campaign expanded to CMHIP staff who were experiencing the same compression issues.
Salary compression is costing the state talented workers as pay stagnates for veteran workers while new workers come in at a higher rate.
Last June, CMHIP members rallied outside their facility for better pay and working conditions. As we worked with DHS management, the campaign eventually encompassed all the DHS Facilities.
From the work of WINS members meeting with DHS executive management, DHS submitted a request in 2018 to the Joint Budget Committee to adjust all of the 24/7 workers’ salaries. Unfortunately, this request didn’t make it through the Joint Budget Committee into the Long Bill, which is the bill that appropriates money for the state budget including state employee pay.
However, when the Long Bill got to the floor of the House, Rep. Daneya Esgar from HD 46, made an amendment for the salaries at the 2 state hospitals, Fort Logan and CMHIP, where DHS is suffering severe staffing shortages. This amendment passed the house.
It then went to the Senate where it was initially stripped out of the Long Bill. Following up on that, Sen. Leroy Garcia from SD3 and Larry Crowder from SD35 moved the same amendment Rep. Esgar made in the house and it stayed on through the third reading!
During the last few weeks we’ve received a lot of feedback from folks about the switch to bi-weekly or semi-monthly pay. While WINS members have been primarily focused on PERA changes and raises for state employees in the long bill, we have been sharing what information we can about this change whenever we get it. We have received some new information from the Department of Personnel and Administration about exactly how semi-monthly pay would function.
Most people believe semi-monthly pay periods (paid twice each month instead of every two weeks) would be calculated by simply splitting monthly salaries in half. While this is true for some state employees who are overtime exempt (about 35%) it is not true for anyone earning overtime. The graphs below provide examples of how pay periods and amounts would break down in a semi-monthly pay system.
Take a look at the information below as well as the DPA website about the pay switch. A bill has not been put forward yet to switch to bi-weekly pay, but there is one week left in the legislative session for this to happen. In either case, monthly pay will no longer be an option by the end of this year.
The work that WINS members did to secure a raise for state employees will be in your next check. Members’ efforts will be felt by all state employees as that put that extra bit into the bank this month. Numerous postcards, calls and conversations with legislators helped deliver a decent raise in a time of a not-so-decent economic forecast. If you are already a member, make your union stronger by asking your coworkers to join. If you aren’t a member, thank a member by joining today. When we stand together, we win.