Friday’s release of the annual comparison of Colorado’s state workforce to their private sector counterparts, known as the Annual Compensation Report, highlights what many state workers already know: there needs to be more fairness and economic security for public employees.
“The last two years of raises have helped make up for years of falling behind, but it’s not enough if we want to keep the best and the brightest serving Colorado taxpayers,” said Colorado WINS Executive Director Tim Markham. “As the economy improves, the state is losing employees to the private sector. We need to step up and recognize the value of our public workers at correctional facilities, veterans homes, transportation facilities, and centers for the developmentally disabled across the state. Their work matters to all of us and it should be rewarded fairly.”
As the report shows on page 7, each of the state’s seven occupational groups are lagging behind the market. These occupational groups lag anywhere from 1% to 6.1% behind the market.
“For many years State workers have served the citizens of Colorado well and did not have wage increases due to the economic crisis,” said WINS member Diane Cruse from Conifer, who works at DHS. “We contributed our share to support the State, going under the private sector pay, and now that the economy has improved it is time to support us. It’s a simple matter of fairness when it comes to bring us more in line with the private sector.”
2.5% Base-Building Increase, 1% Merit Higher Than Last Year, Will Help State Workers Contribute To Colorado’s Economic Recovery
Denver – For the second year in a row, Colorado’s state employees will get a raise, which will help them and their families contribute to the state’s economic recovery. The 2.5% base-building raise is a half-point improvement over last year’s 2% increase. The state budget also includes a 1% merit increase and a streamlining of the state’s timekeeping system to better ensure workers are paid fairly.
“We’d like to thank legislators for helping to keep our economy moving forward by supporting working families in Colorado,” said Tim Markham, Executive Director of Colorado WINS. “State workers play a vital role in the day-to-day lives of Coloradans, providing public service and contributing to the economy. After all, Colorado is the state’s biggest employer, and what happens to public employees affects communities from Sterling to Delta.
The bottom line is that after four years of pay freezes and cuts, state workers have gotten raises two years in a row with more to aim for next year, and held down health care costs. We will continue to build on this success moving forward.”
According to Alex Barnes, an officer at the Arkansas Valley Corrections Facility and a member of the Colorado WINS Department of Corrections unit, “WINS has in my opinion had a very successful last couple of years with the passing of SB-210 and the raises last year. Our health care costs have actually dropped some and not been raised. We got raises this year and last. Momentum has shifted in our favor and I’m more motivated than ever before.”
According to Delta Corrections employee John Barron, “We spend our money in local economies and help contribute to the state’s economic health. A raise for state employees means that next year, Colorado’s economy will be even stronger.”
The 2014/15 Revenue Forecast was released today and while projections are slightly up, this does not mean that the raise for state employees is safe. The Joint Budget Committee (JBC) is still working out the final details of the state budget and we must make sure that they keep the 3% across-the-board raise for state workers untouched.
We are expecting to see some opposition to the increase, so the only way to make sure it passes in this year’s budget is to contact Joint Budget Committee (JBC) members TODAY and urge them to keep the 3% raise funded.
We’re asking the JBC to build on the economic recovery started last year. State workers spend their money on Main Street and helping their salaries keep pace with inflation will improve local economies across our state. (more…)
As the legislature gears up to hear the March 2014 Revenue forecast, we’re hearing rumors at the capitol that the budget surplus will be smaller than what was forecast in December and that places state employee raises in danger. There are interest groups from across the state making requests for more money while the budget pie is shrinking.
If we want to make sure that the 3% raise for state workers stays untouched, now is the time for you to join this fight. Call or email the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) members who already approved this raise and tell them your story!
Only your voices have the power to influence those who make budgetary decisions. After the Revenue Forecast comes out, JBC members will have to make some tough decisions about who gets the surplus money. Make sure they understand that state employees contribute greatly to the economic recovery of our state.