Wage Campaign

Press Release: State employees get raise for 2nd year in a row in 2014 budget

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.”


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Legislature approves state budget, including 2.5% raise for state workers

For the second year in a row, Colorado’s state employees will get a raise, which will help state workers and their families contribute to the state’s economic recovery. The budget passed with bipartisan support in both houses.

The 2.5% base-building raise, which will start in July, is an improvement over last year’s 2% increase. The state budget also includes a 1% merit increase and funding to streamline the timekeeping system in DOC to better ensure workers are paid fairly. We also held down Health/Life/Dental costs by having the state pick up increased premiums this year so that our 2.5% pay raise isn’t eaten away by higher H/L/D cost.union-difference

Colorado WINS members are the only ones working to improve pay and benefits for all classified personnel. Members like you have been hard at work making this raise happen.

Members’ efforts in this year’s Wage Campaign resulted in an inflationary increase and a 1-point improvement over what the Governor proposed. WINS members signed hundreds postcards to the Governor, made hundreds of calls to the legislators and submitted hundreds of emails to the members of the Joint Budget Committee, urging them to support a raise for state workers. Imagine if those numbers were in the thousands!

More members means we can drive thousands of calls to the legislature! If each one of us can get just one person to join, we could reach that goal.


Merit Pay (more…)

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Contact JBC members to secure a raise this July

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…)

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The 3% raise is in jeopardy!

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 raisetracking-your-impact and tell them your story!

No time to make a call? Send the JBC members an email using our easy online form! It takes less than 5 minutes.

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.


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WINS members lobby legislators on 3% raise and PERA

On Monday, Feb. 24, more than 60 Colorado WINS members came together at the Capitol to lobby their legislators on issues important to state employees. They worked to secure the 3% across-the-board raise and protect PERA benefits for state workers and discussed more personal issues such as workplace safety and respect.


After a few hours at the Captiol, members were joined for lunch by nearly two dozen legislators from both chambers and parties, who sat down to eat and chat with the attendees.

Find all the images from Lobby Day 2014 on the Colorado WINS Facebook page.

Here’s what some members had to say about the day.


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Press Release: WINS members lobby their legislators at the Capitol

State employees from communities in all parts of Colorado – from Delta to Monte Vista to Pueblo – converged on the state Capitol today to talk with their state legislators about how they can better serve Coloradans and how the legislature can address their needs. The discussion included everything from better technology to a needed 3% pay raise to keep up with inflation. The state itself is Colorado’s largest employer, with just over 31,000 workers in the state classified system.

Legislators from both chambers and parties took time to meet with WINS members and discuss helping the state move forward in a bipartisan way.

“I had a great meeting with Rep. Garcia, since we’re both from Pueblo,” said Patty Moore, Colorado WINS President, who works for the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. “He’s very supportive of state employees and he gets it about how our work and our salaries support the southern Colorado economy.”

Pat Roybal from Adams State University, who lives in Blanca, met with Sen Larry Crowder and Rep. Ed Vigil. “We talked about cost of living adjustment and PERA. Both of them listened and it was a good conversation about maintaining our wages to keep up with inflation. We get so much more done if we all listen to each other.”

Concluded Pat Kriebel, who works in the Office of Early Childhood at the Department of Human Services, “Colorado WINS brings people together. We all care about what’s best for Colorado – after all, it’s our community and our families too.”

Pictures from today’s lobby day can be viewed on the Colorado WINS Facebook page:



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Are we running a state or a fast food chain?

On Thursday, the Denver Post editorial board published a brief but disingenuous editorial that can only fairly be described as a declaration of war against Colorado’s middle class vis-à-vis Colorado’s state employees.

At issue, ostensibly, is the 3% pay raise that state employees have been advocating for since last fall and which was given temporary approval by the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Monday.

But really the issue goes well beyond state employees – this is an issue of whether Colorado is going to have an economy that works for the middle-class. This is about whether or not Colorado policymakers are going to lead on the issue of income inequality or whether they’re going to perpetuate economic stagnation for Colorado’s middle-class. The Post has clearly chosen the side of economic stagnation for the majority of Coloradans and now the question is which side are our elected leaders on?

The Post blithely states that the 3% raise plus average merit pay comes with an $88 million price tag. That number is presented without any citation or context in a deliberate attempt to stoke maximal outrage. The Post neglects to mention that the governor’s budget request is for $58.5 million in salary and merit pay funds, a request they seem to endorse when stating, “It’s not a question of whether state workers deserve a pay hike.”

So fully 2/3rds of what the Post insinuates is an extreme and untenable financial outlay had already been requested by the governor and is endorsed by the Post. Let us assume, arguendo, that the Post’s completely uncited $88 million figure is correct. The governor’s total budget request for 2014/15 is $21.9 billion dollars – $88 million dollars is just 0.4% of that total budget. If 30,000 middle-class workers aren’t worth 0.4% of our budget then what are they worth? (more…)

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JBC approves 3% pay raise

WINS members have spent the past few months actively lobbying the JBC members to increase the governor’s proposed raise from 1.5% to 3%. We submitted giant cards with hundreds of signatures of workers from across the state, attended hearings on Common Policies, and sent calendars featuring state employee profiles to all legislators in the Colorado House and Senate.

Earlier this morning, in a 4-2 vote, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) doubled the 1.5% proposal to a 3% across-the-board increase for classified state employees. 


Shelly Marquez, and Accountant in the Dept. of Human Services Domestic Violence program

“I just want to say thank you to the Joint Budget Committee for supporting state workers,” said Shelly Marquez, and Accountant in the Dept. of Human Services Domestic Violence program. “It means a lot to us and to Colorado, and we look forward to continuing the conversation about how we serve the state.”

While we can and should be proud of this accomplishment, it is just one victory in the budget cycle. The budget will still need final approval at the JBC before it moves across the street to be voted on by the House and Senate. State employees perform essential tasks that keep our state running. Approving the 3% raise shows respect for the work that we do.

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Press Release: Joint Budget Committee votes on state employee pay, benefits Monday, Jan. 13

Colorado WINS members at the Dec. 20 JBC briefing for Common Policies

Colorado WINS members at the Dec. 20 JBC briefing for Common Policies

UPDATE (1/13/14): The JBC, in a 4-2 vote, doubled the 1.5% proposal to a 3% across-the-board increase for classified state employees.

Original Post: On Monday afternoon, Jan. 13, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) will vote on whether to approve the 3% raise state employees have actively been pushing for in order to keep up with inflation.

Colorado public workers do everything from enforcing child support and caring for veterans at the Fitzsimons Veterans Home, to preventing serious public health issues like the spread of Hepatitis C, to working with the developmentally disabled.

Shelley Marquez, who works in Accounting for the Office of Children, Youth and Family’s Domestic Violence Program, puts it this way:

“We need a raise to keep up with inflation because we work hard. I’ve worked for the state for about 13 years total.  I have a spouse that works as a maintenance worker for CDOT. I actually have two more jobs, two part time jobs. One of them is really part time and the other one is something that I do on the side to supplement my income.”

You can read more about Shelley and how she and her fellow employees serve the state of Colorado here: http://coloradowins.org/wagecampaign/#stories

“JBC members need to understand that state employees are more than just numbers: they are real people who are impacted by the legislature’s decisions,” said Colorado WINS Executive Director Tim Markham. “They have families, they support our local communities and they provide invaluable services to keep this state running. Colorado itself is the state’s largest employer, so what happens to public employees affects our economy statewide. State workers want to be partners in our economic recovery.”

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Mike Klein – Therapy Assistant II, Pueblo Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled

I work in a day program work group for the developmentally disabled. The guys that I work with are developmentally disabled or mentally ill, and a couple of them are both – dually diagnosed. I’ve got five guys that are in my group and all my crew is basically non-verbal.

From Mondays to Wednesday, we recycle newspaper for the county. On Wednesday when we’re done we go bowling. We have lunch in the park on nice days. On Thursdays we stock vending machines and Friday is activity day.

As the Bible says, we’ll get judged by how we treat the least among us. I’m never going to get rich doing what I do, but I know that when I look back at what I did with my life I can say I enriched the lives of people that were developmentally disabled and I can feel good about that.

The one thing I try to do every day is enrich the lives of people that are developmentally disabled. I try to do that by following their programs, which is to teach them how to work and live in the community. I try to keep them safe and make sure that whatever we’re doing is safe – for example making sure they get their medication or making sure they don’t get hurt. I make sure they enjoy their lives and have a good time.

We deserve a raise because we’re highly trained, we’re constantly trying to upgrade our skills and trying to learn more about how to better serve people that are disabled. And if we’re still behind the pay grade, we should be paid up there with everybody else.

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