Steward’s Blog

Steward’s blog: GOTUV (Get Out the Union Vote)

Yesterday, your official election ballot was mailed. You should receive it in the next few days and I encourage you to fill it out and return it early. If you want to know which of your local candidates has pledged to support a raise for state employees, you can see a full list here.

Equally as important as voting, if not more so, is making sure that state employees support those who support us. 

You can help ensure your coworkers know which local candidates will vote in our favor by becoming a Political Action Volunteer

Political Action Volunteers donate their time to participate in political events organized by labor unions, community organizations, or candidates themselves. This could include phone banking to undecided voters, canvassing neighborhoods to create candidate awareness, or even writing out postcards for specific campaigns.

During the 2014 election season, dozens of WINS members from across the state knocked on more than 4500 doors and talked to more than a thousand people about supporting state legislators who cared about working middle class families and an economy that’s fair to everyone. WINS members walked more than 100 total shifts for our endorsed candidates. (more…)

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Steward’s blog: Tough union conversations

First things first, you’ve probably seen a few updates from Tim Markham about the 6% raise fight. While the Governor’s staff was receptive to our demands, the budget forecasts for this year are not in our favor.

That means stewards will be critical in this fight. You will need to mobilize workers in your facilities during the various stages of the campaign, which will last several months: first to put pressure on the Governor to include a raise in his budget proposal, next on the Joint Budget Committee to appropriate the necessary funds for the increase, and finally on the full legislature to approve the state’s budget.

Throughout this process, we will need legislators at the State Capitol who understand the critical need for addressing lagging pay for state workers and will back us in our demands. That’s why we have to pledge to support local candidates who will support a 6% raise for state employees. 

If you haven’t yet, please pledge to vote early in this election (ballots will be mailed out in just about 3 weeks).

Tough union conversations

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Steward’s blog: Congratulations, Stewards!

As a union Steward you are a rock for your coworkers. You are the person they depend on, the one they can trust, and the one who can help them navigate the waters of the State Personnel System.

To get you ready for your term as a Union Steward, we will be holding a Steward Convention next Saturday, August 27, in Colorado Springs.  (more…)

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Steward’s Blog: Fighting for truth, justice and the union way

During the nomination month, more than 150 Colorado WINS members throughout the state were nominated by their coworkers to be Union Stewards!

We reached and beat our goal of 100 new Steward nominees, and we’re well on our way to build union strength through this member-focused model of union power.

Before we move into the elections, we will hold meetings for Union Steward nominees throughout the state.

It’s crucial that all Union Steward nominees attend one of the Nominee Meetings in order to learn what it takes to be a successful Steward. The meetings will go over the nomination process, the roles of a steward, and the rules for the upcoming election. (more…)

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Steward’s Blog: Stay in the know – evaluations, elections, discounts

Right now you’re probably getting a lot of questions about performance evaluations. You can always refer to the basic evaluation rules we sent out back in February.

As a rule, performance evaluations cannot be grieved or appealed.

If a member has an issue with an evaluation, they can enter into a dispute resolution process, with the goal of resolving the issue at the lowest possible level. Remember that anyone disputing an evaluation does not have the right to legal representation (such as a Colorado WINS staffer), but they may have an advisor present (such as a Steward). However, parties are expected to represent and speak for themselves (Board Rule 8-83).

The only things that may be disputed in an evaluation dispute are (Board Rule 8-84): (more…)

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Steward’s blog: Plan an action, get a reaction

As a Steward, you’re probably often told about various issues your coworkers experience on the job. You probably have to distinguish between issues that warrant a one-on-one with a supervisor, a grievance, or a collective action.

Often it can be hard to decide which issues require a collective action to solve a workplace problem. Some problems actually help mobilize members and strengthen the union.

Here are a few pointers on how to determine whether an issue will energize your coworkers into acting together.

stewards-blog-badgeChoose issues that are: (more…)

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Steward’s Blog: It’s time for performance evaluations

Each year, the performance cycle for Colorado’s state employees ends on March 31 and workers receive their evaluations in April. As stewards, our coworkers will surely come to us with questions about the performance review process and how to ensure its fairness.

We are holding performance review trainings in Denver, Greeley and Pueblo in February and March. If you want to learn more about the process, register for a training today

stewards-blog-badgeThe performance review process is detailed in the Performance Management portion of the State Personnel Rules (Board Rules 6-3 through 6-6) and the dispute process is detailed in Rules 8-83 through 8-87.

Here are a few basic rules you need to know to understand the performance review process. (more…)

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Steward’s Blog: January 2016

As our union membership is steadily growing, so is the number of trained Union Stewards. In 2015 alone we trained nearly fifty Stewards and in 2016 we have planned trainings on performance reviews, union strategy, and bringing new workers into the union, among others.  Additionally, as a union, we will train and elect more than 100 new Stewards this year.

As a union Steward you know your chief responsibility is to build a united, organized, and involved membership in your workplace. Your job is to explain what being in a union means, and sometimes that means showing, instead of telling (by, for instance, being a worker’s representative during meetings with management).

In 2016 we will grow the power of our union by recruiting, training and electing new Stewards across departments and facilities. To help with that, we are creating a Steward’s blog that will be housed on our website. 

Each month, we will also send updates with new articles to the select group of union members who have chosen to be the pillars of strength for Colorado WINS: folks like you who are or want to be Union Stewards.

This blog will give you some in depth information about topics that, for one reason or another, we are unable to cover in the main Steward training.

This month we are starting with some information about Colorado’s legislative session, which started on Wednesday, Jan 13. Many of the policies that affect state workers must be approved by the legislature, which means that being involved in state politics is key to understanding how key decisions are made about our jobs.

As every year, we are setting our political agenda during the COPE Summit, taking place in Denver, January 23 (1 pm – 5 pm).  (more…)

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