In the news

In the news: A major change to state employees’ pay fails (Denver Post)

Denver Post | May 14, 2018 | A major change to state employees’ pay fails, and the botched rollout may cost taxpayers even more

Gov. John Hickenlooper pushed for switch to biweekly lag pay without first getting approval from Colorado lawmakers

A significant shift to the payroll schedule for 27,000 state employees will no longer take place in July as expected, after the move failed to win approval from Colorado lawmakers.

The botched debut may cost the state as much as $5 million and represents yet another budget-busting delay for the implementation of a troubled $41.6 million human resources software system. (more…)

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In the news: Letter to the editor: Support PERA (Alamosa Valley Courier)

Alamosa Valley Courier | Feb 28, 2018 | Letter to the editor: Support PERA

Have you ever thought about how many people in your town work for the state of Colorado? I am one of them. When I hear that an individual just obtained a state job my reply is, “Good for him, that is a job he can retire from.”

I am an employee at the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Home Lake, one of the many state facilities here in the San Luis Valley. As state employees we are fortunate to be part of a benefit program that is defined and maintained by PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association). Other State of Colorado employees of the San Luis Valley that are enrolled in a PERA benefit plan include: Colorado State Patrol, Adams State University, and Trinidad State College. I found that if I look in the phone book of Alamosa and the surrounding communities there are three rows of listings under Colorado State Government with many entities from the Department of Agriculture, to the Division of Wildlife. Just think, each town in Colorado has its own state and government businesses. The facility I work for alone employs over 80 individuals. As you can figure, the scope of the number of people that are PERA members, recipients, and inactive members is enormous. (more…)

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In the news: Speaking for the laborers on Labor Day

Alamosa Valley Courier | Sept. 6, 2016 | Letter to the editor: Speaking for the laborers on Labor Day

This Labor Day, I am grateful for my job at the Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake, which provides me with good benefits. I make a living wage and have paid days off to spend time with my loved ones. But I, like many other state employees who work in 24/7 facilities, will be working on Labor Day.

Fortunately for me, I only need one job to make ends meet, but for too many working people that simply isn’t the case.

Many Coloradans will spend this Labor Day working a second or third job, desperately trying to make enough money to pay rent and afford groceries. They are forced to rely on minimum wage jobs that do not cover the most basic of living expenses. Instead of spending time with their families on Sundays and holidays, they are working to pay the bills. (more…)

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Colorado WINS statement on CCA’s Burlington prison closure

Colorado WINS has long advocated for the state disengaging from the private prison industry. It’s a morally indefensible industry and we shouldn’t use tax dollars to prop up parasitic business models.

These rural communities were sold a bill of goods: the prisons provide minimal jobs, with very low pay and dangerous working conditions. Hopefully some of the money saved from paying CCA is reinvested in real economic development for rural Colorado.

 

 

Read the Denver Post story here.

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In the news: Ruling: Auraria Higher Ed Center discriminated against workers

Colorado Independent, May 18, 2016 | Ruling: Auraria Higher Ed Center discriminated against workers

The Auraria Higher Education Center, the group overseeing the universities housed on Denver’s Auraria Campus, discriminated against Latino janitors based on their national origin, according to a decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

[…] In total, 12 employees wrote letters to the EEOC alleging the workplace had English-only policies, a violation of federal equal opportunity law, among other charges. (more…)

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In the News: Wisconsin’s new civil service law mirrors CO’s Amendment S

Route Fifty, April 10, 2016 | Wisconsin Awaits Implementation of Scott Walker’s Civil Service Reform Law

A controversial overhaul of procedures used to hire and fire state employees in Wisconsin is set to take place this July.

The changes will go into effect under Wisconsin’s Act 150, which Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed in February. Among other policy modifications, the law will shift hiring away from civil service exams, toward a system based on applicants’ resumes, and will base layoffs primarily on performance, lessening the influence of seniority over whether a person keeps their job.

Proponents say the changes will speed up hiring and make it easier for agencies to cull poor performers and bad apples from their ranks. Critics argue the new law opens the door for political patronage and other forms of favoritism to sway who gets state jobs. And some say it makes it easier for supervisors in Wisconsin agencies to arbitrarily punish employees. (more…)

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In the news: CU workers rally to raise base pay to $15 per hour

9News, April 5, 2016 | CU student workers rally to raise base pay to $15 per hour

DENVER – University of Colorado service and student workers rallied at the Tivoli Center on the Auraria Campus Tuesday, asking the school to raise base pay to $15 per hour.

The rally took place during a CU Board of Regents meeting. Protesters delivered a petition with hundreds of signatures to the regents asking for a living wage of $15 dollars per hour for all all workers on all four CU campuses. CU Boulder raised wages earlier this year for some employees.

“It is time for us to lead the way in a $15 wage. The fact is we need to be that moral example. Because if you work in Denver, you should be able to afford to live in Denver. Same for Boulder, same for Aurora, same for Colorado Springs,” CU Board of Regents member Michael Carrigan said.

CU student workers and service workers say they hope the CU Regents will take tangible steps to address the pay of all campus workers.

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In the news: Parole officers’ insight is important to policy decisions

Denver Post, April 2, 2016 | Parole officers’ insight is important to policy decisions

Re: “Colorado has reduced its prison population, but at what cost to public safety?,” March 20 news story; and “Prisoner reform shouldn’t take precedence over public safety,” March 22 editorial.

As the union that represents Colorado’s parole officers, we were alarmed and concerned with The Post’s news article and editorial about the unintended consequences of reforms at the Department of Corrections. The governor’s call for a review of parole policies is a welcome sign.

A partnership between management and parole officers will be critical to the success of this review. Our parole officers have a common interest with the Department of Corrections management: public safety. The insight and experience of frontline parole officers, who work with and monitor offenders on a daily basis, must be taken into account when making policy decisions that affect not only their jobs but also our community as a whole (more…)

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In the news: Why I’m proud to be a union woman

Pueblo Chieftain, March 26, 2016 | Why I’m proud to be a union woman by Patty Moore, Colorado WINS President

March is Women’s History Month. It’s also the month on which falls Lobby Day for Colorado WINS, the union representing Colorado’s 30,000 state employees.

As president of Colorado WINS, I’m proud to represent the state’s hardworking public servants, and I’m proud to be a union woman and a leader in a movement that fights for better pay and working conditions for all of our public employees. In unity there is strength.

Colorado’s public servants are truly a cross-section of our state. Colorado WINS represents workers from all parts of Colorado helping all kinds of Coloradans get ahead. We are corrections officers, child support enforcement workers, juvenile justice counselors, caregivers for our veterans and the developmentally disabled and protectors of Colorado’s natural resources.

And we never close — many of our employees work holidays and overnights to protect public safety and public infrastructure. (more…)

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In the news: Rough week for DOC

You may have seen the Department of Corrections pop up in the news these past few days, we certainly did. The Denver Post has published two stories detailing some questionable practices by the department.

The first story concerned a $280,000 settlement with a whistle-blower at DOC headquarters. These payouts can be disheartening to officers as they see money going out that could have been spent on making facilities safer. Even more concerning are the allegations against DOC. The former director of DOC’s Office of Planning and Analysis alleged the department was falsifying figures about the number of mentally ill people in solitary confinement and the number of inmates released from solitary directly back into their communities. She also alleged that DOC simply renamed programs they are trying to phase out in order for their numbers to match their reports.

The second story details the (more…)

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