In the news

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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Press Release: WINS joins Senators in calling on CDOT to release US-36 road contract info

Colorado WINS is joining a group of Colorado State Senators in calling on the Colorado Department of Transportation to put the brakes on a pending 50-year contract for the US-36 toll road with an Australian company, the Plenary Group, and release information about the proposed deal to taxpayers before signing any contract.

Colorado WINS submitted an open records request, also known as a CORA, in 2013 and was refused access to any of the responses to CDOT’s Request for Proposal and any drafts of the contract.

“This is a huge undertaking with enormous financial impact on taxpayers for decades, and the process has been kept as far out of public view as possible,” said WINS Executive Director Tim Markham. “CDOT owes policy makers and the public some answers about this deal and shouldn’t be signing away 50 years of maintenance and revenue in secret. These so-called “public-private partnerships” have turned out to be terrible deals for taxpayers across the country, including Chicago and Orange County. Coloradans deserve to have their voices heard before CDOT acts.” (more…)

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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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9 News: State workers seek larger pay raise

Colorado WINS member & CDPHE employee Andres Guerrero was featured in tonight’s 9News/KUSA reporter Brandon Rittiman’s story on the wage campaign.

View the report here(more…)

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Press Release: CSU-Pueblo workers calling on University to work with them to avoid personnel cuts

Colorado WINS member and CSU Pueblo employee Tamra Axworthy gave the following statement regarding the proposed layoffs at CSU-Pueblo:

“As a Colorado WINS member, I know how state employees contribute to the Southern Colorado economy. Across the board cuts hurt them, their families, and will have a ripple effect throughout Pueblo and Southern Colorado. I understand that my job could be at risk.

Before we apply such drastic measures, at such an impactful time of year, we should look at other options, many of which have already been identified. The University Budget Board has data and resources available to continue working towards that end. As employees, we are willing to listen and come together on a solution that doesn’t hurt families and our local economy.

As employees, we’re calling on our State Senator and State Representative to work with us and avoid these layoffs.”

Due to cuts, CSU-Pueblo has announced that it must cut $3.3 million from its budget, which could result in a loss of up to 50 positions. (more…)

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State of Colorado loses sensitive data for 19,000 employees

UPDATE (12/17/13): To find out if you’ve been affected by the data loss, contact the Office of Information Technology by emailing infosec@state.co.us. You can also contact your HR Directors to get more information about the data loss.

Original Post: If you are a current or former Colorado state employee, you may have received a letter from the State alerting you to the fact that sensitive information, including names and Social Security numbers, has been misplaced for nearly 19,000 workers.

According to media reports, “State of Colorado’s Information Security Office is reporting that a USB drive containing state employee information has gone missing.”

The Denver Post reports an employee lost the flash drive while transporting it between work locations.

The State is contacting employees by phone or mail to notify them of the missing information. They are also recommending to contact the Colorado Attorney General’s Office .

For more information about identity theft, you can contact visit the Attorney General’s Office website or call them directly at 720-508-6000.


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Press Release: WINS Executive Director responds to Sen. Brophy and Secretary Gessler’s call to rescind executive order

During the Lincoln Club of Colorado’s summer barbecue on Wednesday, August 28, Sen. Greg Brophy and Secretary of State Scott Gessler both slammed the executive order that allows state employees to negotiate on compensation and personnel issues.

The Denver Post reports: “If either state Sen. Greg Brophy or Secretary of State Scott Gessler becomes governor in 2015 they would on Day 1 sign an order authorizing the execution of death row inmate Nathan Dunlap and rescind an executive order allowing state workers to unionize. […]

The state employee order was originally signed by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter and kept in place by Hickenlooper when he took office in 2011. State workers don’t have collective bargaining rights and can’t go on strike, but they are allowed to negotiate on compensation and personnel issues.”

Colorado WINS Executive Director Tim Markham has issued a statement in response to the comments made by Sen. Brophy and Secretary Gessler.

Brophy and Gessler’s statements are an insult to the thousands of state workers who serve the people of Colorado every day. These are our friends and neighbors who plow our roads, care for our veterans, and keep us safe from dangerous criminals.

Sen Brophy’s words are particularly troubling in light of the recent Senate Republican attack on Colorado Corrections Officers. He signed a letter from the Senate Republicans that said Colorado corrections officers, the people protecting us from rapists and murderers 24/7, should take a 1/3 pay cut. Really? Their reward for putting their lives on the line protecting us is cutting their pay?

Not only is this insulting, it’s an economic assault on the rural communities Senator Brophy represents. The state is Colorado’s largest employer, so hurting state workers hurts Colorado’s economic recovery, especially on rural communities who depend on public employees.

We’re proud of the successful partnerships we’ve formed with the state and our working together towards a common goal of improved services for our fellow taxpayers. Brophy and Gessler would take Colorado backwards.

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In the News: Pueblo Chieftain letter to the editor about Regional Centers

8.17.13 | The Pueblo Chieftian | Regional centers meet critical needs

As the state makes changes to the way services are delivered to people with developmental disabilities, state employees support placements that maximize independence and choice. We are concerned about ensuring the highest quality of care and a diverse set of provider options for all who need services. That’s why members of Colorado WINS have been meeting with the Colorado Department of Human Services, advocacy organizations and family members to craft a vision for the future of developmental disability care in Colorado.

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