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In the news

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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In the News: State employee raises and Total Comp Report

Denver Post | 8.1.13 | Report: Colorado state workers need 3.8% raise to match private sector

Colorado’s roughly 32,000 state workers need a 3.8 percent raise to catch up to their counterparts in the private sector, the state Department of Personnel and Administration said Thursday.

The state also needs to pick up a larger share of workers’ medical- and dental-insurance premiums, along with merit pay, according to a letter to the governor and General Assembly from Kathy Nesbitt, the agency’s executive director.

“The state’s policy is to provide employees competitive pay and group benefit plans that are consistent with prevailing practices in the market in order to provide a competitive total rewards package designed to recruit, reward and retain a qualified workforce,” she stated in the letter.

Coloradoan.com | 7.31.13 | Colorado workers get 1st pay hike since recession

The budget lawmakers passed includes $48.1 million for the 2 percent increases and other salary adjustments and $21.4 million for merit pay raises. (more…)

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In the news: Pueblo Chieftain, Canon Daily Record address GOP letter

Canon City Daily Record | 7.25.13 |  Department of Corrections workers say they aren’t overpaid

A July 19 letter signed by 15 Senate Republican lawmakers said the state’s latest salary plan goes too far when it suggests state corrections workers be paid more money at a time when private prison workers are paid less.

The letter cites a recent study showing state prison employees average $51,000 a year while private prison staffers average $34,500. It also says state corrections employees have other benefits, including retirement, overtime and access to government vehicles, the Pueblo Chieftain reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/mgmh8sv). (more…)

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Pueblo Chieftain: Paycheck fairness for prison staff

Colorado WINS member and DOC employee Larry VanGelder’s guest editorial in The Pueblo Chieftain talks about the effects of Senate Bill 210 on the state’s Corrections Officers.

If you’re an employee in the Dept. of Corrections make sure to tell us how you think SB 210 will affect morale at your facility. Visit ColoradoWINS.org/sb210 and take the short, 2-minute survey.

After years of frustration, the Colorado legislature has finally done right by our corrections officers and fixed what’s known as the “28-day work period” by passing SB210. […]

SB210 improves overtime pay for officers working double shifts. Once an officer works the 12th hour, anything over 8.5 hours is compensated at time-and-a-half regardless whether or not you hit the 85-hour threshold. For example, if you work 13 consecutive hours, you would receive 4.5 hours of overtime. This is a huge relief to those of us who repeatedly work overtime and don’t see it reflected on our timecards or in our paychecks. […]

SB210 didn’t just happen. Our union, Colorado WINS, and our corrections officers made this happen.

After the bill was introduced, corrections officers from Pueblo, Canon City and Las Animas drove to Denver twice to testify in support of SB210. Personal testimony to the legislators about the unfairness of the 28-day work period made all the difference.

In the coming weeks and months, Colorado WINS will be at the table making sure that DOC gets the implementation of these changes right. I plan on taking the future into my own hands by talking to my co-workers, being an active part of my union and being an active part of those discussions.

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In the News: State employee pay raises

KUNC 91.5 | 03.28.13 | As Colorado’s Economy Improves, Lawmakers Wrangle Over The Budget

With Colorado’s economy improving, state lawmakers now have some extra wiggle room in crafting a budget. Unlike previous years there won’t be massive cuts for programs like K-12 schools, and state contractors and public employees will see pay increases.

NewsChannel 5 – Grand Junction | 03.28.13 | Colorado Senate Passes Next Year’s Budget

The Colorado Senate has passed next year’s state budget on a 19-15 vote.

All Republicans voted no saying budget spending is growing faster than Colorado’s economy, however, Democrats say they are saving up funds for future years.

The budget package would give more money to public schools, construction projects at state and higher education buildings as well as the first pay raise in 5 years for state employees.

FOX31 Denver | 03.28.13 | Partisan Senate vote sends $20.5 billion state budget to House

Republicans also made a point of opposing the budget’s two percent pay raise for state employees, whose wages have been stagnant for the last four years.

(more…)

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Press Release: WINS statement on the death of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements

“Tom Clements was a leader who looked out for those he led. As we worked on any number of issues facing the Corrections workforce, we always knew we had a reasonable and enlightened man at the other end of the table who wanted to reach a fair solution. He was a friend of this union and we are shocked by this tragedy.” – Executive Director Scott Wasserman

You can read more about this tragedy at The Denver Post.

 

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In the News: Prison space should match our needs (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Read the full editorial at the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Private prisons run on a profit motive that creates a perverse incentive for governments to supply prisoners. Politicians don’t want closure of private prisons because it means layoffs in communities that depend on these institutions to provide good jobs. […]

Unlike a private prison owner, governments benefit from declining prison populations. To a politician, fewer prisoners should be seen as more money for bridges, roads, education and other investments that move society forward.

To a private prison operator, fewer prisoners means cause for panic. That’s why CCA pays lobbyists to keep prisoners coming. CCA lobbyist Mike Feeley helped broker the multimillion-dollar deal to keep the company’s prisons on life support.

What do you think about for-profit prisons? Tell us in the comments below.
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In the News: Get rid of for-profit prisons

Read this guest commentary from WINS Secretary David Pertz and Pastor Paul Carlson, published by The Denver Post.

As the state’s inmate population declines, the state must commit itself to prioritizing use of public prisons, state workers, and taxpayer accountability over for-profit prisons. Colorado’s corrections policy must emphasize responsibility, not profitability.

In the past two years, the Colorado Department of Corrections has taken state beds offline and outright closed state-run facilities. And while there have been some closures of for-profit facilities, state appropriations for Corrections Corporation of America’s for-profit prisons rose in the 2012-13 fiscal year by nearly $4 million. For the 2013-14 fiscal year, the department is now requesting an additional $1.3 million increase in payments to our for-profit prison providers.

Read more: Get rid of for-profit prisons – The Denver Post

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