Study: collective bargaining leads to better state services, reduced costs for taxpayers

Chronic understaffing and skyrocketing turnover rates cost the state of Colorado $48 million in 2018. Today, one in five authorized state jobs is vacant, undermining some of Colorado’s most essential public health and protection services. State employees on the frontlines every day know how to address these challenges but they need effective tools to do it.

Last week, the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) released a white paper that establishes collective bargaining as one of those tools. Collective Bargaining can Reduce Turnover and Improve Public Services in Colorado clearly shows that giving state employee the freedom to collectively bargain a union contract brings better services to Colorado communities.

During testimony at the Colorado House State Affairs hearing April 9, Rich Jones, the author of the white paper, said, “Academic research in this area shows that collective bargaining, and giving workers more control, more voice in their jobs and their operations, gets greater commitment and results in lower turnover rates.” He pointed out that when compared to other Western states, turnover in Colorado’s Department of Human Services is among the highest.   

“Having unions and collective bargaining helps implement the use of high-performance work practices [that] give employees more say on the job and result in stronger performance,” Jones testified. He added that collective bargaining can also lead to safer workplaces and increased “quality and effectiveness of services provided to Coloradans.”

$48 million (2)


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Pick the right healthcare plan for you

Healthcare terminology | Pick the right plan | Questions or Problems?

Colorado WINS members secured millions in additional funding to fully cover Health/Life/Dental premium increases.

Use the resources provided on this page to better understand your healthcare options and make the decision that’s right for you and your family.

Healthcare terminology

Here are a few widely used terms you should be familiar with. Our definitions are based on those provided by DPA in their April 2012 Healthline newsletter. You can find an archive of the Healthline newsletters here.

Co-insurance – A percentage of costs for covered services that the insurance company pays after a deductible is met.

Co-pay – A flat fee that is paid for health care services at the time service is provided. Co-payments are specific amounts, which is convenient in planning for the cost of care.

Deductible – An amount an individual must pay for covered health care expenses before insurance begins to cover costs. Deductibles in health insurance work the same as deductibles in auto or home owner’s insurance.

Out-of-pocket maximum – The maximum amount of money a person will pay for covered health claims, which is in addition to premium payments. These maximums are usually the sum of deductibles and co-insurance payments or the sum of all co-payments.

Pick the right plan

The plan with the lowest premium may not be the best plan for you. If you have chronic conditions or expect to see a doctor more than usual this year, you may want to consider other factors, besides just the monthly premium cost.


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Press Release: Imprisoned by Profit: Breaking Colorado’s Dependence on For-Profit Prisons

As Colorado tackles the issues around a declining prison population, Colorado WINS is releasing a new report that outlines how Colorado relies on the for-profit prisons and highlights the importance of prioritizing a transition away from them. “Imprisoned by Profit: Breaking Colorado’s Dependence on For-Profit Prisons” examines the costs and benefits and concludes that since the incarceration crisis of 20 years ago has receded and the state has a surplus of bed space, we need to put public facilities first.

“It is time for policymakers to step back and evaluate Colorado’s continued utilization of for-profit prisons,” said Scott Wasserman, Executive Director of Colorado WINS. “Is the state actually realizing any cost-savings when they contract with for-profit prisons? Should Coloradans’ tax dollars continue to support an industry that profits from human incarceration?”


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CAP: What Caused This Year’s Deficit?

Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the national deficit will exceed $1 trillion dollars- a hefty sum.

How did this happen again with so much talk from political leaders about being more fiscally responsible?

The Center for American Progress just released a brief that examines the core reasons behind the deficit and you may be surprised at what they found.

The biggest drivers of the deficit were revenue losses and increased spending between 2007 and the start of 2009. The single largest factor in the loss of revenue wasn’t the Great Recession – though important – but the Bush tax cuts.

Read the brief here.

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MSNBC: Union membership rates are no longer falling

See the recent MSNBC article which covers new data from the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) on union membership.

Some highlights from the CEPR data include:

  • The Biggest net increases in union members came from health care and social assistance, construction and durable goods manufacturing.
  • Florida had the biggest gains in membership in 2011; followed by Michigan, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri.
  • Women represented the biggest increase in union membership.
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CAP: Smaller, better, leaner government

In a new policy brief, the Center for American Progress outlines twelve New Year’s resolutions for Congress to make government services more efficient and effective.

Resolution #1 – Get rid of tax cuts for millionaires….to see the complete list of twelve, click here.

Happy New Year!

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CCLP: Minor improvements to state revenue expected

See this policy brief from the Colorado Center for Law and Policy on Colorado’s 2012-2013 budget outlook and how the new revenue forecast impacts critical state services.

CCLP policy brief

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CAP: 9 Ideas for Congress to Address the 99 Percent

See this new brief, from the Center for American Progress, about how Congress can help get Americans back on their feet and get our economy going again.

Among the 9 ideas:
– Allow homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower rates
– End the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest
– Reign in tax giveaways to wealthy corporations and the richest 1 percent
– Reduce student loan debt and hold colleges accountable

What do you think?

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New data calls for shift to job creation

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new state employment data and it showed that twenty-nine states have unemployment rates of 9 percent or higher. Unemployment rates in Colorado remain high, at 8.1 percent.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), since the start of the Great Recession, Colorado has lost more than 95,000 jobs.  To see the recent EPI brief and use their interactive maps, click here.

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Report: Stressed to the Limit

Stressed to the Limit,
a report from Colorado WINS, found that Colorado drastically under-invests in critical state assets,
has the leanest workforce in the region and that the State’s workforce
provides superior services for less pay.

Click here to read the report.

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