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Open Enrollment for Colorado State Employees starts today! This year’s Open Enrollment for state employees is mandatory. If employees do not make changes during open enrollment, they will not have coverage as of July 1, 2020. This includes medical, dental, vision and flexible spending account options. The State of Colorado FY 2020-21 Open Enrollment begins April 14 and ends May 18, 2020 at 10:59 p.m. MDT. The application period for the State of Colorado Medical Premium Supplement Program is April 14, 2020 – May 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.
Colorado’s open enrollment starts today and runs through May 18, 2020. You can find a comprehensive overview of what you need to do and what your options are on their website: https://stateofcoloradobenefits.com/
The choices you make during Open Enrollment are in effect from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. When Open Enrollment ends on May 18, 2020, you won’t be able to make changes to your coverage until the next Open Enrollment period (unless you have a qualifying event, such as marriage or the birth of a child).
Please note: open enrollment at the University of Colorado (all campuses) starts April 14th and runs through May 18th.
It appears that only CU has its own Open Enrollment deadline, but if you work at a higher education institution, please check with your Human Resources department to make sure you don’t miss the deadline for healthcare coverage.
If you have any questions about open enrollment or benefit plans, please contact your department’s benefits administrator (link at the very bottom of the page).
On January 28th, dozens of state employees flooded the statehouse to talk to their legislators about House Bill 1153 “The Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act”. It was an early morning for many members, who drove across the state to talk about the merits of collective bargaining and how it will improve state services for all Coloradans. And their hard work paid off! Later that afternoon in the State Affairs Committee Hearing, 6 representatives voted to approve and pass the bill on to the Appropriations Committee.
It was a big day in Denver, but after the long and emotional hearing members hugged and celebrated on the Legislative Services Building steps.
When we fight, we win!
— Colorado WINS (@CoWINSpolitics) January 28, 2020
— Colorado WINS (@CoWINSpolitics) January 28, 2020
I’m thrilled that we’re one step closer to making sure that our state workers have the opportunity to negotiate for a better life. Thank you to @ColoradoWINS and everyone else who came to support collective bargaining in committee today! #COPolitics #COLeg pic.twitter.com/55Yt23DDHQ
— Daneya Esgar (@Dlesgar) January 28, 2020
Colorado WINS WON in committee today!
Rep. @Dlesgar‘s bill to allow state employees to collectively bargain just passed through committee!
— COHouseDems (@COHouseDem) January 28, 2020
— Colorado WINS (@CoWINSpolitics) January 29, 2020
This well-deserved raise didn’t just magically happen. It took months of Colorado WINS members standing up and keeping the pressure on the state.
Early this year, we began conversations with Gov. Jared Polis’ team to work out the details of a wage increase. Then a strong show of unity and determination from Colorado WINS members pushed the governor and state legislators to make sure our raise stayed in the budget.
Three percent is just one small step in the right direction. Our pay lags behind what we could make in the private sector and chronic understaffing and high turnover are stressing us out. We won this raise but we can win much more when more state employees get in the game.
It’s simple, really. Our power comes from our strength in numbers. The more members, the more we can accomplish.
As we celebrate this raise, we’re energized to push hard for the right to bargain a fair union contract. We need all hands working to win the same freedom that employees at private companies have. We’re determined to join state employees across the country who make an average of 15% more because they have a union plus the freedom to collectively bargain.
A vibrant, strong union fuels our power to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions at our jobs. State employees are stronger when we stand together. Become a member of Colorado WINS as we gear up for much more progress in the coming months and year ahead.
Elisabeth Lemonds is today’s featured Colorado state employee. As a water quality inspector for the Department of Public Health and the Environment, she’s keeping people safe.
There’s only one Liz Lemonds — and she works hard to keep your family healthy.
Liz leads water quality monitoring at around 500 Colorado sites that use relatively clean, recycled water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. While the water has been processed by water treatment plants, it could sicken people if its treatment and quality isn’t carefully watched.
“That’s a lot of sites where people are playing and working and living their lives. People take for granted that it’s safe, but it does take oversight,” Liz said.
Liz has been a state employee for more than a decade, but it’s not where her journey began.
“I wanted to feel like I was doing something. I had been a teacher for a number of years and decided that was not the best way for me to contribute,” Liz recalled. “I felt like the best way to use my science background was working for the state to make a difference for the environment and for the people who live and visit Colorado.
She’s won respect from colleagues with her work too.
“Liz cares deeply about all of her co-workers, and works tirelessly to advance inclusion and equity in the workplace,” Al Stafford wrote in his nomination of Liz. “She is always the first to check in after a difficult phone call or conversation.”
Colorado’s clean water, clean air, and our spectacular environment are all vital parts of the Colorado way of life. And dedicated public servants like Liz are working hard every day to protect these treasures and safeguard the health of our communities.
With the freedom to collectively bargain and a stronger voice on the job, frontline workers can help direct resources where they are most needed to promote a cleaner, healthier environment for Coloradans.
|State employees are stronger when we stand together. Please join Colorado WINS and help advocate for workers like Liz — and you.
Do you know a great employee of the State of Colorado? Help them get some well-earned recognition.
State employees in Colorado are rising. Colorado WINS president Skip Miller explains what’s happening in our campaign to secure the freedom to collectively bargain for nearly 29,000 state employees — and why YOUR voice is needed to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions for state employees.
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.”
Yesterday was pretty important.
The Colorado House held its very first hearing on the WINS bill, legislation that would finally give state employees like us the freedom to collectively bargain a union contract. And it passed its first hurdle! We still have a long way to go, though.
We know that the WINS bill would improve Colorado’s public services and give nearly 29,000 state employees the power to better serve our communities.
With a stronger voice on the job, we can work with managers to tackle the serious issues like understaffing, low morale, and high staff turnover that are undermining the quality of public services for Coloradans — sometimes in dangerous ways.
We need to make sure that lawmakers hear our voices and know that state employees deserve a real seat at the decision-making table with our supervisors.
Show state lawmakers that you support giving state employees the opportunity for a stronger voice and a real seat at the decision-making table.
Be sure to make your Facebook post “public” when you post so that we can see your support!
Last Tuesday, nearly 50 members from across the state talked face-to-face with our senators and representatives at the Capitol about the crisis facing our state and how state workers are the key to effective solutions.
We told them how we’re losing experts who are taking the plunge into the private sector where they earn more, creating a vicious cycle of understaffing and forced overtime. The people of Colorado lose millions because of turnover, wasting money that could fund services they need.
We also shared the good news that public employees know how to solve these problems, but we need their support to get a seat at the table with managers and department executives to get the job done. We asked them to stand with us so we can get a voice on the job to keep Colorado running smoothly.
Workers from DEN International Airport and home care providers were at the capitol, too, all of us fighting for freedom to form unions, higher wages, and a voice on the job in our workplaces. We’re stronger together and when we fight, we win!