DENVER – Colorado WINS, the union representing 25,000 state employees, is celebrating a successful 2022 legislative session that resulted in critical investments in public services that will keep Colorado running for years to come and invest in important commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in state agencies.
Last year, Colorado WINS members negotiated a momentous first contract with the State of Colorado to ensure state employees can continue to provide critical services. The contract includes a $15 minimum wage for all state jobs, 3% yearly cost of living wage increases, improvements in benefits, policies to prevent discrimination on the job, and more.
This legislative session, lawmakers locked in these provisions by fully funding the contract and following through on the state’s commitments to state employees that allow them to support themselves and their families in addition to the communities they serve.
“State employees are paid around 16% less than their counterparts outside of state government, and low wages and decades of underfunding have resulted in a nearly 20% vacancy rate for state jobs, making it difficult to provide critical public services to Colorado communities,” said Hilary Glasgow, Executive Director of Colorado WINS. “Thank you, Governor Polis and Colorado lawmakers, for fully funding our contract so that we can keep state employees in the jobs they love and ensure that the hardworking Coloradans who support our state can support themselves, too.”
Lawmakers also passed House Bill 1196, which directs the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, created through state employees’ historic first contract with the state of Colorado, to conduct a study to assess pay inequities specific to gender, race, and other protected classes within state departments. On average, Black, Latinos, and Native Americans make 13 to 18 percent less than white employees in Colorado state jobs. A final report including findings and recommendations to address pay inequities from the study will be provided to the members of the general assembly, the Governor, and to Colorado WINS.
Finally, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 139, which designates Juneteenth as a Colorado state holiday to celebrate Black people’s freedom and resistance in our nation. The legislation came after Colorado WINS negotiated the recognition of Juneteenth as a state holiday in its contract with the state.
“This year, Colorado took major steps toward ensuring state employees are treated fairly and with respect so they can continue to provide essential services and resources to all Coloradans,” said Skip Miller, President of Colorado WINS. “These victories, which are the result of years of hard work and dedication from our members, are a great example of what can be achieved when working people and elected officials come together. Thank you, Governor Polis and Colorado lawmakers, for seeing this work through.”