Governor Signs Collective Bargaining Rights for State Employees!

Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs & Services Act will allow state employees to join together to bargain for better pay and terms of employment


DENVER, CO — The Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis today. HB20-1153 was sponsored by Representative Daneya Esgar and cosponsored by the entire House Democratic Caucus. The new law will allow state employees to collectively bargain on matters of pay, benefits, and conditions and terms of employment. 

“State employees have been at the forefront of our state’s fight against COVID-19,” said Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo. “In addition to their crucial public health work, these public servants care for our veterans, keep our prisons safe, plow our roads in winter storms and protect our air and water. Getting this bill passed was a top priority of mine in the 2020 legislative session, and I’m beyond proud to see the Governor sign it today. Thanks to their tireless work, advocacy and dedication, state workers will soon be able to negotiate for the pay, benefits and working conditions they deserve.”

This law will allow state employees to collectively bargain on pay and benefit issues. It seeks to  foster new partnerships between frontline workers and the state that will lead to innovation and better state services. Furthermore, by helping to fill the nearly 1 in 5 vacant state positions, the bill will ensure that Colorado has the experienced and talented workforce needed to serve state residents. This legislation is critical to retaining and recruiting the state workforce Coloradans need and deserve. Stagnant wages have led to increased turnover and state employees working multiple jobs, which negatively impacts the delivery of state services. 

The Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act does not permit state employees to strike, which is similar to collective bargaining laws for state employees in the states that have them. The law does require the state to participate in good faith in the formalized partnership process. All determinations regarding wage and benefit issues reached through the partnership process must be included in the governor’s budget and be approved by the Joint Budget Committee and General Assembly, a transparent process in which the public can engage.

For more than a decade, WINS, the state’s public employee union, has represented state employees who have been united in their desire to be part of an organization that fights to improve their lives. Membership in the union is completely voluntary, but it’s clear that state employees overwhelmingly support union membership in WINS. 

###