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May 5, 2022


Legislation would expand collective bargaining rights to more than 37,000 public service workers and builds upon the 2020 state workers bill

DENVER, CO – The House State, Civic, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee today passed a monumental collective bargaining bill sponsored by Majority Leader Daneya Esgar. SB22-230 would expand collective bargaining rights to more than 37,000 county workers. Under this bill, county workers would receive recognized collective bargaining rights that private-sector and state employees in Colorado already have.

“Colorado’s county workers protect our communities while providing services we all rely on—this bill has their backs,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Under this bill, our county public service workers would have the right to form a union to improve their workplace conditions, negotiate better pay and boost critical services communities need. This bill stands up for nearly 40,000 county workers who fix our roads, staff our public health departments and keep Coloradans safe. These workers deserve to have a seat at the table to improve their lives and the lives of their families, and I’m beyond proud to champion this bill in the House.”

Collective Bargaining by County Employees Act: SB22-230 passed committee by a vote of 7-4 and builds upon the state workers bill from 2020, also sponsored by Majority Leader Esgar. This bill extends collective bargaining rights to county workers, more than doubling the current number of public workers with recognized collective barging rights in Colorado. The Collective Bargaining by County Employees Act would give public service workers who choose to form a union a seat at the table to collectively bargain on issues like working conditions, job safety, pay and benefits, and to collaborate with management to address shared challenges like staff shortages, high turnover, and improving public services. This bill is a historic step forward in Colorado’s labor and workers’ rights movement.

Right now, only four out of Colorado’s 64 counties recognize their workers’ right to collectively bargain. The Collective Bargaining by County Employees Act would guarantee Colorado statutory county workers the ability to organize and form a union to advocate for safer workplaces and better public services if they so choose.

Additionally, the Collective Bargaining by County Employees Act would extend protections to workers who are currently vulnerable to retaliation, discrimination, and coercion for exercising basic union rights.

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