Denver—AFT President Randi Weingarten and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry issued the following joint statement after the vote by the Legislature on the Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act, which will allow 28,000 state employees to collectively bargain with management. The legislation, which will now go to Gov. Jared Polis for his signature, was spearheaded by Colorado WINS, AFT/SEIU Local 1876, and is the first such public sector bargaining law in Colorado’s history:
“Today, public employees made great strides in Colorado toward winning a voice in the workplace. That voice will enable them to negotiate with their employer over the issues that impact their families and the essential services they provide.
“If the coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s how much our communities rely on the important work public employees do every day, and how important it is to protect all workers, especially in times of hardship. In Colorado, they’re the epidemiologists and disease specialists who are working around the clock to study the virus; they are the staff keeping facilities like state hospitals and veterans’ homes open; they are the people keeping the water and air clean, and providing support to unemployed workers and small business owners—showing up every day to ensure that their communities are safe, despite the risks to themselves and their families.
“Colorado public employees come from all races and backgrounds to make life better for families and communities and to protect them in times of crisis. The vote by the Legislature today means these essential workers are finally on a path to winning a seat at the table to negotiate for the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safe and healthy. When the people who are closest to delivering services to the public have a voice, the entire community benefits.”