Joint Statement on the Partnership for Quality Jobs & Services Act
DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis, Senate President Leroy Garcia, and State Rep. Daneya Esgar were joined today by state employees and state lawmakers today to announce the Partnership for Quality Jobs & Services Act.
After months of productive and thoughtful conversations with Colorado WINS, the union of state employees, the Polis administration announced today its support for legislation that would allow, for the first time, state employees to collectively bargain.
“Today’s announcement is a huge step toward meaningful partnerships that support our hardworking state employees who want to help deliver state services better and do their work more efficiently. By formalizing these partnerships information will flow better from workers to management and voices of people will be heard,” said Gov. Polis. “Together we can improve morale and reduce turnover by working to improve the workplace environment."
The legislation will be introduced in the near future by prime sponsors and Pueblo leaders Senate President Leroy Garcia and State Representative Daneya Esgar.
“Colorado state employees work tirelessly for us, and they deserve to be able to advocate for themselves and their families. That's why I am proud to support this legislation and help finally give our state workers the opportunity to have their voices heard,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia.
“We need an economy that works for every Coloradan, in all corners of our state. By guaranteeing state workers the right to join a union and negotiate for better pay and benefits, this bill moves us closer to that goal,” said Rep. Esgar (D-Pueblo). “This legislation will help our state attract talented workers and retain an experienced and exceptional workforce, improving state services.”
“When I was little my mother and I were homeless for a time. That experience made me want to give back and I decided I wanted to make my life’s work about improving my community. I love my job with the state, but I am concerned about the future with over $100,000 in student debt and with costs of living and health care constantly rising,” said state employee Cassie Geremaia. “That’s why the ability to negotiate with the state is so important to me and my colleagues, it would give us a way to help improve services for Coloradans and improve work-life for state workers like me. I’m excited our Governor supports legislation making it possible for state workers to negotiate over our raises and health benefits and to have a voice on the job. It’s going to be game-changing!”
Gov. Polis, Senate President Garcia, Rep. Esgar, Colorado WINS and state employees will hold an event tomorrow in Pueblo at the Colorado WINS office.