These are all of the Labor bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.
None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.
Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).
Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:
HB18-1001: FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1030: Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB18-1106: Minimum Wage Requirement Waiver KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB18-1230: Creation of Work Status for Immigrants KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1298: Colorado Secure Savings Plan KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1368: Local Control of Minimum Wage KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1377: Prohibit Seeking Salary Information Job Applicant KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1378: Equal Pay for Equal Work Act KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1111: Modifications to PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association Board Of Trustees KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
HB18-1278: Apprentice Utilization in Public Projects KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1310: Emergency Employment Support Services Pilot Program DOLA KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
HB18-1031: Employer Entry FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Defined Benefit System SIGNED
HB18-1056: FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Statewide Standard Health History Form SIGNED
HB18-1308: Workers' Compensation Out-of-State Workers Temporarily in Colorado SIGNED
HB18-1343: Veterans' Service-to-Career Program SIGNED
Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:
SB18-175: Prohibit Paid Union Activity by Public Employees KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
SB18-193: Limit State Agency Occupational Regulations KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
SB18-200: Modifications to PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association to Eliminate Unfunded Liability SIGNED
SB18-264: Prohibit Public School Teacher Strikes KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
SB 18-044: Veterans Employment Preference By Private Employer KILLED IN HOUSE
SB18-171: Marketplace Contractor Workers' Compensation Unemployment KILLED ON HOUSE CALENDAR
HB18-1001: FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program
Creates Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) to provide partial wage replacement to eligible employees who take leave from work to care for a new child or family member or is unable to work due to their own health condition. The plan is funded by premiums paid by all employees in the state (similar to unemployment insurance). The premium is based on the worker’s wages and must not exceed 0.99%.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
The U.S. is the only one of 41 high-income countries to not offer paid leave to new parents, and one of few nations worldwide to offer no guaranteed paid sick leave. Colorado’s economy functions on the backs of its working families and functions best when those families are able to participate in the economy. When someone has to go on leave, and does not have a salary, they cannot spend in their normal way the economy as a whole suffers. This bill will give those on leave partial wage replacement so they can continue to live as close to a normal life as possible. On top of this economic benefit, this is just the right thing to do. Medical or maternity/paternity leave can be a difficult time and helping these families pay their bills is something all Coloradans can be proud of.
Some workers will be given paid leave from their employer, but will still be forced to pay into this system and not able to use its benefits. This tax increase also skirts TABOR by excluding it from the TABOR caps and it leaves the director of the program the ability to add a surcharge if needed to make it solvent. This amounts to a blank check to fund this new entitlement program.
HB18-1030: Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation
Bill prohibits an employer from requiring any person to join a union, pay union fees, or assessments to charity or other third-party organization as requirement of employment. Any agreement that violates these provisions is null and void.
*This bill has been sent to the House “kill” committee, state affairs*
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
So-called all-union employment is unfair to individuals who don’t want to participate, for whatever reason, and are forced to support something they do not believe in. Unions are still welcome to organize, but just won’t be able to force anyone to participate against his or her will.
Unions are all or nothing propositions. The protections, wages, and other benefits that unions negotiate are for all employees, thus all employees need to contribute. In many ways, this is similar to numerous forms of taxes and fees: we all vote, then we have to abide by what the decision is (and the threshold for all-union employment is MUCH higher than simple majority rule, the HIGHER of majority of eligible voters or ¾ of those who actually voted). So while something like this sounds nice in theory, in practice it is a killer blow to many unions who fight for their members rights every day. Being in a democracy means abiding by the decisions of the electorate, even when we don’t agree.
HB18-1031: Employer Entry FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Defined Benefit System
From the police officers’ and firefighters’ reform commission, this streamlines the process for employers who are affiliated with the fire and police pension association and provides a money purchase plan for its employees. It consolidates the need for employers to apply for separate plans into one application and gives the pension association board more flexibility to determine the rules that govern participation by employers in the plan.
This cuts some red tape, by eliminating the need for multiple applications, and gives the board more flexibility rather than relying on state laws to govern the plan.
The state’s heavy involvement in this pension plan (and the difficulties the state is having with multiple pension plans) make it all the more important for the state to be the one determining the rules through its elected officials.
HB18-1056: FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Statewide Standard Health History Form
From the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Reform Committee. Every member of the fire and police pension association (FPPA) is required to complete a health history form upon employment. This bill specifies that all new hires are required to complete the form, that the employer must require the form to be filed, that the board of FPPA can adopt an electronic format, and that anyone who omits information may be disqualified from receiving disability or survivor benefits (previously only lying on the form was in the law).
This just cleans up some language to make sure all parties are aware of what is required, provides the ability to make the form electronic, and closes a loophole on omission in terms of a member filling out the form inaccurately.
The FPPA board might take the ability to go after members who omit information as a license to figure out ways to deny benefits.
HB18-1106: Minimum Wage Requirement Waiver
Allows employees and employers to waive the minimum wage requirement and negotiate a wage instead.
*This bill has been assigned to the House’s “kill” committee, state affairs*
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
This allows employers and employees more flexibility with part-time and supplemental jobs that aren’t designed to support a full living wage. Right now the increased costs associated with needing to pay the minimum wage for these kinds of jobs, where both parties are fine with lower wages, are being passed on to consumers.
In addition to questionable legality (the minimum wage is a federal law, in addition to the state’s own constitutional one), this bill opens the door for employers to pay whatever they’d like. There aren’t going to be nice sit-downs where everyone decides on a mutually beneficial arrangement. Employers are going to offer take it or leave it terms and look for someone else if the employee doesn’t want to get paid less.
HB18-1111: Modifications to PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association Board Of Trustees
Changes the composition of the board of trustees of PERA by removing several elected positions and replacing them with experts appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. Also eliminates any restrictions on the request for information from a board member to PERA.
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
PERA is in a crisis state and we need to bring experts in managing funds like this onto the board to help stabilize it. It’s already a pretty big board (14 people), so it makes sense to keep the size the same but remove some of the elected positions (without entirely removing anyone’s voice from these areas), so that the board is better able to make the tough decisions required to save PERA.
This is an attack on the power of the actual would-be retirees to have a voice in the management of their retirement plan. Currently the board has 9 members who come from this pool, three from the state division, four from education, one from local government and one from judiciary. This bill changes that to two, one, one, and one, changing the balance of power on the board from 9-2 retirees-3 experts to 5-2-7, tilting the board into the hands of experts with no personal stake in PERA’s management. Oh, and we already have experts on the board, three of them. So this bill doesn’t do anything new in that area.
HB18-1230: Creation of Work Status for Immigrants
Creates a “purple” card in the department of labor that allows undocumented workers to work legally in the state if they meet certain conditions. They must have no felony convictions in prior three years, been brought to the United States as a minor, and paid state income taxes for two years prior to application.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
The more we can bring these law-abiding residents out of the shadows, the better off we will all be. These would be individuals brought here as children who are paying their taxes. This will give them the opportunity to fully contribute to our society, as many immigrants have throughout this nation’s history. Almost all studies of this matter have shown that undocumented workers do not take jobs away from legal residents.
The federal government has final say over immigration in this country, not Colorado. The state cannot waive a wand and make an illegal resident legal. Furthermore, this will encourage more illegal immigrants to come to Colorado and take advantage of the lax law. You don’t stop illegal activity by encouraging it.
HB18-1278: Apprentice Utilization in Public Projects
Requires the contractor for any public project likely to cost $500,000 or more that does not receive federal money to use apprentices for at least 25% of the workforce.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
Apprenticeship is extremely important in the construction industry and can be difficult to break into. The state should be encouraging it with its own large projects to help develop the state’s workforce. It’s a win-win situation.
By definition apprentices are not as skilled as full-blown workers. The state should not have to pay for inferior work, let apprentices continue to develop as they are now: leave it up to the industry to do what it thinks is best.
HB18-1298: Colorado Secure Savings Plan
Creates a board of trustees who are responsible for creating a plan for a state retirement savings account for private-sector employees. The account will function in a similar way to 401k type plans: employees can withhold funds from their paychecks and these will be deposited into an IRA account managed by a private sector company chosen by the state board. Implementation is phased in, by full implementation anyone who employs 5 people must participate unless they already offer a 401k type plan. Any employee can opt-out. Employer contributions are not part of the plan.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
Nearly half of working-age Coloradans lack access to a retirement plan at work. This particularly hits lower-wage workers, where 76% of those in the lowest income quintile have no access. It is therefore no surprise that nearly half the families in the United States have no retirement assets. Experts on retirement agree that the best way to increase retirement savings is to offer a workplace plan and automatically enroll people in it with the option to opt out. This bill only creates the board with a mandate to create a plan. The plan only gets implemented if an analysis proves it will not cost the state any money.
This might actually encourage some employers who currently offer 401k plans to switch to the state plan and therefore get out of having to provide matching amounts to their employees. Also, no matter how much outreach is done, having this be an opt-out rather than opt-in process makes it likely there will be confusion and some people will be in this plan without knowing it. This is particularly true if the board decides to play mother and sets default withholding and investment choices, which is within its power to do.
HB18-1308: Workers' Compensation Out-of-State Workers Temporarily in Colorado
Establishes an exemption to worker’s compensation requirements for out-of-state employers who have employees temporarily working in the state so long as the employees are covered in a state contiguous to Colorado that offers reciprocal exemption for Colorado employees temporarily working out-of-state.
The workers are still covered, which is the goal here, and the burden to business to constantly be shifting around worker’s comp coverage while employees work in and out of state is lifted. It’s a win-win situation.
This forces workers to potentially deal with a different state for their workers’ compensation, if they either need to stay in Colorado or live here and are working temporarily for an out-of-state employer.
HB18-1310: Emergency Employment Support Services Pilot Program DOLA
Creates a pilot program for emergency employment support services to rural and economically disadvantaged counties. Administered by an outside non-profit, this program can reimburse transportation, emergency childcare, emergency housing, job training or education fees, work tools and equipment, food, utility bills, prepaid cell phones, license or certification fees, legal services related to employment, interpretation expenses, and medical expenses that directly pertain to someone’s ability to get or keep employment. To be eligible, individuals must have an income at or below 200% of the poverty line, be at least 16 and eligible to work in the U.S., and be actively pursuing employment or job training with the assistance of a public agency or private nonprofit organization.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
Sometimes people need a hand up to escape from a spiraling situation. They want to work, they are trying to get the training they need to work, but they cannot afford the steps in-between to get the jobs that are available in their area, even including something as basic as having no one to care for a child during an interview. This pilot program uses a small amount of money (less than $1 million) to see if the state can help. This is potentially a money-saving proposition in the long-run: helping people transition into jobs can help get them off government assistance and provide more tax income for the government.
This sets up another system of dependency for those who cannot get their lives together. Why should we expect people to try to pull themselves up out of their situation if we are giving them money because they are in their situation. This bill’s broad definitions of what qualifies as employment support encompasses most of what is need to get by, so as long as someone seems to be looking for a job, they can stay on the government dole.
HB18-1343: Veterans' Service-to-Career Program
Makes the veterans’ service to career pilot program enacted two years ago permanent. Program authorizes nonprofit agencies to partner with work force centers selected by the state to provide veterans with skills training, internships, work placements, mentorship opportunities, career and professional counseling, and support services. Program must be funded through budgetary process, with money coming from marijuana tax fund.
This program has proved to be effective in increasing veterans’ and veterans’ spouses employment. It’s extremely important to be there for those who have put their lives on the line for our country and this bill helps fill some gaps in federal veterans law.
The marijuana fund is not a bottomless pit of money, and continually stacking more and more program funding requirements onto it could lead to trouble in the future. In addition, overall job growth in this country has been pretty good in the past two years, so it may be that the increase in employment we have seen would have occurred without this program.
HB18-1368: Local Control of Minimum Wage
Allows local municipalities to set their own minimum wage, so long as it is not below the state minimum.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
This is just plain common sense. A one size fits all minimum wage for the entire state is silly as it ignores the variance in cost of living and goods and services around the state. Let the city of Denver and the city of Durango make their own choices as to what is best for their residents. The state minimum can then act as a baseline at which no one should go below.
The state’s economy is interconnected and deciding that we are going to allow liberal Denver to experiment with a higher minimum wage is not a choice that will not affect Durango or any other place in the state. If the experiment fails, the resulting economic harm will hurt us all.
HB18-1377: Prohibit Seeking Salary Information Job Applicant
Makes it an unfair labor practice (and thus illegal) for an employer to seek wage or salary history information about an applicant unless the employer notifies the applicant of the wage or salary range for the opening or the applicant agrees to discuss their wage or salary history.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
An enormous part of the wage gap in this country, whereby women earn less than men and minorities earn less than whites for the same work, is centered around employment wage history. Employers obviously want to pay as little as they can get away with and once a woman or a minority (or a minority woman) becomes stuck at a lower wage, it becomes much harder for them to get out. Because each subsequent job wants to know what they were previously paid and will happily continue to lowball them all the way up the chain. A forced choice (work at these level wages or don’t at all) is no choice at all. It is crucial to note that this does not apply to employers who publish the range for the opening: if they have made an up-front decision that this is what they are willing to pay for the work, they are able to ask about prior history to try to determine the place on the scale. It is also important that the applicant can break the seal on the discussion themselves: if they want to negotiate a lower salary in exchange for something else, they are more than welcome to.
This is an extreme intrusion into the marketplace, where what you earn is what someone is willing to pay you for your work. If one person has higher levels of education and experience, it is natural for them to earn more money for a job. If they are seeking a new job, they are free to turn it down if they don’t like the salary offered (or negotiate a better one). No one is forcing them to take the job. They are also free to demand a raise, it’s a free country. The way to higher wages is through work experience, education (including certifications) and hard work. Not through more red tape.
HB18-1378: Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
Authorizes the state division of labor to administer and enforce the law that prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of gender and to issue awards to violated employees and penalties to violating employers. It removes the authority of the director of the division for enforcement and instead permits violated employees to bring civil lawsuits to pursue remedies. Exceptions are allowed if the employer can prove the difference is due to a seniority system, merit system, a quantity or quality of production system, or any other bona fide factor other than gender. Also prohibits retaliation against an employee for asserting their rights under the bill. Employers are required to announce to all employees any advancement opportunities and the pay range.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
Women in Colorado earn $0.83 for every dollar a man does. It’s worse for black women ($0.63) and even worse for Latina women ($0.54). This compounds over a lifetime of work. Equal pay for equal work could cut the poverty rate for working women in half. Pretending that the current system is doing something about this problem is silly, it’s been this way for a long time and is not substantially improving. This bill does two things to attack the problem: first, take the issue out of the hands of one person in state government and give women the opportunity to use the court system as a remedy. It also adds critical language around preventing retaliation to encourage women to come forward. Second, remove the old boys club from in-house promotions so that everyone has the ability to take advantage of them and make sure that the expected salary range is known, to prevent lowering it later if a woman happens to get the job.
This is a bonanza for trial attorneys in the state, who will happily be encouraging women all over to sue their employers anytime they find out that they make less money than a man in the same department. Removing the director’s ability to adjudicate these cases means they have to go to court. Some will undoubtedly have merit, but these can already be adjudicated by the director of the department of labor. Many will be frivolous and will waste the court’s time (and thus our taxpayer money) as well as pad the pockets of attorneys. The promotion notice is just a bunch of pointless hoops to jump through: if an employer wants to reward a particular employee with a promotion, they are going to anyway, this just makes them put on a show.
SB 18-044: Veterans Employment Preference By Private Employer
Allows private employers to adopt a written policy of preference to veterans when hiring, promoting, or retaining employees as long as the veterans are equally qualified.
KILLED IN HOUSE
Veterans have unique skills honed under pressure and make great employees. This law allows employers to have a stated preference for veterans so long as everyone is aware of it and the veteran is equally qualified. Finding veterans jobs post-military is greatly in the public interest and this helps. Codifying into law makes the practice fairer, as it requires employers to transparent about their hiring practices.
This bill codifies a system for preferring veterans where simple in-house thoughts worked fine. Now someone who either isn’t aware of this law or just has an informal preference for veterans is operating contrary to the law.
SB18-171: Marketplace Contractor Workers' Compensation Unemployment
Establishes a test for determining if a marketplace contractor (think Lyft, Uber, and Handy) is considered an employee for workers’ comp and unemployment insurance purposes, mainly that the contractor is allowed to work when they want, with the materials or equipment they want, without supervision or training required, and that the contractor will bear all of his or her own expenses. Also only applies if the contract between the parties explicitly states they are an independent contractor and thus not eligible for unemployment insurance.
KILLED ON HOUSE CALENDAR
It’s important to make sure that employers aren’t abusing the independent contracting process by having a “contractor” who is basically an employee except when they get hurt on a job. It is also important to clarify how these "gig" economy jobs relate to these employment benefits. If a person is working for multiple companies at once, how can we say that any one of them are responsible for things like worker's comp or unemployment insurance? Who pays for a driver who does both Lyft and Uber?
This puts a large hole in our social safety net. People working in these marketplace systems will have no unemployment insurance and no worker's compensation. The bill makes no provision to replace what is admittedly a confusing situation with some other form of protection. It also does not address the problem of getting people working in the gig economy basic benefits like health insurance. This is overly restrictive and will prevent some employers from making sure that work done by their contractors is up to the standard they require, whether it is the materials used or the training of the individual. It also may hurt individuals who are contractors but are not responsible for their own expenses.
SB18-175: Prohibit Paid Union Activity by Public Employees
Prohibits public employee unions from paying any of its members for any union activity. Voids any collectively bargained agreements that include compensation of public employees for union activity.
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
In some cases public employees have become nearly full-time union leaders, enjoying publicly paid salaries and benefits while not spending much of any time at all actually working for the public’s benefit. All this bill does is make sure that we are spending public dollars on workers, they are actually working. Workers are still free to engage in union activities on their own time.
This is a blatant attempt to destroy the effectiveness of public unions, the only kind of unions lawmakers can impose these sort of rules upon, right out of the ALEC (national conservative lobbying group) national playbook (pretty much word for word). The idea here is to target union leadership, to make it weaker and more ineffective, by taking away a collectively bargained agreement. This is the critical point, the employer has agreed to allow these payments and the government is stepping in and disallowing it. Collectively bargained benefits help all workers, by raising the bar for wages and benefits.
SB18-193: Limit State Agency Occupational Regulations
Prohibits state agencies from imposing a licensing requirement in order to engage in a profession unless the agency can show the requirement is demonstrably necessary and narrowly tailored to address a specific, legitimate public health, safety, or welfare objective. Also requires every agency to review existing licenses and determine if it should be repealed or amended. Allows anyone to file a petition with an agency requesting an existing license be repealed or amended and allows anyone to file a civil suit requesting a court enjoin a license.
KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE
The freedom to earn an honest living provides the surest means to achieve upward economic mobility. While some occupations do require some sort of licensing for ensuring the public good, there are some that really don’t, but have them anyway. This acts as a barrier to entry into the profession and reduces market competition. Sometimes these regulations are brought into being by the industries themselves, in order to throw up these protective barriers to competition through license limitation, overly onerous requirements, or extremely broad interpretations of what it means to be in a particular “business”. This bill makes sure that we do the minimum regulation required for public safety and open up occupations that do not require them.
The bill goes much further than simple safety issues. It requires heavy utilization of third-party or consumer-created ratings and reviews, private certification, voluntary insurance, and lack of inspections, enforcement provisions granting private civil cases under consumer protection or deceptive practice acts, or mandatory disclosures of attributes of good or service. Now, the proponents would say that these would only apply if necessary, so if it is necessary for inspections or licenses or mandatory disclosures to apply, then they will. But the bill also makes it open season in court on any regulation. The intent is clear: to hack away regulations anywhere and everywhere. If there are individual fields that are being unfairly regulated, like the oft-cited taxi or cosmetology fields, then by all means bring a remedy for that field.
SB18-200: Modifications to PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association to Eliminate Unfunded Liability
FINAL COMPROMISE VERSION DIFFERENCES
401k option for non-teacher state employees. Permanent cost of living adjustment at 1.5% after two year freeze. Retirement age increased to 64.
THIS DESCRIBES THE SENATE VERSION
Makes multiple significant alterations to the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement Trust Association (PERA), which currently has an underfunded liability of $32 to $50 billion and has just 58% of the assets needed to pay off what it owes in the future. About 1 in 10 Coloradans are members of the pension, which replaces social security for state workers, public school teachers, the judicial branch, and some local government employees.
Increases employee contributions over the course of four years by 2% (this is withheld from paycheck). Increases employer contributions over the course of two years by 2%. Creates a system where these rates can be automatically increased in the future if the fund moves off-target of paying off liability within 30 years. Increases the retirement age for anyone under 46 to 65 with five years’ worth of service, or 40 years’ worth of service, except for state troopers who need 35 years, to be 55 with 25 years, or 65 with 5. Decreases the cost of living adjustment to benefits from 2% to 0% for two years, then permanently at 1.25%, with the ability to automatically adjust it down if the fund moves off-target (same as contributions). Allows members to opt out of this plan and into a 401(k) type plan, with employers having to make additional contributions to PERA to off-set the losses from the member opt-out. Repeals the police officers’ and firefighters’ pension reform commission. Creates a legislative oversight committee, with 14 members: 10 legislators and 4 experts.
HOUSE VERSION DIFFERENCES
Eliminates the 401(k) type option entirely. Changes retirement age to 60, not 65. Changes calculation for benefits from 7 years of highest average salary to 5 years. Eliminates employee contribution increase.
Pros (for Senate version)
The liability is real and it is massive. The only way out is real sacrifice by everyone involved, not picking one side and dumping all of the burden onto it. This bill shares the pain among the state (employers) and its employees, by balancing funding increases with cost of living increases and increasing the retirement age. It also importantly puts automatic provisions into the bill to prevent us from being in this same position in 15 years. It also crucially contains automatic provisions to go in the opposite direction if the plan gets overfunded, with cost of living increases and contribution decreases. The 401(k) option gives more flexibility to workers to choose their own retirement path.
Cons (for Senate Version)
This addresses the liability on the backs of workers, who will not get the benefits they were promised. Good luck keeping up with skyrocketing housing and healthcare costs on the large reduction to cost of living plus the extra 2% coming out of your paycheck every month. The solution needs to come out of state money from all residents of the state who benefit greatly from our state employees.
The 401(k) option could be a disaster in the making. All previous attempts at proposing a system like this have died because it INCREASES the total liability of the program, the exact opposite aim of this bill. This is because, like Social Security, state employees are not paying for their own retirement but for their elders. So when they opt-out, there isn’t money flowing in there that is supposed to be. Increasing the state’s contribution does not help offset the entire amount lost.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE
We need to face some hard realities that this bill doesn’t own up to. The entire state of Colorado does not need to be hit with the burdens of a bloated retirement scheme like PERA. The additional money coming out the state budget is in a real way our money that is being spent on state workers’ retirement rather than schools and roads.
SB18-264: Prohibit Public School Teacher Strikes
Prohibits public school teachers and organizations from striking. Allows school districts to seek court injunctions against strikes or potential strikes and failure to comply with the court order is punishable by fines and or up to six months in jail. In addition, the school must terminate the teacher immediately with a hearing. Any organization found in contempt will have all of its collective bargaining agreements rendered null and void and cannot represent public school teachers or collect dues for one year.
KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
Colorado is one of only 11 states that does not prohibit public school teachers’ strikes. Other states have recognized that teaching our children falls under the essential services like firefighters or police and thus cannot be permitted to fail to do their jobs. You must have some sort of punishment mechanism or the law will not work.
This is an assault on teachers and a pretty terrible way to deal with what every legislator has widely acknowledged as a teaching shortage crisis in the state. Lock up teachers in jail for striking? Void previously bargained agreements? This is recipe for destroying our public education system in Colorado. As for strikes themselves, do our children suffer terrible damage from snow days? Teacher work days? Holidays? Parents taking them out of school for family vacations? A few days of missed school isn’t going to make or break anyone’s education.