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Collective Bargaining for Counties Bill Speeds Ahead

(Denver, CO) -- Four days. That's the time it took for Senate bill 22-230 to make it to its third reading once it was introduced. See for yourself:

The bill is feared by many county commissioners as an unfunded mandate. The text of the bill on the Colorado General Assembly's website reads as follows:

Beginning January 1, 2023, the bill grants the public employees of a county the right to:

  • Organize, form, join, or assist an employee organization or refrain from doing so;

  • Engage in collective bargaining;

  • Engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection;

  • Communicate with other county employees and with employee organization representatives and receive and distribute literature regarding employee organization issues; and

  • Have an exclusive representative at formal discussions concerning a grievance, a personnel policy or practice, or any other condition of employment.

Otero, Bent, Baca, Crowley, Kiowa and Prowers have all signed a letter opposing the bill.

Otero County Administrator Amy White Tanabe spoke in a public meeting on the matter telling the crowd at the county commissioner meeting that workers already have the power to collective bargain if they wish. She said this would be a mandate from the state that could hurt small counties and communities like Otero county. It's estimated to be a cost that the county says they fear they would have to pass along to residents as services could be cut.

The bill is scheduled for a third and final reading in the Senate Monday May 2 at 10AM. The bill isn't a law until it makes it all the way through the House and then it must get a signatures from Governor Jared Polis.

Anyone may listen in to Senate Floor work or watch on the Colorado Channel. Here is the link to the scheduled bills set for readings and action on Monday, May 2.


~Anne Boswell,

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