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Bill Detail: HB20-1153

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Title Colorado Partnership For Quality Jobs And Services Act
Status Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole (03/13/2020)
Bill Subjects
  • State Government
House Sponsors D. Esgar (D)
Senate Sponsors L. Garcia (D)
B. Pettersen (D)
House Committee State, Veterans, and Military Affairs
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 01/17/2020
Description

The bill creates the Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and
Services Act to facilitate the creation of formal labor-management
partnership agreements between state employees in the state personnel

system and the executive branch of state government. The bill specifies
that certain employees in the state personnel system, due to the nature and
responsibilities of their jobs, are not able to participate in partnership
agreements. State employees who are allowed to participate in partnership
agreements are designated covered employees.
Partnership units: The bill specifies that there is one partnership
unit in the state that consists of all covered employees. Any partnership
units established pursuant to the existing Colorado executive order that
authorizes partnership agreements (executive order) will be merged into
the single partnership unit created in the bill. Covered employees in a
partnership unit that was created by the executive order and that are
represented by an employee organization that the partnership unit chose
to exclusively represent it (certified employee organization), will continue
to be represented by the existing certified employee organization.
Certified employee organizations: An employee organization
that wants to represent an unrepresented partnership unit may file a
petition with the division of labor standards and statistics (division) in the
department of labor and employment requesting that it hold an election
to determine whether covered employees want to be represented by an
employee organization (representation election). An employee
organization requesting a representation election is required to submit a
petition to the division signed by at least 30% of the covered employees
in the partnership unit. The division is required to certify as the certified
employee organization, the employee organization that receives the
majority of votes cast by the covered employees.
The bill specifies circumstances under which the division is not
allowed to hold a representation election. The bill also specifies that a
covered employee or an employee organization may initiate a process to
decertify a certified employee organization for a partnership unit.
Rights of covered employees and certified employee
organizations: A covered employee has the right to work with an
employee organization and communicate with other covered employees
to form a partnership agreement or to discuss other work-related issues.
A covered employee has the right to refrain from any activities in
connection with employee organizations and the partnership process. A
covered employee may also opt not to have the state provide certain
personal information to a certified employee organization.
Certified employee organizations have the right to reasonable
access to covered employees at work, through e-mail, and through other
forms of communication.
Duties of the certified employee organization: A certified
employee organization is required to represent the interests of all covered
employees, regardless of membership in the employee organization, in the
negotiation of a partnership agreement. A certified employee organization
is not required to represent covered employees in certain personnel
actions. In addition, a certified employee organization is prohibited from
threatening, facilitating, supporting, or causing a strike, work stoppage,
work slowdown, group sickout, or any other action that would disrupt the
daily functioning of the state or any of its agencies or departments. An
employee who engages in such activities may be subject to disciplinary
action.
Executive and management rights: The bill specifies that
nothing contained in the employee partnership process impairs the ability
of the state to determine, carry out, and administer specified existing
duties and rights of the state.
Duties of the state: The bill specifies that the state is required to:
  • Make payroll deductions for membership dues and other
payments that covered employees authorize to be made to
the certified employee organization;
  • Provide specified information about every covered
employee to a certified employee organization on a
monthly basis;
  • Allow a certified employee organization to meet with a
newly hired covered employee;
  • Allow a certified employee organization to attend
orientations for new covered employees;
  • After the state and the certified employee organization
reach a partnership agreement, submit a request to the
general assembly for sufficient appropriations to implement
terms of the partnership agreement requiring the
expenditure of money; and
  • Engage in good faith in all aspects of the partnership
process.
The bill specifies that not engaging in such duties constitutes an unfair
labor practice that can be subject to review by the division.
Partnership agreements: A certified employee organization and
the state are required to discuss and cooperatively draft mutually agreed
upon written partnership agreements, which are binding on the state, the
certified employee organization, and covered employees. The parties are
required to bargain over wages, hours, and terms and conditions of
employment. All other subjects are permissive and may be addressed by
mutual agreement.
A partnership agreement is required to provide a grievance
procedure to resolve disputes over the interpretation, application, and
enforcement of any provision of the partnership agreement. Meetings held
to negotiate a partnership agreement and grievance and arbitration
proceedings are not open meetings as defined in law. In addition, records
prepared or exchanged prior to submission of a final partnership
agreement are not subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.
Dispute resolution: If disputes arise during the formation of a
partnership agreement, the certified employee organization and the state
are required to engage in the dispute resolution process established by the
bill or in a mutually agreed upon alternate procedure. The bill specifies
how mediators will be selected. If the parties do not reach an agreement
on outstanding issues within 30 days of commencing mediation, the
mediator is required to issue a recommendation on all of the outstanding
issues. Either party may make the mediator's recommendation public.
Any controversy concerning unfair labor practices of the state or
a certified employee organization may be submitted to the division for
review.
Judicial review: The state or the certified employee organization
may seek judicial review of decisions or orders on representation or
decertification petitions, unfair labor practice charges, rules or regulations
issued by the division, or an arbitrator's decision.
The bill makes the following changes to the state personnel
system:
  • Eliminates the account dedicated to each department in the
state employee reserve fund and requires that the money in
the fund be used to provide merit pay to employees in a
manner consistent with current law;
  • Repeals the limit on the number of senior executive service
employees in the state; and
  • When considering a disciplinary action against an
employee in the state personnel system for engaging in or
threatening violent behavior against another person while
on duty, requires the appointing authority to give
predominant weight to the safety of the other person over
the interests of the employee. If the appointing authority
finds that the employee has engaged in or threatened
violent behavior, the appointing authority is authorized to
take disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the
appointing authority.
In addition, the bill modifies the Colorado Open Records Act to
specify that records created in compliance with the requirements of a
partnership agreement and documents created in connection with the
dispute resolution process for a partnership agreement are not public
records.

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