Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs & Services Act

Logos: Colorado WINS and State of Colorado

On June 16, 2020, the Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Service Act (the Act) was enacted.

The Act requires WINS to represent all covered employees. Generally, covered employees are employees in the state personnel system, also known as classified employees. There are exceptions, though, including confidential employees, managerial employees, executive employees, administrative law judges, hearing officers, state troopers, employees in the legislative branch, and temporary employees.

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been developed to assist employees with questions they may have pertaining to the Act.

Last Updated: May 2021

 

Q: When was Colorado WINS selected as the union?

A: In November 2007, Governor Ritter signed Executive Order D 028 07 "Authorizing Partnership Agreements with State Employees." Shortly thereafter, elections of eligible state employees were held across the state. Separate elections were in each of the following units: Administrative Support and Related Services, Enforcement & Protective Services, Health Care Services, Labor, Trades & Crafts, Physical Sciences & Engineering, Financial Services, and Professional Services. In June 2008, more than 50% of the eligible employees who voted in each unit selected to be represented by WINS. Under the Act, WINS is the certified employee organization/union representing all covered employees.

Q: How does an employee contact WINS?

A: WINS can be reached at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547.

Q: What does "WINS" stand for?

A: WINS stands for Workers for Innovative and New Solutions.

Q. How can employees find out more information on WINS?

A: Employees can find out more information on WINS and their history by visiting their website at coloradowins.org

Q: What employees does WINS represent?

A: WINS represents covered employees regardless of whether or not they are a dues paying member of WINS. Statute dictates that covered employees are employees in the state personnel system, also known as classified employees, with the following exceptions:

  1. Confidential Employee: A person who is required to develop or present management positions with respect to employer-employee relations or whose duties normally require access to confidential information contributing significantly to the development of such management positions.

  2. Managerial Employee: Any employee having significant responsibilities for formulating agency or departmental policies and programs or administering an agency or department.

  3. Executive Employee: Any employee (a) whose primary duty is management of the entity in which the employee is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof; (b) who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees; and (c) who has the authority to hire of fire other employees whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.

  4. State Personnel Director and employees of the Director working to implement the Act.

  5. Director and employees of the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics within the Department of Labor and Employment working to implement the Act.

  6. Governor's Designee: the person or people the Governor designates, in writing, as the individual or individuals who will represent the state in the exercise of the state's responsibilities under the Act.

  7. Administrative Law Judges, and Hearing Officers.

  8. State Troopers.

  9. Employees of the Legislative Branch.

  10. Temporary Employees as defined in Colorado Revised Statute Section 24-50-114.

Note that non-classified employees are not covered employees.

Q: Does the entity the employee works for affect their covered status?

A: No. A classified employee is a covered employee, except as described above, regardless of for whom they work or where they work in state government. For example, classified employees within the Community College System, Attorney General's Office, Secretary of State, and independent institutions of higher education are covered employees unless they are specifically exempted.

Q: Who determines who is a covered employee?

A: The State Personnel Director has authority to determine if a classified employee is covered under the Act. If you have a question about whether an employee is covered, please contact DHR's Labor Relations team at DPA_LaborRelations@state.co.us. Appeals of the State Personnel Director's determination can be made to the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics within the Department of Labor and Employment. Note that the State Personnel Board has authority to determine who is a classified employee.

Q: How does an employee become a member of WINS?

A: Employees can contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 for information on becoming a member.

Q: Can employees become a member of WINS while still on probation?

A: Yes, employees are able to join as a member of WINS while on probation. Employees can contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 for further information.

Q: Must a covered employee be a member of WINS?

A: No. While WINS represents all covered employees in collective bargaining in the formation and implementation of a partnership agreement, employees are not required to be dues paying members. Covered employees have the right to join and assist WINS as well as the right not to engage in these activities without interference, restraint, or coercion by the State or WINS.

Q: What is required of an employee to be a member of WINS?

A: Employees can contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 for information on the requirements of being a member.

Q: How are membership dues paid?

A: WINS membership dues are paid through payroll deductions. When an employee decides to become a member of WINS, the employee will provide WINS with an authorization for a payroll deduction. Authorizations for payroll deductions can include electronic authorizations, including voice authorizations, that meet the requirements of an electronic signature. By the 10th of each month, WINS will provide each agency with a list of all covered employees from whom payroll deductions should be made and the corresponding amount, and from whom payroll deductions should cease. Agency payroll staff will process the list provided prior to payroll processing for the next payroll.

Q: How much are membership dues?

A: Employees should contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 for information regarding membership dues.

Q: Are employee membership dues used for political purposes?

A: Employees should contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 for information regarding membership dues.

Q: If an employee no longer wants to be a member of WINS, what is the process?

A: The terms of the membership are between WINS and the employee, and as such an employee should contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 if they no longer want to be a member or to cancel their authorization for membership dues through payroll deductions and other payments. WINS is responsible for processing these requests in accordance with the terms of the authorization and sharing that information by the 10th of each month with each agency. The State must be neutral with regard to an employee's membership in WINS or any other employee organization.

Q: How do I opt in or opt out of the state sharing any personal information with WINS?

A: Classified cover employees may opt in or opt out of their personal information being shared with WINS through the Employee Self Service (ESS) website. Navigate to the left side of the page, click on "Personal" then click "Authorization" to share personal information with WINS. Once at the authorization page, employees will be prompted to make a selection. After selecting an option, click "Submit". Non-classified and other non-covered employees will not have any information shared with WINS and, as such, there is no need to opt in or opt out. Employees in Institutions of Higher Education or other employees that may not have access to ESS may use the web-based form to opt in or opt out of their personal information being shared with WINS. 

Q: How will the Act affect the relationship between covered employees and management?

A: The Act is designed to ensure that state management and state employees, through their chosen representatives, "jointly work to promote cooperative relationships with the shared goal of providing the best possible services to the taxpayers and residents of the state." Nothing in the Act prevents the state from convening, or engaging in discussions with any state employee or group of state employees to: (a) exercise any right or responsibility reserved to an appointing authority; (b) determine and carry out any mission, initiative, task force, agenda, policy, or program; (c) establish and oversee budget, finances, and accounting; (f) determine utilization of technology; (g) negotiate with, procure, and administer contracts; (h) make, amend and enforce, or revoke reasonable personal conduct rules; or (i) take any actions necessary to carry out any government function during an emergency.

Additionally, the state may respond to questions from a covered employee pertaining to the covered employee's employment or any matter, provided that such response is neutral toward participation, selection, and membership in an employee organization.

Finally, the state and WINS will negotiate a partnership agreement regarding wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment. As such, conversations pertaining to these items will include WINS representatives.

Please note: COWINS and the State are negotiating a Partnership Agreement (“Agreement”), which we expect will be signed in Fall 2021. Further information about this topic may be included in that Agreement, and the answers to these FAQs may be adjusted to reflect negotiations or agreements about these topics.

Q:  May an employee talk about COWINS or union matters during the workday?

A: The Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act (“Act”) ensures that State employees covered by the Act (“covered employees”) are permitted to talk about COWINS or union-related issues just as allowed with other personal or non-work related matters. However, the State’s expectation is that working time is for employees to carry out their work duties for the benefit of the people of the State, and for that reason, personal and non-work related discussions during working time (no matter the subject) should be limited and occasional, and should never interfere with any work or any employee’s duties. “Working time” includes all times when an employee is assigned to perform or actually performing their job duties. “Working time” does not include time before or after work or time during duty-free breaks. 

Different rules apply to non-covered employees, who must ensure all communications with covered employees about COWINS or union-related matters are neutral. Non-covered employees must not take any action or make any statement in favor of or in opposition to union matters.

Q:  When can an employee talk to COWINS representatives during the workday?

A: Covered employees are permitted to talk with COWINS employees before and after work, and during duty-free breaks. 

Covered employees are also permitted to confer with COWINS employees on employment matters during working time as long as it does not interfere with their job duties and the employee has received prior consent from their supervisor. These conferences should take place during a time that is least disruptive to the workday.  Supervisors should not unreasonably withhold consent for that conference.  

COWINS employees visiting State facilities must follow the policies and practices regarding how members of the public may visit that facility. 

Q:  May employees use their work emails to send COWINS information?

A: Covered employees are permitted to communicate with one another and with COWINS about COWINS and workplace issues using work email. Generally, covered employees can send and receive such emails before and after work, during duty-free breaks, and occasionally during work time. However, the State’s expectation is that working time is for employees to carry out their work duties for the benefit of the people of the State, and for that reason personal and non-duty related emails during working time (no matter the subject) should be limited and occasional, and should never interfere with any work or any employees’ duties. Covered employees must also follow applicable policies regarding the proper and secure use of State email systems. 

Non-covered employees must remain neutral about employees’ participation, selection, and membership in COWINS, and may not use their work email to talk about COWINS or other union matters in order to encourage or discourage participation in COWINS, or in a way that could be viewed as being non-neutral.

Q:  May an employee distribute or post COWINS literature?

A:  Covered employees are permitted to distribute COWINS literature at work during non-work time. Additionally, covered employees and COWINS employees may post COWINS literature on bulletin boards, subject to reasonable restrictions which would apply to other non-work related items.  

Q:  May an employee wear a pro- or anti-COWINS button or hat in the workplace?

A:  In general, covered employees may wear pro- or anti-COWINS clothing so long as it complies with the dress code of your department, office or institution. If an employee is able to wear a hat for their favorite sports team, for example, they may wear items that show support for COWINS. However, a covered employee may be asked to remove an item if it poses a safety hazard due to the nature of the employee’s work. 

Non-covered employees may not wear pro- or anti-COWINS clothing in the workplace because non-covered employees must remain neutral about union involvement.

Q: What rights will the state continue to have regarding operations?

A: The Act preserves "management rights". Specifically, the Act recognizes the ability of the state to: (a) exercise any right or responsibility reserved to an appointing authority, the director, or the state personnel board pursuant to the state personnel system and rules or procedures of either the state personnel board or the director; (b) determine and carry out any mission, initiative, task force, agenda, policy, or program of any department, division office, or other subdivision of the state; (c) establish and oversee budget, finances, and accounting; (d) determine utilization of technology; (e) negotiate with, procure and administer contracts the state has the lawful authority to enter; (f) make, amend and enforce, or revoke reasonable personal conduct rules; or (g) take such actions as may be necessary to carry out any government function during an emergency.

Additionally, nothing in the Act prevents the state from convening or engaging in discussions with any state employee or group of state employees to accomplish any of the matters listed above.

Q: Will WINS be given personal contact information on covered employees?

A: The state is obligated to provide WINS with home address, personal and mobile phone numbers, and personal email address for each covered employee so that WINS is able to carry out its obligations under the Act to represent covered employees. The law also provides a process by which covered employees can direct the state to not provide this information to WINS. The Act requires WINS to treat the information as confidential and may not release the information to any third party except for the purpose of carrying out the certified employee organization's duties under the Act.

Within 60 days from the effective date of the Act, DPA will communicate to existing covered employees their ability to direct the State to not provide personal contact information to WINS. Employees will need to complete a web form by August 15 to direct the state not to provide this information.

New employees will be given notice within 30 days of their start date of the option to direct the state not to provide personal contact information to WINS.

Q: Will WINS be given covered employees' state contact information?

A: State employee contact information is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) with few exceptions. Further, DPA is required to provide WINS with information in the statewide systems of record pertaining to covered employees including employee name, employee identification number, department, job class, job title, work telephone number, work email address, work location, salary, and date of hire.

Q: Is WINS allowed to call employees or visit them at their personal residence?

A: Employees should contact WINS at info@cowins.org or (720) 614-1547 to discuss their communications with employees.

Q: Is the union allowed to talk to employees while they are at work?

A: WINS shall have reasonable access, to be determined through the partnership agreement process, to covered employees at work, through electronic communication and other means. New employees and union members/representatives can talk for 30 minutes on work time for new hires during new hire orientation or scheduled new employee training time. Employees can also talk during lunch periods, breaks, and before and after work. Covered employees have the right to communicate with one another and with employee organization representatives concerning organization, representation, workplace issues, the partnership process, and the business and programs of certified employee organizations by means of email systems, texts, other electronic communications, telephone, paper documents, and other means of communication subject to reasonable restrictions.

Opt-Out / Opt-In Form

The following form is a secondary method for employees to opt-out or opt back in for having personal contact information shared with WINs, in case you do not have access to ESS.

WINS Opt-Out / Opt-In Form

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