The Polis government and the union that represents Colorado state employees agreed on a 5% pay rise in 2023, the governor’s office said Thursday.
The salary increase, if funded, will come into effect on July 1, 2023.
Employees will also receive a 3% wage increase beginning July 2024, according to the contract signed by Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado WINS.
The agreement also raises the minimum wage to $15.75 an hour.
Polis and Colorado WINS unveiled the agreement — an update to the original deal signed last year — less than two weeks after the governor successfully defended his seat in the Nov. 8 election and Democrats secured their party lead in the House and Senate had improved.
“This agreement will help us fill vacancies across the state, support our hard-working state employees and is the latest in a series of actions we are taking to provide even better and more efficient services to the people of Colorado,” Polis said in a press release . “This agreement helps the state recruit and retain talented people and fill key state positions including correctional officers. We take pride in our work to improve efficiency and deliver value.”
Funding for the pay rise is included in Poli’s budget proposal to the Legislature, the governor’s office said.
Colorado WINS executive director Hilary Glasgow said understaffing and high turnover rates have put government employees, particularly those in health and safety, and communities at risk.
“This new agreement with the state provides important tools to attract and retain employees in key positions in our state,” said Glasgow.
The agreement also includes the introduction of a “step wage system” to help Colorado workers earn competitive wages throughout their careers.
“As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we must ensure pay increases are implemented fairly across all government agencies. I look forward to realizing that commitment by introducing step increases that will eliminate bias and improve our ability to attract and retain key employees,” said Skip Miller, President of Colorado WINS.
The agreement was endorsed by key members of the Joint Budget Committee, the body responsible for shaping next year’s state budget.
“Our state employees make our state work effective and efficient and are the key to our success. Directing resources to meet urgent needs and ensure Colorado residents receive the services they need is a top priority, and I am pleased to see this agreement moving forward,” said Rep. Shannon Bird, D-Westminster, in a press release.
Emily Sirota, D-Denver, added, “To continue to move forward as a state, we must be able to attract new workers and ensure that all state employees have a well-paying job that allows them to thrive and make a living.” This agreement is a big step in ensuring Coloradans get the services they deserve and more opportunities for government employees.”