More than 100 county commissioners in Colorado signed a letter opposing any legislative efforts “mandating” collective bargaining for local government employees.
The letter, signed by commissioners representing 38 counties across the state, said such legislation would impose a “significant, unfunded mandate” on state taxpayers.
The county officials said in the letter they don’t oppose collective bargaining “as a policy” and noted they believe it should be left up to employers and employees to decide.
“Any such proposed legislation will cause irreparable harm to Colorado taxpayers,” Weld County Chair Scott James, who helped draft the letter, said in a statement. “Such a shift in policy is short-sighted and unwarranted. It is a solution no one asked for to a problem that doesn’t exist.”
The letter was sent to legislative leadership in the General Assembly, including House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and newly-elected Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, as well as Minority Leaders Rep. Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, and Sen. Chris Holbert, R-Parker.
The Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Municipal League, and the Special District Association also oppose any such proposals.
A bill granting collective bargaining rights to local government employees has not yet been introduced this legislative session, but Democratic leaders say they are in negotiations, according to an op-ed penned by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo.
Fenberg and Esgar previously described collective bargaining as a “basic right” in an interview with Colorado Public Radio in December. They added that not adopting collective bargaining could cause many highly skilled workers to leave the state.
Gov. Jared Polis signed a law in 2020 that allowed state employees to collectively bargain.
This article was originally posted on County officials pen letter opposing collective bargaining mandates for local government employees