Colorado plans to raise minimum wage for direct care workers to $15/hour

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DENVER – Governor Jared Polis, Colorado WINS, members of the legislature and members of SEIU celebrated the signing of the first-ever partnership agreement between Colorado WINS and the state and the recently-approved plan to raise the minimum wage for Colorado’s direct care workers to $15 an hour.

“This agreement to raise the state minimum wage to $15/hour will help Colorado attract talented individuals to get the work done. I’m thrilled about this historic agreement which will ensure that Colorado continues to be a workplace where employees can help serve our state and thrive,” said Governor Polis.

State Rep. Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo), the House sponsor of the legislation that kicked off negotiations between WINS and the State, said, “This agreement honors the work of the tens of thousands of hardworking women and men who make Colorado the great place that it is, and will help ensure the people who work for Colorado can thrive. I thank Colorado WINS, Governor Polis, and the State for reaching this unprecedented agreement.”

“We have long been underpaid, undervalued, and overlooked,” said Charmayne Phillips, a Colorado home care provider for the last 25 years. “After years of organizing and making our voices heard, in the streets and at our jobs, and in the halls of government, Colorado has taken a step forward, to start to right that wrong. $15 is a good step. It will mean a lot of underpaid workers will finally see a raise. Now, we must keep up the fight until every worker in our state has the respect, seat at the table, and fair pay we deserve.”

A consensus agreement was signed today with COWINS that ensures employees receive fair compensation for the services they provide, designed to ensure that the State and employees, through chosen representatives, work together to offer Coloradans the best services.

Covered employees include those that are in the State personnel system who are also known as classified employees. Exceptions include confidential employees, managerial employees, executive employees, administrative law judges, hearing officers, state troopers, employees in the legislative branch and temporary employees.

Since January 2021, the State and Colorado WINS have been negotiating in good faith on a Partnership Agreement that outlines wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment on behalf of all covered employees.

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