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September 14, 2007 07:22 PM UTC

Ritter's Plan to Partner with State Workers

  • by: Steve Balboni

The Denver Post has an article today on the Governor’s efforts to “partner” with state workers.

The governor, under attack by Republicans accusing him of conspiring with unions behind their backs, said he is searching for a “21st-century way” to engage state workers instead of the “archaic,” duke-it-out method of collective bargaining.

“This is a new day,” Ritter said in an interview. “This issue about employee partnerships has been and is a part of my vision for making government work better.”

The governor said he wants to engage state snowplow drivers, road crews, public-college employees and others “in a discussion about how state government should work.”

Republicans are hammering the governor for attempting to give state workers the power to collectively bargain for wages, but Ritter said traditional “collective bargaining” isn’t in his plans.

An organized partnership with state employees, he said, would not focus solely on salary and benefit issues but allow workers a chance to give input on how to better run state agencies.

This management-employee partnership model is straight out of the SEIU’s playbook. It really is the 21st century model for labor unions. Less acrimony, more discussion about how to improve productivity rather than just battling it out over wages and benefits. A business that runs efficiently and effectively benefits managment and employees. State government can, and should, operate the same way with management and workers partnering.

If the Republican’s can tone down the rhetoric (I’m looking at you Senator Mitchell) for a bit and actually listen to what is being discussed the entire state will benefit. Of course I don’t expect that to actually happen. Unfortunately the Colorado GOP is more concerned about politics than good policy.

UPDATE: Progress Now chimes in

Ritter is working hard to elevate state employees, giving them a real stake in their futures and the operations of the government. And he’s trying to do so in a way that shows labor to be a partner, not an adversary.


18 thoughts on “Ritter’s Plan to Partner with State Workers

  1. Wouldn’t it be great for Colorado to actually lead the way in a new style of doing labor relations where everyone can benefit–taxpayers by getting higher quality services; state workers by having a real voice and respect for their work they rather than being trashed for decisions they have no say in; and elected officials for being able to show that state services can be more reliable and accountable without having to try to drive down pay and benefits of the people who are responsible for plowing our roads; guarding our prisons; taking care of our veterans; and making our government run.

    1. This state is going to be an expensive and unpleasant place to live and do business.

      “Employee partnership” my azz.

      Such a phony theme will be exploited by opponents until Ritter’s cows come home.

      Yeah, like both ways Bob, he grew up on a farm, and it probably had cows.

      And now he’s cowering before the unions, trying to enrich their leaders with more dues from unhappy workers.

      Do the Repubs have a campaign issue, or what. The won’t have to talk about anything else.

      1. for you to come up with the line about “growing up with cows, now he cowers before the unions?”

        More proof that AS wants to be a screed-writing columnist. But the competition is stiff and they can write better than that.

      2. do you notice the similarity between 2nd choice Ritter and our former worthless “Governor Gloom and Doom”?
        Dicky Lamm and Ritter are almost one and the same.
        Not so much in the “give the union bosses everything they demand” but in the way he is trying to steer this state.

        I said it before, there will be a tax orgy, just give him a few more months. If it isn’t in the form of “socialized health insurance”, it will be to unionize every single job in the state so nobody will ever want to set up shop here.
        What a guy.

          1. My money says that with an all Dimocrat state government now in place, it will soon be deleted completely. There will be another “the sky is falling and dead babies are everywhere” scare tactic bill brought up when it is time to re-instate TABOR. Just like when we were sold out by our Supposedly Republican Governor on Ref C.

            1. Ref C only temporarily suspends the revenue-collecting and spending constraints of TABOR. Tax increases must still be voted on by the people.

              You lack even a basic command of the facts Gecko.

              1. I am not as stupid as you think.
                I know tax increases must be voted on. Where did I say otherwise?
                You need to read a little more carefully before you look down your nose at me……….

                1. I stated that because of TABOR the threat of spiraling wages for state workers is nothing more than fear-mongering. Your response was,

                  Uh, TABOR was put “on hold”

                  I pointed out that only part of TABOR was put on hold and that tax increases must still be voted on. If you knew that tax increases must still be voted on your response wouldn’t be to invoke Ref C.

                  Good try though.

            2. would have to vote TABOR out of the constitution for it to be “deleted,” and supposing that they try to keep Ref C in place they would still have to send that to a vote of the people – IIRC that would be in 3 years.

              The people aren’t stupid, Gecko. They won’t keep Ref C in place if it’s not needed.

              1. only like 51% of the people would be needed. Something that can very well happen. That is exactly what got that fucked up Ref C to pass in the first place. All that needs to take place is more scare tactics being pushed by the teachers unions, colleges, our liberal governor, etc.

                So saying “the entire state would have to vote for it” is not true.
                I can forsee the dead babies in the street group coming out in full force as soon as their precious Ref C time out is winding down.
                You really think they are going to want to give our tax monies back? No way.
                Once a glutton, always a glutton…….
                Libs=  oink oink

                1. was that it be voted on by everyone, not that it would take a unanimous vote.

                  That said, your contempt of your fellow voters is surprising, even from someone as stubborn as you. TABOR passed because – well, who knows, we’d had a GOP majority in both houses since before I was born so I don’t imagine taxes were being raised willy nilly. But the state budget was handcuffed and the majority of voters recognized that.

                  Even if you can’t see that, you should still relax because no one’s going to put anything up for a vote for three years.  And if they do and it passes, well, sometimes it sucks to be in the minority.

      3. The Democratic party is diverse, so labor is just one important part of their diverse platform. The Republican party on the hand has been bought and sold by big money for many years now. This state is already expensive to live in, but it will become a better place as democratic principles extend to the workplace. Gov. Ritter will win another term by standing for the common interest and standing up to the  authoritarian Republican party. 

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