Boulder County Workers Use New Legislation to Unionize

Originally published by Labor Today

BOULDER, CO—Boulder County employees have filed for union recognition following a 2023 bill that now allows public employees meeting certain parameters to unionize. The workers are forming The Boulder County Employees Union (BCEU) in order to address retention issues, cost of living adjustments (COLA), as well as making work more equitable for direct service and bilingual staff.

We are a group of Boulder County employees who are forming a union to have a strong and positive voice at work. Like you, we work to provide crucial services to the residents of Boulder County. We are proud to work at Boulder County and want to make it the best workplace it can be. We are building a strong worker-led, democratic union which is run by and for its members.”BCEU

In 2023, Colorado legislature enacted bill SB22-230 that allowed public employees in a county of more than 7,500 the right to collective bargaining among a number of other benefits and stipulations. The BCEU started out as the “Committee to Organize Boulder County” and in 2020 they began organizing and made a Better Boulder County survey in order to gather information on issues workers were facing. In the fall of 2022, BCEU members requested their supervisors and managers be informed of the Boulder County Neutrality Policy that was adopted in 2007.

The culmination of four years of organizing led the organizing committee to vote for affiliation with the CWA in June 2023 over the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who was also working to organize the public employees. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is currently working with the union to schedule a time and date to hold the election.