Editor: When I came to Colorado, I was a small child with a speech impediment and I was
reading below my grade level. Now, I’m an organizer for New Era Colorado, where I
write and present on a regular basis. I didn’t teach myself; Mr. Stofac sparked my joy in
writing. Mrs. B made flashcards with all the words I struggled to say and helped me
practice. My story is not unique; everyone has learned a crucial life skill from a school
employee. Our educators are the backbone of our workforce, but they cannot afford to
Colorado pays teachers one of the lowest salaries in the nation. On top of that, many
cannot unionize. Public sector employees are exempt from the 1935 National Labor
Relations Act, meaning local governments decide whether or not they can unionize.
Politicians can stop higher ed teachers from bargaining as a group, taking power right out
of their hands.
Everyone should have the right to organize their peers and advocate for themselves.
When employees are able to leverage people power within their jobs, they get paid 20%
more on average. Public employees need the same union protections as everyone else.
Last legislative session, Rep. Daneya Esgar said she would continue to work on a bill that
will guarantee it. Teachers have always supported our futures; now is the time for us to
return the favor by helping Esgar. Call your legislator today and urge them to cosponsor
the Public Employee Collective Bargaining bill.
— Paulina Castle, via [email protected]