Colorado Legislative Aides and Campaign Workers Launch Guild, First of its Kind
PWG Colorado affiliates with CWA, Local 37074 to strengthen workers’ rights in the Colorado State Capitol and every election campaign in the state.
DENVER, CO – Today, legislative aides, campaign workers, and political organizers announced they have formed the POLITICAL WORKERS GUILD OF COLORADO, CWA Local 37074, an open union aimed at restoring dignity to their political work that keeps Colorado running. Political Workers Guild of Colorado (PWG) represents legislative aides, campaign workers, and other political organizers who want to fight for dignity in their workplaces and across Colorado. Currently composed largely of Democratic political workers, they will ensure that labor is valued at every stage in the political process.
Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, issued the following statement:
“The Colorado Democratic Party fully supports the Political Workers Guild of Colorado. We stand in solidarity with their efforts to amplify and uplift the voices of legislative aides and campaign workers. They do hard, demanding, and important work to fuel our democracy and policy-making process in Colorado and it is important that their voices are heard and valued.”
“We have worked on this effort for three years now, and we’ve hit on a model that will allow us to advocate for ourselves and our colleagues. We work extremely long hours, have almost no employer provided benefits, and barely make a living wage, but we have been systematically denied the chance to negotiate for ourselves,” said PWG founding organizer and Democratic legislative aide Ayah Ziyadeh. “Our strength is in our members and our progressive advocacy. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished with this launch, and what we’re going to accomplish together in the future.”
“The difficulties in these jobs, especially the low pay and lack of benefits, leads to constant turnover in election cycles and legislative sessions; that kind of talent loss hurts the whole political ecosystem in Colorado,” said PWG founding organizer and former House Majority Project Deputy Director Logan Davis. “It hurts our legislators, it hurts their constituents, and it robs us of institutional knowledge that is already hard to maintain in the Capitol. We have to do better.”
“We have a Democratic trifecta that has always supported labor unions in Colorado; but if we’re going to fight for economic and social justice, we have to make sure those values are being extended to all staff in every workplace, and the General Assembly is no exception,” said PWG founding organizer and Democratic legislative aide Heather Bradley.
“Our previous efforts were hindered by political and legal obstacles, so forming an open union for political workers is the right way to move forward,” said PWG founding organizer and Democratic legislative aide John Henry Vansant. “Our membership is over 60 strong, including a supermajority of legislative aides in the Democratic caucus. We are excited to expand PWG in the coming months and continue to build power for all political workers in Colorado.”
PWG of Colorado’s stated goals are to empower all workers, advocate for pay raises and benefits for all workers, protect individual workers who face harassment, and use dues to form a mutual aid fund that can benefit union members who need extra help. As an open union, they are not currently seeking to form a collective bargaining unit with the General Assembly or any specific campaign. PWG is committed to progressive advocacy for its members and every Coloradan.
The open union model—also known as a minority model because it does not require a majority of workers in a given workplace to sign on—is a voluntary association that does not form a collective bargaining unit. Membership is not required in a given workplace. The object of an open union like PWG is to build pressure for member-driven goals and work collectively to address grievances across workplaces. It does not require passing legislation or an Executive Order from the Governor in order to form, as required would be required for a collective bargaining unit.
PWG, Local 37074, is the first open political workers union in the country that encompasses legislative staff, political organizers, and campaign workers. They represent over 60 members across Colorado, including the state legislature, U.S. Congressional district offices, campaign workers, and local political organizers. If you are a political worker in Colorado who wants to join, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.