Denver, CO: Last summer, the Political Workers Guild set out two priorities for the next legislative session: full-time employment status for aides, followed by a wage increase. We are proud to announce that as of today, our negotiations with members of Senate and House leadership have resulted in the inclusion of both provisions in their legislative budget. Once the full budget is passed, we’ll have immediate improvements to the finances of the working conditions of our members.
Legislative aides will continue to have 40 hours allotted to them every week during session. During interim, instead of the previous hourly cap of 16 hours per week, aides can now work 32 hours per week. That brings the allotted payable hours up to a total of 1800 per office per fiscal year. This will allow legislative aides to get paid for more hours during the interim period, while allowing legislators the ability to better respond to their constituent needs from the essential support that legislative aides bring to the office.
We also negotiated a significant pay raise - from $16 to $20/hr. That’s an immediate 25% increase. With the rising cost of living, $16/hr at 40 hours/week is not a sustainable wage and we are proud to fight for this increase to improve wages for our members. The increase in workable hours and the pay increase will result in an annual wage increase of up to $10,000 per legislative aide.
We would like to first and foremost thank our members for the work they do every day and for their input in this process through the outlining of their priorities. Second, we would like to thank the members of the Steering Committee who were in negotiations with leadership over the last several months to figure out the details of these provisions, and who ensured that our voices were heard and respected. Finally, we’d like to thank leadership (especially Senate President Fenberg and House Majority Leader Esgar) for being active and open participants in these discussions.
For too long, legislative aides have been underpaid and overworked - even when our payable hours didn’t reflect that reality. With the increased wage and our new status as full-time year-round employees, we’ve taken the first steps in addressing what is both a structural and cultural issue. It is our hope that this leads to not only stronger retention and recruitment, but further conversations about how to improve our working conditions. We are continuing to take other legislative actions and will provide you with updates as they become available.
About PWG Colorado: The Political Workers Guild of Colorado (PWG) is an open-model minority union that represents legislative aides, campaign workers, and political organizers who want to fight for dignity in our workplaces. We want to ensure that social and economic justice is reflected in the institutions, campaigns, and organizations we staff.
We are also united by our dedication to the policies and values that our state and local governments must codify in order to properly empower all Coloradans and democratize both political and economic decision-making.