“Goal Was To Give Workers ‘A Voice Because We’re The Ones Out In The Field Doing The Work And We Are Not Being Heard:’” 600 Adams (Colorado) County Human Services Workers ‘Go Union’ - Vote To Join AFSCME
(ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO) – Last week, 600 Human Services Workers in Adams County, Colorado voted overwhelmingly to join the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in order to gain a stronger voice to improve the services they provide to their clients.
The Workers - Social Caseworkers, Head Start Teachers, Community Support Specialists and more - join more than 12,000 Public Service Workers in the States of New Mexico and Colorado who are Members of AFSCME Council 18, marking important AFSCME growth in Colorado.
The Workers can now bargain with the county to improve Employee retention, caseload amounts, a bi-lingual pay policy and foster a diverse workplace that supports a better work-life balance, Union Officials said.
Heather Burke, a Social Caseworker from Adams County, has worked hard over the past months to mobilize her Co-Workers to build a stronger voice: “My ‘goal was to give my Co-Workers a voice because we’re the ones out in the field doing the work and we are not being heard.’ We ‘have a lot of safety issues that we need to address, as well as improve our hiring process, mileage reimbursement and bilingual pay.’”
After the long battle to form a Union, Burke said: “Now, ‘we finally have seat at the table.’ This is a ‘historic win’ for us in Adams County. ‘Now, we can make those changes to improve the services that we provide to our clients and make Adams County an even better place to work.’”
Volunteer Member Organizers from AFSCME Councils across the country, including within Colorado and New Mexico AFSCME Council 18, joined in the campaign to ensure Adams County Employees won a voice in the workplace.
Jessie Hernandez, a Member of Local 1211 and an Income Support Employee with the New Mexico Human Services Department, said: “It was ‘so exciting to share with’ Adams County Workers ‘the gains that we won through collective bargaining.’ Having a ‘real voice’ on the issues ‘that matter to us is just an incredible feeling.’ ‘We are able to make the changes we need and that’s powerful!’”
To Directly Access This Organizing Labor News Story, Go To: www.afscme.org/now/adams-county-human-services-workers-vote-to-join-afscme