Friday, November 2, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter today issued an executive order allowing employee organizations to establish partnership agreements with the state, bringing managers and employees together to make government more effective and efficient for the public.
"From Day 1, I vowed to make state government more effective, reliable and accountable," Gov. Ritter said. "Already, we have begun to reform the way we do business, in large part by asking state employees for their ideas and input. The Government Efficiency and Management (GEM) Performance Review is a perfect example. We asked employees for their ideas, and they responded by giving us 12,000 of them, many of which will lead to $145 million in savings and benefits over the next five years. Indeed, if state government had been stronger partners with employees in the past, perhaps the state would not be facing $300 million in wasted information technology systems.
"The partnership agreements authorized by this executive order advance that mission because they will better utilize employees' knowledge, skills and ingenuity," Gov. Ritter added. "Employees will be more engaged, more productive and more efficient in how they serve the public. We will have a government that is a model employer for snowplow drivers, prison guards, state troopers and administrative clerks – a government capable of attracting and retaining the highest-caliber workforce in the country."  
Executive Order D 028 07 will allow employees to choose an organization to represent them in discussions with the state regarding a variety of workplace issues. These employee organizations will be able to engage managers in dialogues about ways to:
·         Identify and implement efficiency measures and eliminate waste and redundancies;
·         Improve customer satisfaction, such as reducing wait times;
·         Enhance employee recruitment, training and retention;
·         Improve workplace safety.
"While this approach is new to Colorado government and unique among states, innovative companies like Kaiser Permanente partner with their employees in this fashion to save money, improve products and enhance services," Gov. Ritter said. "Employee partnerships reflect best business practices for running an operation in the 21st century. They are grounded in sound management principles and will help government run more like a business."

Facts About the Executive Order and Partnership Agreement Framework
n      This executive order is unique among states. It draws on best practices from both the private and public sectors, including municipalities and agencies such as Indianapolis, Ind.; Madison, Wis.;Union City, Calif.; and the Douglas County School District.
n      This executive order strikes a balance that allows for more formal and engaged participation and decision-making by employees without weakening gubernatorial decision-making authority.
n      Prior to this executive order, employees already had the ability to join an employee organization. This order creates a formal framework for the state to recognize those associations.
n      This order does not require employees to join an employee organization, nor does it require them to pay dues or agency fees if they do not join.
n      Discussions are voluntary and will not result in binding arbitration. The Governor and state will retain final decision-making authority on all matters.
n      The Governor, Joint Budget Committee and Legislature will retain their full and current budget authority. Existing laws that require a balanced budget and impose strict spending limits remain unchanged.
n      Existing State Personnel Board rules around hiring, disciplining and terminating employees are not impacted by the executive order.
n      This executive order contains a very clear no-strike provision.
n      This executive order has no impact on private business or local government employees.
n      This executive order offers fairness and parity with existing private-sector practices.