morning, April 10, HB14-1154, the Colorado community college “equal pay for equal work” legislation, will be heard before the House Appropriations Committee. As some of you may recall, over nine weeks ago HB14-1154 passed through the House State Affairs Committee. It it passes through “Props” the pace of the legislation will accelerate considerably.
Whereas the State Affairs hearing focussed on the merits of the bill, the Appropriations hearing will focus on cost. Because the legislative council, who determines the fiscal note, could only assume that the cost of the bill would be in addition to current costs, the original fiscal note was set at $86 million–by itself more than the quadruple the available state monies to fund all proposed legislation this year.
However, through a series of amendments that balance the concept of
“equal pay for equal work” with fiscal realities, we believe that we have demonstrated that HB14-1154 will require no additional state appropriation for the next year (while almost doubling salary for current part-timers) with a five year bridge toward full equity.
We have also addressed health care complications/scenarios by stipulating that all faculty who teach nine credit hours per semester, or the equivalent in non-teaching duties, will receive full health benefits.
This is a Colorado battle. We have had a massive (and enormously labor
intensive) letter writing and publicity campaign to get Colorado voters and Colorado community college adjuncts to contact their legislators, as well to communicate their support to members of the House Appropriations Committee. As you might expect, the state community college system, and some others with an interest in preserving the status quo, are working full time to defeat the bill.
The Appropriations hearing morning is closed to public
comment (so we will not have the benefit of adjunct testimony) but many supporters will attend nonetheless. Wish us luck.