Thursday, April 3, 2008

State Employee Strike Ban Gets Guv's OK

A bill that would make clear that state employees are not allowed to strike won Gov. Bill Ritter's approval Thursday.

HB 1189 provides that a state employee or a labor organization commits a misdemeanor by inciting, encouraging, aiding or participating in a "strike, stoppage of work, slowdown or interruption of operations."

Ritter issued an executive order allowing state employees to form collective bargaining organizations for limited purposes last year.

His order purported to prohibit strikes by state employees.

However, Republicans, spurred on by an opinion by Attorney General John Suthers, had argued that Ritter's executive order opened the door to public employee strikes because Colorado had no law prohibiting them.

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Jim Riesberg, D-Greeley, and Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne.

HB 1189 goes into effect immediately because the bill has an "emergency clause."