The 2008 Colorado Ballot

49: Eliminate Public Employee Unions


In 2001 Governor Bill Owens signed an executive order prohibiting government agencies in Colorado from using payroll deductions for unions. In 2007 Governor Bill Ritter signed an executive order essentially undoing Bill Owens order.

This amendment will place in the constitution a rule similar to Bill Owens' prohibition of payroll deductions. The purpose of prohibiting the deductions is to eliminate union representation for public sector employees.

This initiative was the second shot in attempting to destroy the Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943.

Vote NO! Devastating Impact Vote No

Did you notice any change in labor/management relations with public employee unions before and after 2001? Any difference before and after 2007? No? I didn't either.

This is an attempt to reduce the power of the unions pure & simple. And creating conflict, where before there was peace, is blowback that the sponsors of this initiative are willing to accept. All for something that has made no noticeable difference.

In addition, to continue with the incredibly successful Colorado Labor Peace Act of 1943, this (and the other 6 peace act violators) must be defeated.

Arguments Against

To quote the Chamber of Commerce - "Continued support of these initiatives creates an adversarial dynamic between these groups and threatens Colorado's economic peace and vitality," the Chamber said in a statement, adding that the current Labor Peace Act has "served Colorado well for 60 years in allowing for cordial relations between management and labor."

Amendment 49 interferes with the authority of local governments to decide which paycheck deductions are available to their employees. These decisions are best made by individual local governments based on the needs of each community, not by a statewide vote. Payroll deductions are a benefit that public employers can offer to employees; eliminating this benefit does not save any taxpayer money.

Arguments For

Amendment 49 reduces the potential for conflicts of interest that can occur when elected officials permit the use of government payroll systems to collect money for politically active groups, such as labor or professional organizations. These groups contribute to campaigns and lobby elected officials.

There is also a good entry in favor of 49 at Mount Virtus.



Legislative Council

Secretary of State

The Labor Peace Act of 1943


Come join the discussion on this initiative at any of the following blogs:

Liberal & Loving It

Colorado Pols




Protect Colorado's Future

Colorado AFL-CIO

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce

Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance

The Colorado Bankers Association

The Colorado Economic Leadership Coalition


Clean Government Colorado