Headlines September 30, 2021
DIA janitors vote yes to strike against airport contractor over fair wages and workload
Janitors and members of the Service Employees International Union Local 105 who service and clean facilities at the Denver International Airport have voted in favor of going on strike against the airport’s contractor Flagship Aviation Services. According to union officials, 99% of the members who voted authorized the strike as a movement for fairer wages amongst increased workloads. Voting began Monday and concluded last evening. Union officials said in their statement a strike could begin as early as tomorrow, October 1st, if an agreement is not reached today, which is the last day of the current contract.
State employee union reaches agreement with state over increase pay and benefits
Leaders of the state employees union announced yesterday they have reached an agreement with the state for a contract that will increase pay and address worker shortages. According to the Denver Gazette, the agreement results from 2020 legislation allowing state workers to negotiate wages, benefits, and workplace safety. Provisions include an annual 3% wage increase for three years that will start July 2022, a $15 minimum wage for all state jobs, and a commitment from the state to cover the first $20 million of any health insurance premium increase. The proposed contract will now go before union members for review and ratification.
Judge dismisses police officer lawsuit challenging Denver vaccine mandate
A U.S. District Court judge on Wednesday dismissed an attempt by seven Denver police officers to block the city’s September 30th vaccine mandate.
The seven officers claimed that the city did not have the authority to impose the mandate declared by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit said that since Colorado Governor Jared Polis withdrew his statewide emergency pandemic order in July the city should have instead followed the more drawn out process laid out in state law to impose regulations.
However, Judge Shelley Gilman ruled that law only applies to state agencies. Under city law, the officers should have appealed the vaccine mandate, first issued on Aug. 2, at the city level before filing a lawsuit. Since they did not, Gilman said she had no jurisdiction to decide the case and dismissed the 11th hour lawsuit.
Under the city’s public health order all city employees, workers in public and private schools and people who work for private employers like hospitals and childcare centers must show proof that they were vaccinated by today.
It’s unclear what will happen to the officers if they still refuse to get the vaccine. Mayor Hancock has said people’s employment may be terminated once the vaccine deadline passes. But the current health order mandating employee vaccination does not specify what happens to unvaccinated employees.
Vaccine mandate lawsuit against CU school of medicine
A Catholic pediatrician and a Buddhist student, who remain anonymous, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine claiming the school’s COVID vaccine mandate goes against their religious practices and beliefs and that the mandate violates their constitutional right of religious freedom. The Denver Post reports the plaintiffs argue vaccine development and testing involved fetal cell strains derived from abortions and that animals were harmed in the process. The lawsuit claims the school is exercising “overt religious discrimination” against the plaintiffs which causes a “direct threat” and “undue hardship.” According to the Thomas More Society attorneys who represent the pair, the pediatrician is facing an imminent firing for her unwillingness to take the vaccine and the student was forced out of his first-year program at the school.
Voices of Change Part 3: Black Lives Matter continues tonight at the Longmont Museum
Longmont’s Voice of Change series continues tonight at the Longmont Museum starting at 7:15 pm. The panel, co-presented by the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee, will discuss the lingering impacts of slavery, Black Lives Matter, and the effects of systematic racism. Panel participants include local leaders Dr. Robert Atwell – Psychologist, Annett James – Executive Director of NAACP Boulder County, Katrina Miller – Filmmaker, and Reiland Rabaka – Director of CU Boulder’s Center for African & African-American Studies. The event will be moderated by spiritual healer, facilitator, and creative Norma Johnson. Those unable to attend in person can view the event on the museum’s Facebook page, on the Longmont Public Media website, or on the TV Channel 8 or 880.
Boulder residents file campaign finance complaint with the City Clerk against City Council Candidate Rosenblum
Boulder residents Mark McIntyre, Regina Cowles, and Jane Hummer filed a campaign finance complaint with the Boulder City Clerk asserting Boulder City Council candidate Steve Rosenblum exceeded city campaign expenditure limits when he sought legal assistance to research, prepare, and file a lawsuit against the Boulder Progressives and a group of community activists. According to the Daily Camera, Rosenblum recently filed a lawsuit alleging members of the Boulder Progressives and activists coordinated a campaign against his candidacy.
According to the three residents that filed the campaign finance complaint, Rosenblum failed to disclose his attorney’s fees as well as the public relations and investigation fees paid on behalf of his campaign. Rosenblum’s attorney Stan Garnett told the Daily Camera that neither he nor his client have received information from the city on the complaint but dispute the idea the legal representation is a campaign expense.
League of Women Voters Conducting City of Louisville Candidate Forum
The League of Women Voters of Boulder County will host a Virtual City of Louisville Council Candidate Forum this evening from 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Community members can register to participate with questions by going to the League of Women Voters of Boulder County website at lwvbc.org or view the forum on the LWVBC YouTube channel.