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Denver City Council advances collective bargaining rights for more city workers

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Denver City Council advances collective bargaining rights for more city workers


The Denver City Council advanced a proposed change to the city charter that would grant collective bargaining rights to some city employees.

If the council gives it a final approval next week, the measure will appear on the November ballot. 

The bill was amended five times by three councilmembers and, due to the nature of those changes, had to be “republished.”

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Its final stop will be the council’s full vote next week before it gets sent to the ballot for voters to decide.

Its passage through the council is likely — the proposal has the support of Denver Mayor Mike Johnston and it was sponsored by nine of the city’s 13 councilmembers.

The five amendments came about as a result of 46 total changes requested by councilmembers Sarah Parady, Shontel Lewis and Serena Gonzales Gutierrez. The first and third amendments brought about the most substantial changes, establishing binding arbitration and expanding the flexibility of an employee’s ability to strike.

“This amendment removes the word ‘imminent’ from the finding that is required before employees are prohibited from striking — meaning that employees will be prohibited from striking if the employees’ absence will result in a ‘substantial’ threat to public health, safety, or welfare,” Parady said. “The amendment also establishes the standard that County Court is to use in overturning a decision prohibiting certain employees from striking.”

The amendments were approved unanimously.

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Union Organizers rally outside the Denver City and County Building

Chris Hinds, Denver City Council member for District 10, delivers remarks outside the Denver City and County Building during a rally to show support for city employees seeking collective bargaining rights on Monday, July 8, 2024. (Stephen Swofford, Denver Gazette)






While the council was still in session, a rally in support of the collective bargaining agreement took place outside the City and County Building. Their chants could be heard inside the council chambers, surprising some councilmembers.

Several councilmembers left during the 5 p.m. public comment session to speak at the rally that drew other elected officials, such as state Sen. Chris Hansen and Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

“Well, at the end of the day Denver employees deserve to have a seat at the table and to be able to negotiate for themselves,” Griswold said after the rally. “I grew up in rural Colorado on food stamps, and I think good, strong unions lead to good middle-class jobs.”

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“I’m a big supporter of people being able to unionize,” she added.

After the rally, participants shuffled inside and waited for the 30-minute courtesy public hearing. Only 11 people signed up for comments, two of whom spoke in opposition to the proposal.

Troy Bettinger, a vocal opponent of collective bargaining, said he’s worked in Denver for 16 years and his family have been residents in the city since 1919. It is the council’s duty to protect Denver residents from three things — inefficiency, politics and divisiveness, which Bettinger said unions only stoke and encourage.







Union Organizers rally outside the Denver City and County Building

People gather on the steps of the Denver City and County Building during a rally to show support for city employees seeking collective bargaining rights on Monday, July 8, 2024. (Stephen Swofford, Denver Gazette)

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“Collective Bargaining unions will rob us of our apolitical views, forcing us to get involved in union campaigns, union votes and union meetings,” he said. “The last thing Denver employees need is more meetings. Please save us from more meetings.”

He recalled his experience as a bus driver at the unionized Cherry Creek School District and said he saw firsthand how unions favor seniority over merit and worked with people “who hated management.”

The unions at the time “promoted that hate,” he said.

Denise Salter, who has worked for Denver for 12 years and is a “proud member” of Teamsters Local 17, argued that unions are necessary.

“I am here to tell you that you can love your job and you can still be in a union,” said Salter, who currently works at the airport. “My experiences have shown me that employees must have an independent voice at work. Just going to HR is not enough.”

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Councilmember Kevin Flynn, who previously balked at the proposal, changed his vote to “yes.”

Flynn had voted no at the last council session because of one very specific issue — he said he didn’t hire the council aides for the other councilmembers, and they didn’t hire his. For them to be represented by the same bargaining unit is an issue, he said. 

“I didn’t want my no vote last week to be seen as objecting to the overall goal of this charter amendment,” Flynn said. “I’ve been a union member, and in one of the darkest moments of my working career, I, along with about 200 other working stiffs, were thrown out on the street when our newspaper closed. We all benefited very greatly from the representation that the newspaper guild provided.”



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Denver, CO

Denver heat wave: Record-breaking heat continues through the weekend

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Denver heat wave: Record-breaking heat continues through the weekend


DENVER — The record-breaking heat will continue through the weekend, bringing triple-digit highs across Colorado’s urban corridor, including Denver, and the plains through Sunday.

A heat advisory remains in effect for the eastern half of the state. On Saturday and Sunday, afternoon temperatures will reach 100 to 105 degrees, with overnight low temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s.

And escaping the heat by heading to the high country may not be much of a reprieve. According to the National Weather Service, some of the high mountain valleys could even make it to the 90-degree mark.

NWS

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Friday’s temperatures also broke records when Denver officially reached 102 degrees at Denver International Airport, breaking the record high temperature for July 11 of 101 degrees in 1971, according to historical National Weather Service data.

Weather forecasters and health officials warn Coloradans to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activities during the peak afternoon hours, especially those people who are susceptible to weather-related health issues. Heat is the top cause of weather-related fatalities nationwide.

“Highs will soar into the 100-105 degree range each day, and the prolonged period of heat will add to heat stress on people and outdoor animals,” added the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder.

Denver7 | Weather

Record-breaking heat wave arrives in Denver: What to expect across Colorado

6:09 AM, Jul 12, 2024

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Denver will see a slight heat relief from the heat on Monday when temperatures are expected to climb to the mid to upper 90s. But Tuesday and Wednesday are shaping up to bring even a higher chance of relief with lower afternoon temperatures and a chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Here’s when and where it’s been the hottest in Colorado

While these temperatures are significantly higher than the norm for this time of year, it’s worth remembering that Colorado and Denver have endured their fair share of triple-digit misery.

The Mile High City has seen 106 instances of such extreme heat since 1872, according to the National Weather Service.

However, it’s important to note that Denver rarely experiences consecutive days of 100-degree weather, with only 15 such occurrences on record.

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On three occasions — June 2012, July 2005, and July 1989—Denver experienced five consecutive days of temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more, the most consecutive triple-digit days the city has seen.

According to NWS records, the last time Denver experienced a triple whammy of 100-degree days—what we will likely experience this weekend—was in June 2021.

The hottest temperature recorded in Denver was 105 degrees, which occurred only on five occasions since 1872. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Colorado was 115 degrees. That record occurred on July 20, 2019, near Lamar in southeast Colorado.

Saturday morning forecast

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Daily horoscope for July 13, 2024

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Daily horoscope for July 13, 2024


Moon Alert: Avoid shopping or important decisions after 6:30 p.m. EDT today (3:30 p.m. PDT). The Moon is in Libra.

Happy Birthday for Saturday, July 13, 2024:

You have a physical, action-oriented approach to life, which is why you’re a courageous, daring risk-taker. It’s important that you believe you can succeed. New beginnings, adventures and major changes will take place this year. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Prepare for leadership.

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)
★★★★
Enjoy today! Do what you please. With your strong focus on home and family, you might be gardening or camping. This is also a great time for children’s activities. Meanwhile, social outings and sports events are appealing! With the Moon opposite your sign, be patient with others. Tonight: Cooperate.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)
★★★
You might have an ambitious to-do list, because fiery Mars in your sign makes you eager to have a finger in many pies. You’re talking to siblings, relatives and neighbors; reading and writing; plus some of you are taking a short trip. Don’t overdo it. Go with the flow. Tonight: Work.

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GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)
★★★★
This is a lovely day to schmooze and enjoy the company of others. In particular, you’ll appreciate your daily surroundings more than usual, which, let’s face it, is such a blessing. If money and shopping are on your mind, be smart and check the Moon Alert. Tonight: Play!

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)
★★★★
Although you have strong energy to do what you want today (including shopping and doing financial negotiations), you’ll love a chance to retire and hide at home with good food and comfy surroundings. “It’s hard out there without your towel.” Tonight: Relax.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)
★★★★
Enjoy schmoozing with others today, because the Moon is sitting in your House of Communications. This means you have a strong desire to talk to others and share your ideas. You want a meaningful connection with someone. You also want to be heard! (Leos know how to grab the talking stick.) Tonight: Conversations.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
★★★
Keep things relatively laid-back today, because it’s easy to try to do more than you really can accomplish. Don’t push the river. Nevertheless, you are focused on shopping and earning money, no question. Plus, this is a popular time for you. Go gently. Tonight: Check your belongings.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
★★★★
Things will go your way today, because the Moon is in your sign and the Sun is at the top of your chart. This puts you in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, relations with friends (especially younger people and creative types) will be warm and friendly. Take it easy today. Enjoy yourself. Tonight: You’re strong.

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SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
★★★
You’ll be successful dealing with parents, bosses and important people today. People will listen to you. Meanwhile, you might be focused on travel plans or legal or medical matters. Whatever the case, pull in your reins a little. Don’t try to do too much today. Easy does it. Tonight: Enjoy solitude.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
★★★★
Your interactions with a friend might be important today. Travel will also appeal to you because you want to explore new ideas and see new places. This is hardly surprising since you’re the traveler of the zodiac! Be open to the possibility of a romance with someone different. Tonight: Friends and groups.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
★★★
People notice you today. Meanwhile, you will benefit financially when dealing with others today. Money might come to you. This is also a playful day! Competitive sports might be in the picture. You will have more objectivity about a close relationship or partnership, which is helpful for you. Tonight: You’re noticed.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
★★★★
Shake things up a little today. You want some adventure. Perhaps you need to escape from your home scene because there’s too much chaos or activity taking place. Fortunately, you’re motivated to work hard, which is why you can accomplish a lot. Tonight: Explore!

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)
★★★★
This continues to be a playful, fun-loving time for you. You’re also mentally energetic, which empowers your communication skills with others. Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with any job you’re doing. Jump in. Tonight: Check your finances.

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BORN TODAY

Actor Harrison Ford (1942), actor Ken Jeong (1969), actor Patrick Stewart (1940)



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3 Colorado workers at commercial egg facility presumed to have avian flu

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3 Colorado workers at commercial egg facility presumed to have avian flu


DENVER (KDVR) — Three presumptive positive cases of avian flu have been identified in workers at a commercial egg layer operation in Weld County.

So far, the three workers at the egg-laying farm have exhibited mild symptoms, including conjunctivitis and common respiratory infection symptoms. None of them have been hospitalized.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the workers were culling poultry at a farm in northeast Colorado and said they suspect the cases were a result of working directly with infected poultry. The department also noted that the risk to members of the public is still low: All cases in humans have been after the infected individuals came in direct contact with infected animals.

One case of avian flu was identified in a man working at a northeastern Colorado dairy farm earlier this month. Officials said he exhibited only symptoms of pink eye, or conjunctivitis, and recovered from the infection, but also noted he had direct exposure to dairy cattle that were infected with avian flu.

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Northeast Colorado is where the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state this year was detected on April 25, when dairy cattle were found to have highly pathogenic avian influenza. The outbreak has led to at least 10 facilities being placed in quarantine.

The infected egg-laying farm, which has about 1.8 million chickens, prompted Gov. Jared Polis to issue a disaster emergency declaration on July 5 for the H5N1 avian flu outbreak in Weld County. State health officials told FOX31’s Matt Mauro that all of the birds would be culled to prevent the spread of the virus.

How to protect against the risk of avian flu

The bird-borne virus can be transmitted to cattle and humans but has also been found in other mammals. According to the World Health Organization, symptoms of the virus are primarily respiratory, but the most recent human case involved conjunctivitis (pink eye).

According to CDPHE, it is safe to drink pasteurized milk and eat “properly handled and cooked dairy, beef, and poultry products,” because the process kills bacteria and viruses, including avian flu.

The state health agency is also reminding Coloradans not to touch dead or sick animals, but if it’s unavoidable:

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  • Wear personal protective equipment including a N95 respirator, eye protection and gloves
  • Wash hands with soap and water afterward
  • If there’s no soap and water available, use an alcohol-based hand rub

If you work with dairy cows that may have avian flu and start to feel ill, CDPHE encourages you to call 303-692-2700 during regular business hours, or 303-370-9395 outside of those hours. H5N1 must be reported to the Colorado Veterinarian’s Office. There is also an emergency rule enacted for mandatory testing of lactating dairy cattle moving interstate.



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