A new bill being considered in the state Senate could allow CSU
and other state schools to opt out of the state personnel
This would give university governing boards the authority to
adopt an alternative system.
“I support this bill if it will lower the cost of insurance for
state classified staff,” said Pete Seel, an associate professor in
the journalism and technical communication department.
In October, Seel organized a protest against the rise in health
insurance costs for state classified employees.
These employees are those who are employed by the state of
Colorado with job descriptions that vary. They include police
officers, computer programmers, dinning hall workers, researchers
and administrative assistants.
This might be good news for employees like Kevin Nolan, a state
classified employee in the Academic Computing and Networking
“I’m encouraged some change is taking place. Hopefully it will
be positive,” Nolan said. “If the bill is enacted it could allow
more flexibility and put us more in a position to handle
One disadvantage is that there is a strong retirement program
currently under the state system, Nolan said. If a new system is
put into place, employees could potentially lose their Public
Employees’ Retirement Association accounts.
Because the bill is still in its early stages, not all of the
details have been worked out yet. The Classified Personnel Council
(CPC) is in the process of deciding what the new plan would
include. This involves looking at each part of the state system and
deciding what should be kept in the opt-out system.
CPC represents state classified employees at CSU and serves as
the liaison between employees and the university as a whole.
Deanna Adams, chair of the CPC, said the scary thing is the
unknown. An opt-out system has never been put together in
“Change is hard, but when you are put into change and thrown
into the unknown, it is even harder,” Adams said.
One concern is that the creation of alternative plans could
cause PERA’s cash flow to decrease. Current employees, however,
would be given the choice to stay with the current plan or switch
to the new one offered.
The board could potentially come up with another alternative
retirement program and any new employee would automatically go into
the opt-out plan. Professors are exempt from the state classified
Adams encourages state classified employees to become informed
about the new opt-out system if it goes into place and to share
their opinions on the system.
“It’s going to be a long road yet,” Adams said.
For more information on the civil service reform visit