Nebraska Association of Public Employees

Newsletter June 2018



We know that a lot of our members rely on our stewards to protect their interests and to enforce their collective bargaining agreement (contract).  Even though your position as steward can have some anxiety and at times some frustration, your position assisting co-workers can be gratifying if you keep in mind the following tips:

  • You don’t have to be an expert; call the NAPE/AFSCME office and get the answers to your questions. Your union staff members are knowledgeable about many areas of labor law and contract interpretation and are here to help you.
  • Recruiting volunteers and delegating tasks will be an important skill you will need to learn; some folks do this naturally, other must learn how to do recruiting or team-building.
  • Your job is to empower co-workers; help others to learn how to solve their own problems.
  • Ask questions; sometimes the best ideas come from asking questions of a lot of people.
  • With grievances disciplinary actions and personnel proceedings, sometimes your most important duty will be to just listen.  Don’t be afraid to ask, then to listen!
  • Do not let management, employee relations or human resource manages treat you disrespectfully. On union business, when representing a co-worker, you’re supervisor and you, the official union steward, are equal.
  • Most supervisors have little understanding of labor law or contract rights. You, the union steward, are more of an expert in that area.
  • Identify the issues and demand changes; do not let supervision control the agenda. Although defending co-workers is the most important part of your job as a union steward, be pro-active and select the issue that you can make some gain on.
  • Always follow through on whatever you commit to, always get back to people, show responsibility if you want your co-workers to trust you.
  • Notes are important; take and keep good notes, maintain a good filing system for your notes.
  • Be a responsible employee if you want your co-workers and even management to respect you and your opinion.
  • Maintain a sense of humor, you may have some setbacks but learn from your mistakes.
  • Remember, helping to build the union is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your livelihood.




Open Letter to Protective Services Members


The C.I.R. decertification vote to stay with NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 or to decertify and join F.O.P. will be
coming up very soon.

Please remember that both NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 and/or F.O.P., whomever you elect as your
bargaining representative, or your union, will be required by Nebraska State Statute, by the Nebraska
State Legislature and by the Commission of Industrial Relations (C.I.R.) to follow specific rules that have
been established by law.

Yes, some city and county correctional facilities currently make a higher salary than our employees
working at state facilities. No, these city and county facilities are not allowed to be used for
comparability purposes with our state corrections’ workers.

Yes, some law enforcement employees have better retirement benefits than our state worker’s in
corrections. No, just being placed into another union which represents the State Patrol will not result in
a better or different retirement benefit for our state workers.

Yes, an annual longevity, step pay increase sounds like a terrific idea! No, it is not remotely a guarantee.
According to all past salary surveys, it is not a practice that is currently comparable; thus the C.I.R. would
not order it.

The choice is yours. NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 does not want to lose you, our valued protective service

Please read the attached letter from a NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 steward. She has given her permission
for us to reproduce her comments, which she recently posted on our Facebook page.
Please choose wisely whom you want to represent you.

Thank you and good luck to all of you with your decision!

Fraternally yours,

Executive Director




*Do you pay union dues?
*Do you attend union meetings ?
*Do you vote for your contract?
*Do you read and familiarize yourself with the contract (labor agreement)?
*Do you contact and work with your union steward on workplace problems or grievances?
*Do you even know your union steward?
*Do you take part or volunteer to be part of Labor/Management meetings?
*Have you ever taken part in the NAPE/AFSCME steward training classes?

If you can’t answer yes to these questions, then you haven’t tried and no one can help you. You
have to be able to stand up for yourself and get your hands dirty on occasion. That’s when the
union, NAPE/AFSCME/ can back you up.

Paying union dues doesn’t mean someone else does all the work. It means someone is there to
assist, guide and support you when your contract rights are violated. NAPE/AFSCME will always
stand beside you!

Attending district meetings is important. This is a monthly meeting where your staff
administrator from the NAPE/AFSCME office and your district president ( from your area ) take
time out of their busy, exhausting day to listen to your complaints and assist you with solutions.
Also, much more takes place at the district meetings; you are updated on current trends and
information throughout the State!

By being a dues-paying member, you are entitled to vote on the negotiated contract with the
State. You are also entitled to vote in the union’s election of officers.
IN MY OPINION—you’ll be disappointed if the FOP wins the decert election. The grass is not
always GREENER on the other side!

Office Has Moved

Our new address is 770 N Cotner Suite 403 Lincoln, NE 68505

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Nebraska Association of Public Employees