Nebraska Association of Public Employees

Newsletter Articles

Gold’s Building Grievances Win

How would you respond if your worksite didn’t have a working fire alarm, was frequently above 75% humidity, and had dead animals discovered indoors on a regular basis? Members who work in the Gold’s Building know all too well the unsafe working conditions they have faced on a daily basis for years.

The Gold’s Building in Lincoln houses over 600 state employees, and has been a source of complaints for many years. A group of NAPE members finally had enough, and Chief Steward Deb Strudl led the charge to file a series of grievances to demand the state fix the dangerous environment endured by our members on a daily basis.

When the grievances were filed, NAPE demanded a series of improvements that needed to be made at Gold’s. DHHS administrators initially denied the requested relief, but admitted the building did not have a working fire alarm, has had excessively high temperatures and humidity levels, the presence of rodents and bats, and the presence of mold and mildew.

Through the grievance process, NAPE was able to negotiate a settlement with the state that guaranteed the following:

  • A new fire alarm system is installed and will be functional by October 31.
  • A new chiller is installed which will improve the temperature and humidity.
  • A contract is in place with a pest control firm, and if any additional bats are found in the building, they will be removed and tested for rabies by the Lancaster County Health Department.
  • The building will be tested four times in the next two years (in opposite seasons) for volatile organic compounds (including mold). If any dangers are found, they will be remediated.
  • A formal safety committee will meet monthly with the DHHS Facilities Director. Any NAPE member working at the Gold’s Building is invited to serve on the committee.

While this solution may not address every concern about the Gold’s Building, these grievances have certainly put the state on notice that unsafe working conditions will not be tolerated. Should the state fail to meet their obligations, additional grievances will be filed.

Nebraska Association of Public Employees