Workers at the Gold’s Building in Lincoln have been working in unsafe and uncomfortable working conditions for years. A leaky roof, rodents, mold, and uncontrollable temperatures were just a few of the problems facing state employees each day. While the building was recently sold to a new owner and renovations have begun, the unsafe temperature extremes in the building led NAPE members Margaret Ahola, Jennifer Hamilton, and Jessie Monks to step up on behalf of all of their colleagues to demand that DHHS provide a safe working environment.
While OSHA requirements do not apply to Nebraska state employees, OSHA recommends that indoor office temperatures fall between the range of 68-76 degrees. Workers at Gold’s frequently face temperatures in the upper fifties and low eighties. Our NAPE contract requires the State to provide a safe working environment. In our grievance, we alleged that these temperature extremes are unsafe for workers.
As the grievance approached an arbitration hearing, DHHS decided to settle the case and has agreed to relocate employees to another building or another area of the building when the temperature is outside the recommended range for more than two hours. You can read a copy of the settlement here.
NAPE planned to host a lunch meeting for Gold’s employees to discuss the settlement in April, however, that is on hold due to social distancing. We have tentatively rescheduled for May 21. More information will follow. If you have a safety issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to a steward or the NAPE office for assistance.