Mid-term contract negotiations with the State of Nebraska are underway to address wages and working conditions at 24-hour facilities at the Department of Corrections, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Our negotiations team is working hard to win equitable raises for NAPE members in order to recognize and retain employees. Our facilities are in a staffing crisis. Whether or not you work at a 24 hour facility, we need your active support in order to be successful!
The NAPE negotiations team is made up of members Daniel Buchanan (NDCS, Lincoln), Lindsey Eads (NDVA, Kearney), Melissa Haynes (DHHS, Fremont), Jimmy Kazalski (NDCS, Tecumseh), Rich Kerr (DHHS, Beatrice), Brian Koch (NDCS, Lincoln), and Barb Pursley (NDVA, Scottsbluff). The team has met twice so far with the Governor’s representatives to negotiate common sense solutions to solve the staffing crisis. So far, negotiations have been positive. The state has acknowledged the current crisis and has stated it is committed to solving the problems for the long term.
The NAPE negotiations team is focused on making sure all employees who work at 24 hour facilities are included in wage increases. Our team has proposed protections to limit the number of hours of mandatory overtime to prevent burnout. At the Department of Corrections NAPE has proposed compensation for employees working outside of their job classifications in security positions, and to be compensated when security positions are vacant, forcing our members to work with inmates without security present. We have also proposed base wage increases in certain job classifications to address vacancies in hard to staff positions.
We expect to meet with the Governor’s representatives for our next negotiations session in early October. We hope to come to an agreement as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you can do two things to help us reach our goals. First, if you are not a NAPE member, join today! Our membership has grown over 60% in the past two years. We must continue to grow in order to have strength at the negotiating table. Second, please contact the Governor’s office by e-mail or at 402-471-2244 and have your friends and family do the same. Let the Governor know that you support higher wages and better working conditions for state employees! We will have another update after our next negotiations session.