On September 15, 2021, the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature held a listening session in order to hear directly from Department of Corrections employees on the current staffing crisis in the Nebraska prison system. We encouraged our members to attend as they have experienced firsthand how the staffing shortages are affecting the facilities.
NAPE Members, including Vice Chairperson Brian Koch (NDCS, Lincoln), testified at the hearing to have their voices heard on this crisis. Brian provided valuable insight in regards to how the staffing crisis has affected NAPE covered employees such as nurses, recreation specialists, facilities maintenance staff, food service, librarians, and more.
Brian addressed the incentive hiring and retention bonuses recently offered by NDCS and the issues created by leaving out many employees who contribute just as much to these facilities as others. He also expressed concerns that NAPE covered employees often work security positions out of class, but are not compensated for this work. Brian also testified about the lack of programming for inmates and how that has been worsened by the staffing crisis and overcrowding.
NAPE is aware of many of the difficulties faced by NDCS employees due to the current staffing emergency. We encourage our members to reach out to our office with any questions or concerns in these facilities. If you are not a NAPE member, please join us today! We need your voice to have an even stronger union.