Nebraska state employee pay often lags behind similar jobs in both the public and private sector. Over the course of the past decade, state employee salaries have averaged just a 2% annual growth, and that’s before any increases in the costs of insurance benefits. As we prepare for contract negotiations that begin this summer, it’s important for our members to understand the negotiations process and be actively involved and engaged as we fight for higher wages and better benefits.
NAPE/AFSCME negotiates with the State of Nebraska in accordance with the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act (SECBA). One of the main reasons that state employee salaries have fallen behind, is that the SECBA has a mechanism where state employee salaries can be lowered if NAPE/AFSCME and the governor’s representatives cannot reach a salary agreement during the negotiations process. The fear of having salaries lowered has pushed state employees to accept lower than acceptable salary increases in the past. It’s time for that to change.
Over the past two bieneum cycles, we have been able to win back a step pay plan for the first time since 2005, and we have seen the largest annual consecutive salary increases in over a decade. We were also able to secure a record $47 million increase for our members during a historic and unprecedented midterm bargaining session in 2021.
We have been able to make this progress, despite the limitations of the law, because of a growing and active membership. To learn more about our 2022 negotiations campaign: “Grow Stronger Together For A Better Contract,” please attend a virtual meeting on March 23 at 7pm central time. You can register for the virtual meeting by clicking here. If you are not a NAPE/AFSCME member, we need you! Our strength lies in the power of a large, strong, and active membership. Click here to learn more and join today!