On Tuesday, September 13, 2022 hundreds of NAPE/AFSCME members gathered on Centennial Mall in Lincoln near the Capitol to rally in support of our negotiations team as they begin bargaining our next labor contract.
At the rally, NAPE/AFSCME Vice President Brian Koch (Labor – Beatrice) outlined our negotiations priorities. Our top priority is negotiating wage increases that exceed the rate of inflation, while recognizing experience and positive performance. For far too long, state employees have accepted salary offers that did not keep pace with inflation or the open market. From 2011-2020, the average annual salary increase for state employees was just 1.74% per year. Other top priorities for contract negotiations are paid parental leave, greater cash payout for sick leave, early retirement insurance incentives, access to remote work opportunities, bilingual premium pay, and more. Click here for a handout with additional information.
“The state remains critically short staffed at many agencies, and investments are needed to make sure that critical services continue uninterrupted,” said NAPE/AFSCME President Melissa Haynes (DHHS – Fremont). “Our members worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and now is the time to invest in them.”
State agencies remain critically short staffed right now. “The state is unable to provide vital services right now at the level Nebraskans expect. The DMV has temporarily closed numerous locations due to staffing shortages, the NDOT does not have the staff to plow state highways this winter, and there is a large backlog of economic assistance applications waiting to be processed at DHHS,” said NAPE Executive Director Justin Hubly. “State employees are dedicated, committed, and passionate about their work, but in order to have a quality workforce, state employee wages must rise to be competitive in today’s market.”
If you are not currently a union member, and you want to see these priorities negotiated into our contract, please become a member and join us today. A union is a group of workers that promotes and protects the welfare and rights of its members, primarily through contract negotiations. We are only as strong as our membership. When employees don’t join their union, they voice to management that they are willing to accept whatever is given and weaken our overall bargaining position. We need you in order to be successful!