In late August, NAPE/AFSCME members who work for the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) as Social Services Workers in Omaha and Fremont began contacting their union representatives with concerns about how a DHHS Administrator treated them at their workplace.
Dozens of NAPE/AFSCME members reported that during individual team meetings at their worksites, the Administrator belittled workers by calling them lazy and unproductive. Others reported the Administrator encouraged employees to resign by stating that perhaps social service work was not for them. Still others said the Administrator told workers that God made seven days in a week, and she told workers they should be volunteering for overtime on weekends. The overall tone made our members feel threatened and unappreciated.
Our union contract guarantees members the right to a workplace free from threatening behavior. While a grievance could have been filed to address the Administrator’s behavior, our NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors instructed Executive Director Justin Hubly to write a letter to the Administrator on behalf of our union warning the Administrator to cease her behavior or face consequences through the grievance process. A copy of the letter is available by clicking here.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being threatened, bullied, or harassed at the workplace, contact your union representative for advice. Our union members have each other’s backs, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior. We have negotiated protections into our contract, and all employees deserve the right to be treated respectfully in the workplace.