Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Lincoln Regional Center Members Win Back Wages in Pay Grievances

NAPE/AFSCME members Joe Laster and Tiffany Fitzpatrick, employees at the Lincoln Regional Center (LRC), recently prevailed in grievances after being shorted out-of-class pay. 

Joe is an Activity Specialist who was assigned to work as a Mental Health Specialist for 24 hours. Our NAPE/AFSCME union contract guarantees that employees who work out of class for 8 or more hours over the course of two consecutive days will be compensated for that time at the higher minimum rate of pay or pay subject to our promotion formula — whichever is greater. The Department of Health and Human Services violated our contract when it failed to compensate Joe properly. Joe reached out to his representative right away and a grievance was filed on his behalf. 

“I thought it was clear-cut,” he said. “If I did the work, I should be paid those wages. I knew I needed to file the grievance because every day that I wasn’t doing anything or having someone look into it, I was going backwards.”

Joe said that working with our union made the process easier.

“I’m a little stubborn and often feel like I can get through things on my own,” he said. “But at the end of the day, everyone needs a little help sometimes — that’s what I’ve realized being a part of NAPE.” 

Tiffany Fitzpatrick, an Administrative Technician who worked multiple hours as a Mental Health Specialist at LRC, also won her out-of-class pay grievance — though, initially, she didn’t realize that she was owed compensation at a higher rate for the time she spent working out of class.  

“I just picked up hours to get the overtime. I didn’t realize I was supposed to be paid more,” she said. “One of our union stewards actually pointed it out to me and that’s how I knew to file a grievance.” 

Tiffany said that despite her grievance being initially denied, she didn’t hesitate to pursue it further. 

“My representative really made me believe that we could win so I went ahead with it,” she said. “It feels really good to have followed through because I know that now this issue will be fixed for other people as well.”

Tiffany has been a member of our union for a couple of years and said that she feels lucky to have had the support that she needed.

“You never know if you’re going to need that representation. In my situation, I didn’t even know something was wrong — but my union steward did,” she said. “That’s why we need our union, just in case something like this happens.”

If you believe that you have not been properly compensated for the time you worked out of class, contact us right away for assistance.

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees