Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Union Member Leaders Elected for 2023-2025 Term

At this year’s Biennial Delegate Assembly, the member-elected NAPE/AFSCME delegates voted to elect the union’s officers by secret ballot. At the close of business on Sunday, those five officers were sworn into office.

President Melissa Haynes, a DHHS Social Services Worker from Fremont was reelected to a second term as union President. She is excited to get to know more state employees and bring awareness to all workers about what our union is and why it’s important to join NAPE/AFSCME.

“As President, I want to ensure state workers have the best possible quality of life,” she said. “We are the backbone of the State of Nebraska, and it’s vital that our compensation reflects our hard work and dedication to the people of Nebraska.”

Melissa is proud of the contract NAPE/AFSCME negotiated during her 2021-2023 term as President. During this term, she’s dedicated to fiercely enforcing that hard-won contract.

“Everyone deserves to have a voice in their workplace and in contract negotiations,” she said. “To ensure that happens, our Executive team is developing a plan to go to as many different area meetings across the State as possible. We want to meet as many state workers as possible and ensure they feel heard and advocated for.”

Vice President Brian Koch, a Department of Labor Workforce Coordinator in Beatrice, was reelected to a second term as Vice President. Brian has a plan to work more cohesively with state administration leaders and policymakers to bring awareness to the needs of public servants.

“In order for Nebraskans to grow and thrive, we must first take care of the front-line staff tasked with helping Nebraskans gain access to resources,” Brian said. “State Public Service positions used to be highly sought after with minimal turnover. Due to corporate politics and policymakers balancing the state budget on the backs of state workers, the vacant positions are now in abundance and people are being paid below the state average wage across the majority of classifications.”

Brian’s personal goal is to see a substantial increase in NAPE/AFSCME membership during his term as Vice President. To do so, the Executive Committee is developing a united front-line campaign to visit regularly scheduled meetings throughout the state so that members and potential members have direct access to them for one-on-one conversations.

Secretary Ashlie Thompson, a DHHS Department of Disabilities Service Coordinator in Lincoln, is looking forward to growing our union by engaging with fellow employees and extending that engagement all across the state. She’s passionate about rallying members during our organizing events, and during her tenure as Secretary, she hopes to encourage more of our NAPE/AFSCME union members to become Volunteer Member Organizers.

“We’ll be able to do such great things for state employees with the growth in members,” Ashlie said. “And I really want to inspire our old and new members to become involved in organizing and stewardship.”

Treasurer Jay Jensen, a NDOT Senior Highway Maintenance Worker in Omaha, was reelected to a third term as Treasurer. Jay hopes to once again end this two-year term with a balanced budget, just as he has the last four years. He wants to allocate money to afford our members access to in-house legal expertise working alongside the Executive Committee and Field Representatives.

“I think it’s important to be authentic, listen to our members, and find out how to best advocate for state employees,” Jay said. “During my term, I want to ensure I make myself available to members and non-members. I’m dedicated to maintaining open communication and creating trust between our union and management.”

Sergeant-at-Arms Brandon Brown, a Senior Revenue Agent in Lincoln, said that his goal is to maintain NAPE/AFSCME’s momentum.

“The goal is to continue building on the success we’ve had over the past couple of years,” he said. “The Executive Committee has made a commitment to get out into the community and meet with state employees in person as much as possible. That’s the best way that we can push toward becoming 3,000 strong.”

The officers of our union provide leadership and oversight in all matters of union business. NAPE/AFSCME is a member-led union, and our officers are elected by their peers to provide that leadership.

The officers, along with Executive Director Justin Hubly, make up our union’s Executive Committee, which is responsible for day-to-day operations and decision-making between Board of Directors meetings and Delegate Assemblies. Melissa, Brian, Ashlie, Jay, and Brandon will serve until the next election at the 2025 Delegate Assembly.

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees