State Employees Hold Press Conference Ahead Of Negotiation Deadline

(KFOR NEWS  December 14, 2022)   The Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE/AFSCME Local 61), the union representing over 8,000 State of Nebraska employees, is currently in negotiations with the State of Nebraska for a new two-year labor contract to last through June 30, 2025.   The statutory deadline to complete negotiations is December 31, and progress so far has been slow.

On Thursday, December 15th at 12:15pm, union members will hold a press conference in the State Capitol Rotunda in Lincoln and call on the State of Nebraska to invest in public workers in order to attract and retain employees to ensure the State can continue to provide vital services to citizens.  Union members will speak about the importance of the negotiations priorities and how these priorities will help the State attract and retain employees.

The state is critically short staffed at many agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Department of Health and Human Services,” said Melissa Haynes, DHHS Lead Social Services Workers (Fremont) and President of the union.  “We must do all
we can to encourage potential employees to choose public service, and that starts with a strong labor contract that invests in state employees.

The top priority for union members are wage increases that account for inflation, while also recognizing employees for satisfactory work performance.   Beyond wages, union members prioritized paid parental leave, access to remote work assignments, retirement insurance incentives, sick leave payout, bilingual premium pay, and limitations on mandatory overtime.

In order to attract employees to public service and retain them for years to come, we must have a contract that takes a fresh approach for a modern and efficient workforce,” said NAPE Executive Director Justin Hubly.  “Offering competitive wages, paid parental leave, access to remote work opportunities, and placing reasonable limits on mandatory overtime are just some of the ways the State can strengthen our workforce to make certain vital services continue without interruption.

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