Nebraska state workers rally for higher wages as negotiations start

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Tuesday, state workers rallied in Lincoln and called on the governor to invest in public workers.

Nebraska Association of Public Employees members gathered outside the State Office Building near the Capitol, the night before the start of salary negotiations with Gov. Pete Ricketts’ administration.

“Every two years, state employees have a right under state law to negotiate a new labor contract with the governor’s office,” Executive Director Justin Hubly said.

Negotiations are supposed to start on Wednesday, with updates expected beginning at 11 a.m.

Hubly said the state has been unable to provide essential services due to staffing shortages.

He said that is partially because the wages are not competitive enough.

So there’s a lot of staffing shortages right now,” Hubly said. “I believe that’s mainly because our wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living and they aren’t competitive in the open market.”

The union’s negotiation team will also discuss other employee benefits: paid parental leave, bilingual premium pay and access to remote work opportunities.

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