State, Union Agree To New Contract

LINCOLN, NE (October 8, 2021) – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and state leaders announced an agreement in principle had been reached between the State and the Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE) that will govern state teammate compensation for teammates working in healthcare and related classifications at the State’s 24/7 facilities with the Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Veterans’ Affairs, and Correctional Services (NDCS), and other critical roles throughout state government.   

“We have record low unemployment in Nebraska, and high inflation due to the policies in Washington.  We have a talented team in State government and their skills are in demand in this tight labor market,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This agreement underscores our ongoing recognition of our teammates’ dedication to service and work to retain the team we continue to build.”   

Jason Jackson, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Governor Pete Ricketts, and the Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE) also issued statements after reaching agreement on terms for a new labor contract.  NAPE represents over 8,000 public employees that work for the State of Nebraska in agencies throughout the state.

“Building a strong team starts with retaining and recruiting to add to our ranks.  This agreement is an aggressive move on the part of the State to bring our compensation to a competitive level and ensure the continuity of critical services at our 24/7 facilities,” said CHRO Jackson.  “The State bargaining team appreciates the constructive partnership with NAPE to get this deal done.” 

“The agreement represents a substantial increase in pay for our members working within 24/7 facilities and across State government,” said NAPE Executive Director Justin Hubly.  “Negotiating competitive wages has been a focus for our union, and this agreement goes a long way toward achieving our shared goals of retaining and recruiting the very best talent to serve our fellow Nebraskans.  NAPE appreciates Governor Ricketts and his team for meeting us at the table and working collaboratively to make immediate improvements in the lives of our members.”

This agreement represents the largest mid-biennium contract agreement in Nebraska history.  All told, over 450 classifications totalling over 7,500 teammates will earn an additional $47 million in new compensation after the deal is finalized.

The new agreement would amend the 2021-2023 Labor Contract between the State and NAPE.  Under this agreement, teammates at 24/7 facilities and covered under this labor contract will receive a $3 per hour pay increase. 

Also, starting on November 1, 2021, there will be a 20% increase pay line adjustment for classifications identified as high demand and a 30% increase pay line adjustment for healthcare classifications identified as critical. 

On top of these initiatives, this agreement also increases overtime pay at 24/7 facilities, and provides for an additional 2% cost of living adjustment that will occur on July 1, 2022.