NAPE pushes back against Pillen order requiring return to office

Dec. 7, 2023, 4 p.m. ·

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Nebraska Association of Public Employees Executive Director Justin Hubly shares concerns with Gov. Jim Pillen's executive order ending most remote work arrangements for state employees at a December press event. (Photo by Brian Beach/Nebraska Public Media News)

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State employee union members filled the capitol rotunda on their lunch break Thursday to express concerns with the governor’s order ending remote work next month.

Nebraska Association of Public Employees executive director Justin Hubly said the union renewed its demand to bargain with the Pillen administration and has given them until December 12th to respond.

Hubly also shared data from the union’s internal survey which found that around 16 percent of respondents are considering or actively looking for a new employer as a direct result of the executive order.

“The data was a little surprising to us,” Hubly said. “I'll be honest, I didn't think that many people were considering leaving, actively searching and have already left just based on this executive order.”

Hubly said many departments are already short staffed and it will become even harder to hire if the state does not offer flexible remote work options.

“If there's another employer that offers better benefits, whether it be pay benefits or remote work assignments, we just know we have to compete with them,” he said. “And so to make the state a 21st century employer, we have to meet that demand.”

Hubly said he has a good relationship with the governor’s chief negotiator and he is hopeful they will be able to make a deal.