LINCOLN, Nebraska — In comparison to the majority of other states in the United States, Nebraska is in a rather unusual position.
A record low unemployment rate indicates that we have plenty of jobs but not enough people to work them all, and this shortfall is beginning to produce significant problems for state employees. Record low unemployment rates indicate that we have plenty of jobs but not enough people to work them all.
“It makes life more difficult. According to Jay Jensen, who works for the Nebraska Department of Transportation, “It’s a lot more weight on your shoulders because we don’t have staff, and then we are working double time.”
Because Jensen works for the Department of Transportation, she has witnessed directly the effects that the statewide personnel shortfall has had.
According to him, burnout at the DOT is rather frequent, and if the department does not hire more people, it will have a difficult time providing the services that people in Nebraska have come to rely on.
“When they are talking about putting up signs indicating your road isn’t going to be plowed for the next three days, that is when you should be concerned. How exactly do you plan on getting to the supermarket? How do you plan to get to work today? Jensen explained that it was a combination of all of those factors.
Jensen is of the opinion that low pay and benefits are contributing significantly to the talent gap, but there is hope that things will improve for state workers in the near future.
According to Justin Hubly, Executive Director of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees, “We are campaigning for salary increases for state employees earnings climbed on average 1.7% a year, which won’t cut it when inflation is 9%.” “We are advocating for wage increases for state employees”
On behalf of the 8,000 state employees who are members of the Nebraska Association of Public Employees, Hubly speaks on their behalf.
This week the Union will begin its negotiations with the state, and representatives are aiming for greater salary and perks, which have been more widespread in private enterprises in recent years.
According to Hubly, “paid parental leave is a huge problem for us, for our millennial employees and members, and for our Gen Z members.”
For Jensen, a pay increase that is anything less than an amount that is equal to or greater than the increases in the cost of living will not be sufficient. It is not yet clear what the new arrangement will be for state employees.
“We all live under inflation. The expense of living is something that affects all of us. According to Jensen, “I’d want to see him more than match that with our salary given that the CPI is currently at 5.9%.”