Nebraska corrections union, Gov. Ricketts agree to historic deal

(Lincoln, NE) -- Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and the corrections officer union agree upon a historic contract that would raise wages for prison staffers.

On Wednesday, after weeks of negotiating, Ricketts and representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police celebrated reaching the agreement. The FOP represents corrections officers at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and safety and security specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services. The new agreement, which will have to be voted on by FOP members, includes pay raises for NDCS and DHHS teammates. The new agreement includes the following components:

  • $5 per hour base wage increase for NDCS and DHHS teammates
  • $4 per hour base wage increase for Military/Security teammates
  • $3 per hour pay differential for NDCS and DHHS teammates
  • 2x overtime pay for the duration of the contract
  • The combined $8 per hour increase will result in a 40% increase over the previous base of $20 per hour for new corporals in the corrections workforce.

“Our protective services teammates are an integral part of keeping our communities safe,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Thank you to the State bargaining team and Corrections Union for working together to reach this historic agreement. It shows great support for the dedicated men and women working 24/7 to ensure public safety, and will help recruit and retain a strong team for our correctional facilities.”

“Across the country, States are having a difficult time staffing correctional facilities. This agreement will protect public safety by placing Nebraska’s corrections wages ahead of peer states and counties and giving ourselves the best chance to recruit new officers,” said Jason Jackson, the Governor’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of the Department of Administrative Services.

“The FOP is excited to celebrate this historic day in Nebraska Corrections and in DHHS,” said FOP President Mike Chipman. “This contract is the game-changing moment that we have desperately needed and waited for. The good men and women who work in our 24-hour facilities across the State have been struggling with the largest understaffing crisis in Nebraska Corrections history. That Staffing Crisis changes now. We will have the third highest paid Corrections staff in the Nation, and we look forward to actively partnering with the Director and the Department to recruit qualified employees to fill our prisons and mental health facilities with the staff they need to provide for the safety of our employees and the public at large. We appreciate the work of the Governor’s staff on this deal and the patience of our membership across the State as we worked together to make this great day happen.”

“Governor Ricketts has said from the start that we can apply proven business practices to state government, and this agreement acknowledges his commitment to finding and retaining the talent we need to keep people safe,” said NDCS Director Scott Frakes. “Attracting and retaining top talent will produce the outcomes we all want from our corrections system, and this agreement will put Nebraska among the most competitive in the nation. My staff work long hours with some of the most dangerous people alive, and they deserve pay that recognizes how important their work is for public safety. Labor-Management relationships are most effective when we partner to create the best working conditions for our people. This agreement with FOP is about compensation and working together to find the best talent for NDCS.”

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