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February 2013 Volume 2, Number 2

The NAPE Connection
The NAPE Connection is meant to highlight important news releases, events, grievance decisions, contract information, and upcoming activities. Our hope is that individuals will get connected, not only with their Union, but with each other.

Heineman’s Tax Plan: LB405 and LB406 are dead!
News in February:
    Gov. Tax Plan is dead Contract Provision of the Month: 14.12 LB561 threatens YRTC closures AFSCME Local Union Leadership Academy comes to Nebraska

Met by mounting opposition, Senator McCoy made the motion to kill both of his bills—LB405 and 406—two weeks after both bills were heard. NAPE has been opposed to both of these proposed bills. We presented testimony to the Revenue Committee making these assertions: These bills would shifts the tax burden onto working Nebraskans, increasing their taxes; these bills will place significant pressure on state budgets, jeopardizing core services that working Nebraskans desperately need; and these bills will be devastating for public employees, as cuts to services translate into lost jobs. Now the Legislature has shifted their focus to LB613, which would create the Tax Modernization Commission. This Committee will likely lay the groundwork for tax reform discussions that will go on for the rest of the year.

NAPE maintains that we must always be diligent about how we examine state revenues and spending to ensure we are using tax dollars efficiently and strategically. This will help us promote a prosperous Nebraska now and in the future.

Contract Provision of the Month: 14.12 Request for Sick Leave
These winter months often bring illness—especially this year. You have rights when you request the use of your sick leave. possible. An employee may be required to submit substantiating evidence when the reason for the leave request was a medical or dental 14.12 Request for Sick appointment or when the Leave: Sick leave shall be Agency head and/or requested in advance his/her Designees when possible. Such suspects sick leave abuse. request shall be answered Substantiating evidence within 48 hours. In the may be required if the sick case of illness, injury, leave absence excessed emergency or any other three consecutive absence not approved in workdays. advance, the employee should inform the first level Also, remember, your of supervision outside the employer may request bargaining unit of the substantiating evidence circumstances as soon as when the reason for your sick leave request is an appointment or when they suspect sick leave abuse. If your employer requests substantiating evidence when you have missed less than three consecutive workdays, you may want to ask your employer in writing whether they suspect sick leave abuse.

Juvenile Justice Reform at the Capital: LB561 seeks the closure of YRTCs
A bill introduced by Senators Ashford, Krist, Campbell, McGill, and Chambers that alleges that the services available for the treatment and rehabilitation of juveniles in the juvenile justice system are insufficient to meet the needs of those individuals. LB561 seeks to create an Office of Juvenile Assistance within the Judicial Branch. It also looks to create a community-based model of care for those within the juvenile justice system. In moving towards this community-based model, the bill has also proposed that the Office of Juvenile Services will be dissolved and the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers will be permanently closed by January 1, 2015. NAPE members are mobilizing to stop these closures. With nearly 300 works employed at the YTRCs, these closures threaten an already unstable system. We believe this proposal sends the message to employees it is time to ‘bale’. Additionally, Nebraska has a long disturbing history of removing essential institutions for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill without sufficiently providing the financial resources to develop the array of community programs to meet the extensive needs of the various populations. We know that community based programs must be operative before one removes that existing State supports. We think for the bill to truly address this challenge it must provide for the operation and existence of community supports for two years prior to the removal of the State services and anything less will not insure a solution to a problem that we all want solved. Our members dedicate their lives to serving Nebraska’s troubled youth they are a valuable resource and the bill in its current form does not acknowledge this. A recent Lincoln Journal Star article on the closure says that employees from the YRTCs will be absorbed by the Department of Correction, but this legislation fails to address the transition of workers from one branch of government to another branch which will have a very real impact on their livelihoods.

We must all stand together against this bill!
We encourage you to contact your state senators and ask them to oppose LB561. Don’t know who your senator is? Check out http://nebraskalegislat ure.gov/senators/sena tor_find.php

AFSCME Local Union Leadership Academy: April 13th and 14th
NAPE is currently setting up AFSCME Local Union Leadership Academy Training. We need potential officer, union activists, and potential advocates to attend. It’s a great training that should really help us all be a better union and engage our membership! The dates for this training are April 13th and 14th and it will be held in Lincoln at The Cornhusker Hotel. Training will most likely start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and run with activities through the evening. The training will most likely go until 3 p.m. on Sunday. All meals will be provided for while you are at the training and NAPE will provide the customary travel expenses. Some hotel rooms are available. We need potential officers, union activists, and potential advocates to attend! It’s a great training that should really help us all be a better union and engage our membership. This is a rare opportunity—as this training is not available often! If you are interested, we need a tentative count by Thursday, February 28th, 2013. Please contact the NAPE office to reserve your spot! Space is limited. Board of Directors and District Officers need to be at the training.

District Meeting
The purpose of these meetings is to share information, gain knowledge about the Union and communicate with other members. During NAPE District Meetings information from the local board, news from the unicameral, workplace concerns and other current topics are discussed. Greater Lincoln District: Meetings are held on the first Saturday of every month at 11am. and 3pm in Lincoln at the NAPE Office conference room in the basement, 5625 O Street. Greater Omaha District: Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6pm at Lansky’s, which is located off of 50th and L Streets in Omaha. Greater York District: Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of every month at 5pm Kilgore Memorial Library, 520 Nebraska Avenue in York.

We are only as strong as our membership! Don’t wait! Ask your coworkers to join. We need to stand together!

Ponca District: Meetings are held on the 3 Tuesday of the month from 12pm at Wayne State College
South Central District: Meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of every month at the IBEW/CWA meeting room, which is located at 3302 Capitol Avenue (corner of Webb Rd and Capital Ave) at 7pm. South East District: Meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at the Tecumseh Public Library located at 170 Branch Street at 6:30pm Other District Meetings do not have set times or locations, but do occur. If you don’t see your District Meeting, please call the NAPE office to see when your next meeting is planned.

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NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 5625 O Street, Suite 10 Lincoln, NE 68510 PHONE: (402) 486-3911 (800) 522-6273 FAX: (402) 486-3924

We’re on the Web!
See us at:
www.napeafscme.com AND www.facebook.com

If you ever have anything you would like to see included in The NAPE Connection, please forward your stories and suggestions to cfogale@nape.afscme.org If you’d like to receive The NAPE Connection in your inbox everything month, please provide us with your name and home email address. Requests can be sent directly to cfogale@napeafscme.org or call us at (800) 522-NAPE to get your name on our email list.

NAPE/AFSCME LOCAL 61 5625 O Street, Suite 10 Lincoln, NE 68503