3,000 NONUNION STATE EMPLOYEES WILL START GETTING MERIT PAY RAISES RATHER THAN AUTOMATIC COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES

Governor Pete Ricketts announced Wednesday that he will be implementing a performance pay system for about 3,000 nonunion govermment employees in his cabinet agencies. This means that employees will now have to earn their raises through performance rather than receiving automatic increases based on cost of living. Ricketts said he'll evaluate how this system works and then make a recommendation that the Nebraska Association of Public Employees consider this performance based system for the almost 17,500 other state employees. Mike Steadman, a negotiator for the public employees union, said he wasn't sure whether his members would agree to a performance based system. Such systems, he said, need clear measurable goals that are realistic in order to be fair. The new pay system will be applicable to employees in the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, State Patrol, and Department of Environmental Quality.