Bargaining season nears

Welcome to the new school year! The fall brings with it new opportunities in the classroom, as well as a new opportunity to negotiate your salary and benefits.

Collective bargaining is a tool Nebraska educators can use to improve their working conditions and pay. Topics like salary, insurance packages, plan time and professional development hours all can be negotiated. In order to make that happen, your local association must be recognized by the employer as the bargaining agent for the year, or certified as the permanent bargaining agent for your school.

NSEA’s Collective Bargaining Specialist Randy Gordon offers the following tips for local associations as the bargaining window approaches this fall:

  • Stay in touch with your NSEA organizational specialist about upcoming bargaining opportunities and available resources, including the bargaining calendar and updated sample negotiated agreement.
  • Community college and K-12 locals should prepare and submit their 2023-24 recognition request letter now so the board can act on recognizing the local as the bargaining agent for next fall’s negotiations of the 2023-24 agreement. (Certified locals, prepare your notification letter for the board.)
  • Survey association members about issues and priorities before you head to the bargaining table.
  • Access NSEA’s microsearch database of current agreements at www.nsea.org/collective-bargaining.
  • Organize your negotiations team so roles and responsibilities are clear during both preparation and bargaining.
  • Be ready to begin negotiations by Nov. 1 for K-12 and community college locals and by Sept. 1 for state employee groups.
  • Stay in touch with your organizational specialist throughout the process. They can help you comply with the bargaining calendar, learn more about area settlements and be aware of trending language proposals being offered by other district boards.