Chambers Unite to Push for Significant & Meaningful CIR Reform
Thu, April 14, 2011

Contact Senators now to ask for their support.

The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry continue their united efforts to push for significant & meaningful reform of state laws governing public employee wages and benefits.

Elected officials, including Mayors, County Boards, City Councils and School Boards, frequently blame the state's unique Commission on Industrial Relations (CIR) for burdensome decisions. They're right and the time for real reform is now!

In fact, our Chambers believe significant and meaningful reform is necessary to make Nebraska strongly competitive for future growth.

Bold changes are necessary and all of our Chambers testified at previous public hearings on various proposals that broke free from the CIR status quo. All of us made the point that CIR reform must be significant and meaningful. We supported specific reform measures.

Our ongoing discussions have led us to four main outcomes against which we measure reform ideas and the recently outlined Business & Labor Committee Amendment. These outcomes are:

  1. Comprehensive - impact all facets of government;
  2. Result in opportunity for cost savings and/or cost containment for every facet of government;
  3. Allow elected officials to manage budgets they were elected to manage; and,
  4. Provide transparent means to resolve labor disputes.

The Committee Amendment outlines several changes, many of which are the same or similar to those included under LB 482(Utter) and LB 555(Harms). It includes some positive changes to the process that hold potential for improvement and finally getting an accurate picture of total compensation. However, the proposal falls far short when measured against our expected outcomes for reform.

We remain committed to giving elected officials control of their budgets through meaningful CIR reform. Toward this end, we've offered specific ideas and amendments and will stay engaged in the debate. We are legitimate stakeholders in this debate and we deserve and expect elected officials to do what is right for fair, sustainable, and market-based public wages and benefits.

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