State can freeze employees’ salaries, but city can’t?
I’m reading about the governor’s proposed budget today, and I’m trying to figure out how he can get by with proposing a salary freeze the first year of the budget, and 2 percent the second year — while Lincoln’s city officials say they had no choice but to give firefighters up to 10 percent raises this year or face losing at a state arbitration board.
Gov. Dave Heineman seems to get by with the slimmest of raises for state employees — and they’re governed by the same laws that govern city employees and all public employees. Sometimes the state employee unions put up a fight, but they don’t seem to get much traction.
Meanwhile, the city of Lincoln is handing out double-digit-raises (to firefighters alone) and claiming they have to — because the Commission of Industrial Relations will force them to if firefighters appeal. Can somebody explain this to me? Maybe I’m missing something.