Nebraska´s state employees are getting a reprieve. Governor Jim Pillen´s order to end remote work and return to their offices was temporarily blocked by a state agency.
State workers had been set to return to the office on Tuesday after Pillen unilaterally issued the order in November.
But on Friday, the Nebraska Committee on Industrial Relations granted a temporary halt on the order.
The Committee serves as an arbitrator that resolves public sector wage and working condition disputes.
They found that remote work is currently the status quo for public employees and any change must be resolved through bargaining.
The state employees union, the Nebraska Association of Public Employees, pushed back on the order, filing a complaint with the committee.
The governor’s order, it said, would worsen staffing shortages and limit state agencies’ ability to retain high-quality public servants.
The union conducted a survey of its members following Pillen’s order.
Of 1,700 respondents, more than 1,000 said they were actively looking or considering new jobs in response to the order.
Pillen’s office said he is committed to having state workers return to the office. He said that while remote work may have served a purpose, “it was never intended to be the norm.”