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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Launches New Pay for Performance Plan



Video available here.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the State of Nebraska will be implementing a new pay for performance program for discretionary and classified rules positions at the start of 2018.  Today’s announcement replaces automatic cost of living pay increases for discretionary and classified rules teammates with a new program which creates the opportunity for pay increases when agency officials meet job performance goals.


“Top organizations in business and government recognize their teammates for their performance,” said Governor Ricketts. “This new pay for performance plan will bring state agencies into alignment with private sector best practices and give leaders a new tool to recognize our teammates who are making state government more effective, efficient, and customer focused.”


Starting January 2018, discretionary and classified rules teammates will no longer receive a “cost of living pay increase.” Instead, teammates who meet their goals will receive a “merit increase.”  This merit increase will be based on goals those teammates set with leadership in their agency for their performance during the 2018 calendar year.  Top performers may also be eligible to receive additional bonus increases.  The pay for performance program is being implemented using existing dollars which have traditionally funded cost of living increases.  The first opportunity for a performance-based pay increase based on the goals set will be January 1, 2019.


The new pay for performance program covers discretionary and classified rules staff only.  Discretionary and classified rules staff include management and professional employees not subject to the union contract.  Changes will impact about 3000 staff in the Governor’s agencies, and non-code agencies (state agencies not under the management of the Governor) are being encouraged to adopt the new system as well.  The new pay raise program will not affect any state teammates covered by a union contract.  The next contract will be negotiated in late 2018, and the administration will assess whether pay for performance will be a point of negotiation on that contract at a later time. 


This change builds on the work Governor Ricketts has done to run government like a business.  Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has ordered the creation of job descriptions for top positions in state government, hired a Chief Human Resources Officer, developed goals and measurements for his agencies, trained state teammates in process improvement, and worked to eliminate hundreds of unnecessary positions.