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State of Nebraska Staff Care Technicians to Receive Pay Increase in 2018

State of Nebraska Staff Care Technicians to Receive Pay Increase(December 12, 2017) — In an effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness, Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs are moving forward with a pay line increase for staff care technicians. This 20% increase will raise the pay line for these teammates to a more competitive level within the state in order to attract and retain the critical caregivers responsible for serving our veterans.

“We need to be providing our veterans with top-of-the-line care,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “This increase will have a tremendous effect on our homes’ ability to do that. It will improve recruitment and retention, limit our reliance on third-party staffing, and improve continuity of care for our veterans. This is a great example of an initiative that not only makes our state more efficient, but also improves our customer service.”

Staff care technicians, more commonly referred to in the industry as CNAs, provide basic nursing care, administer medications, and perform a variety of other tasks to ensure Nebraska’s veterans receive first-class care. There are currently 147 staff care technicians at the state’s veterans’ homes who will be affected by this increase.

This position has seen a high turnover rate, and through staff surveys and research NDVA found low wages and mandatory overtime are the main reasons these teammates choose to leave. This high turnover has forced the agency to utilize third-party staffing agencies, which impacts continuity of care and incurs additional costs. No additional funding will be required to complete this initiative due to the cost reduction in replacing contracted CNAs with permanent state teammates.

“This is a big win in our efforts to retain those for those who care for America’s heroes,” said NDVA Director John Hilgert. “I want to thank the Ricketts administration for helping us make changes that will allow us to better serve those who have so graciously served us.”

“For 20 years the Nebraska Veterans’ Home Board has sought ways to improve the living wage for our dedicated staff care techs and now it is happening,” said Jim Cada, chairman of the Nebraska Veterans’ Homes Board. “I want to thank the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs for its efforts and support, as well as all the staff working in our veterans’ homes.”

"With so many hospitals and facilities to choose from, medical personnel that choose to serve the men and women who served this great nation deserve our utmost respect and admiration,” said David Ossian, Marine Corps League chief of staff. “Proper pay and benefits is the least we can do to say ‘thank you and job well done.’"