Nebraska state lawmakers are targeting a commission that has produced occasional labor victories for public employee unions, one of the few avenues available when negotiations stall.
Conservative lawmakers say the Commission of Industrial Relations is responsible for unpredictable changes in government personnel spending. Commission supporters say their criticism is politically motivated, meant to take advantage of the sour national mood about government spending.
Lawmakers unveiled a package this week in response to frustration with the commission, which resolves public sector labor disputes. Six versions of legislation had been introduced that, in different forms, would have stripped the commission's authority to set wages and work conditions, remove its jurisdiction over health and retirement benefits and exclude it from cases involving public school teachers.