The Chief Negotiator and any other employer-representative and the exclusive collective-bargaining agent shall commence negotiations on or prior to the second Wednesday in September of the year preceding the beginning of the contract period, except that the first negotiations commenced by any bargaining unit may commence after such September date in order to accommodate any unresolved representation proceedings. All negotiations shall be completed on or before March 15 of the following year.
All negotiated agreements shall be in writing and signed by the parties. The authority to enter into the agreed-upon contract shall be vested in the following:
(1) For the University of Nebraska, the Board of Regents;
(2) For the Nebraska state colleges, the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges;
(3) For other constitutional offices, the head of such office;
(4) For all other agencies, the Governor; and
(5) For the bargaining unit, a majority of those voting on ratification after notice of the contract terms is given and a secret ballot vote has been taken.
Nothing in the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act shall be construed to prohibit supplementary bargaining on behalf of employees in part of a bargaining unit concerning matters uniquely affecting such employees or cooperation and coordination of bargaining between two or more bargaining units. Supplementary bargaining in regard to employees for whom the Governor is the employer-representative shall be the responsibility of the Chief Negotiator and may be assigned to his or her designated representative.
Any agreements entered into pursuant to this section may be adjusted after March 15 only to reflect any order issued by the commission or the Supreme Court.