POLICE DEPARTMENT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING COMMITTEE, APPELLEE
February 20, 1980, No. 42575
1. Commission of Industrial Relations:
Jurisdiction. The Commission of Industrial Relations has no general jurisdiction
over contractual disputes.
2. Commission of Industrial Relations: Wages.
Experience and longevity are proper matters to be considered in determining the
wages to be paid to employees within the same job classification.
3. Commission of Industrial Relations: Appeal
and Error. A party appealing from an order of the Commission of Industrial
Relations is not required to file a motion for new trial before the commission.
4. Commission of Industrial Relations: Trial:
Evidence. In the taking of evidence the Commission of Industrial Relations is
required to follow the rules of evidence prevailing in the trial of civil cases.
5. Witnesses: Evidence. An expert witness
should not be allowed to express an opinion where the evidence shows there is no
adequate basis for the opinion.
Appeal from the Commission of Industrial
Relations. Order vacated in part, and in part reversed.
Herbert J. Elworth of Casey & Elworth,
Michael W. Amdor, for appellee.
Heard before KRIVOSHA, C. J., BOSLAUGH,
MCCOWN, CLINTON, BRODKEY, WHITE, and HASTINGS, JJ.
This is an
appeal in a proceeding before the Commission of Industrial Relations. The
plaintiff is the bargaining agent for the employees of the police department of
evidentiary hearing the commission entered an order fixing and determining the
wages and working conditions for officers, detectives, sergeants, and
dispatchers employed in the police department of the defendant.
has appealed and contends that the order of the commission was erroneous in
several respects. However, before proceeding to the principal issues involved in
the appeal, there are several preliminary issues that require mention.
found the defendant had engaged in unfair labor practices and ordered the City
to promote a sergeant to lieutenant and restore a secretary/part-time dispatcher
to the department. The plaintiff concedes this part of the order was beyond the
jurisdiction of the commission under the rule stated in University Police
Officers Union v. University of Nebraska, 203 Neb. 4, 277 N. W. 2d 529. Accordingly, that part of the order must be
also ordered the City to amend its pension plan to provide a 12 percent or 6 and
6 pension plan. The pension plan is in the nature of a long-term contract which
extends beyond the 2-year period over which the commission had jurisdiction in
this case. The commission has no general jurisdiction over contractual disputes.
See Transport Workers of America v. Transit Auth. of City of Omaha, ante p.
286 N. W. 2d 102. That part of the order which directed the defendant to amend
its pension plan was beyond the jurisdiction of the commission and must also be
issues involved in this appeal relate to the determination of wages and working
conditions for the employees in question for the period from August 1, 1976, to
July 31, 1978. The defendant contends the commission erred in receiving evidence
over its objection, that the evidence does not support the findings of the
commission as to the wages which should be paid, and that the commission had no
authority to establish a salary step schedule.
step schedule merely determined that employees with less than 1 year's
experience, employees with 1 year's experience, and employees with more than 2
years' experience, all within the same job classification, should be paid wages
differently depending upon their experience. It was a recognition that
experience and longevity in employment may provide a basis for an increase in
compensation over the starting salary fixed for a particular job classification.
This part of the order was not beyond the jurisdiction of the commission because
it is a matter for consideration in the determination of wages. The order, of
course, affected only wages to be paid during the period over which the
commission had jurisdiction and did not bind the defendant after July 31, 1978.
contends that the defendant can not raise any issue on appeal concerning rulings
on evidentiary matters by the commission because the defendant did not file a
motion for new trial before the commission. The plaintiff relies upon section
48-812, R. R. S. 1943, which provides that appeals from an order of the
commission to this court shall be taken in the same manner and time as appeals
from the District Court to this court, and shall be disposed of in this court
"in the manner provided by law for disposition of equity cases."
requirement that a motion for new trial be filed in the District Court as a
prerequisite to raising certain issues on appeal is statutory in origin.
Generally, we have held this requirement is not applicable to proceedings before
administrative bodies in the absence of a specific statute making such a
requirement. We do not interpret section 48-812, R. R. S. 1943, as making such a
requirement and find no merit in the plaintiff's contention.
based its order upon an array consisting of Beatrice, La Vista, Nebraska City,
was allowed, over objection, to introduce exhibits compiled from questionnaires
concerning salaries paid in 22 first-class cities. The plaintiff called an
expert witness who, over objection, was allowed to testify as to his opinion
based upon these exhibits.
questionnaires had been prepared by the expert witness. The plaintiff had mailed
the questionnaires to the police departments in the 22 cities. The
questionnaires which were returned to the plaintiff through the mail were not
authenticated in any way. The questionnaires listed minimum and maximum salaries
but there was no indication as to whether the salaries listed were actually
being paid or under what conditions employees would be entitled to receive the
In the taking
of evidence the commission was required to follow the rules of evidence
prevailing in the trial of civil cases. § 48-809, R. R. S. 1943. Because of the
lack of foundation evidence to establish the source and reliability of the
information contained on the questionnaires which was the basis for the
compilations offered by the plaintiff, the defendant's objections to these
exhibits should have been sustained. Since the exhibits were the basis for the
opinion testimony given by the plaintiff's expert witness, the defendant's
objections to his testimony should have been sustained. An expert witness should
not be allowed to express an opinion where the evidence shows there is no
adequate basis for the opinion. Clearwater Corp. v. City of
Those parts of
the order of the commission relating to alleged unfair labor practices by the
defendant and the defendant's pension plan are vacated. The balance of the order
ORDER VACATED IN PART, AND IN PART REVERSED.
concurs in result.