10 CIR 168 (1989)


Unincorporated Association, |
Petitioner, |
A Political Subdivision of the |
State of Nebraska, |
Respondent. |


For the Petitioner: Mark C. McGuire

Crosby, Guenzel, Davis,

Kessner & Kuester

400 Lincoln Benefit Building

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

For the Respondent: Malcolm D. Young

Young & White

8901 Indian Hills Dr., Suite 210

Omaha, Nebraska 68114


Before: Judges Orr, Mullin, and Kratz


The Millard Education Association of School Nurses filed a Petition, on February 16, 1989, seeking resolution of an industrial dispute including establishment of wages and other terms, tenure and conditions of employment. The respondent, School District No. 17 a/k/a Millard Public Schools, filed an answer denying many of the Petitioner's allegations and further denying that nurses were teachers. The Petitioner was then given leave to amend it's petition and on March 14th filed an amended petition which deleted any reference to teachers and referred only to the nurses employed by the Millard School District. Respondent thereupon filed an Amended Answer and the matter was set for pretrial conference and hearing.

The dispute concerns the 1988-89 contract year. The issues to be resolved as set out in the Amended Petition are;

a)Establishment of an index salary including structure of the index salary schedule and provisions for horizontal and vertical advancement on such schedule;

b)Base salary applicable to the salary schedule to be established.


The Petitioner seeks relief and the Commission has jurisdiction over the dispute pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 48-818 which, in relevant part, provides:

The findings and order or orders may establish or alter the scale of wages, hours of labor, or conditions of employment, or any one or more of the same. In making such findings and order or orders, the Commission of Industrial Relations shall establish rates of pay and conditions of employment which are comparable to the prevalent wage rates paid and conditions of employment maintained for the same or similar work of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions. In establishing wage rates the commission shall take into consideration the overall compensation presently received by the employees, having regard not only to wages for time actually worked but also to wages for time not worked, including vacations, holidays, and other excused time, and all benefits received, including insurance and pensions, and the continuity and stability of employment enjoyed by the employees. .....


The Petitioner presented the following school districts as comparables: Bellevue, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha, Papillion-LaVista and Ralston. The Respondent did not propose any comparables and, in fact, did not introduce any exhibits at the trial. Table 1 sets out some of the relevant information on Petitioner's proposed comparables.

As in any Section 48-818 wage case the Commission must decide which, if any, proposed array points are sufficiently similar and have enough like characteristics or qualities to make comparison appropriate. This decision must be based on the facts as presented by the parties. Generally, the Commission considers evidence of the relative size and proximity of the proposed districts as well as any other evidence presented that indicates similarity of work, skills and working conditions.

In the present case the Petitioner presented considerable testimony as to the similarity of work, skills and working conditions between Millard and the school districts proposed by the Petitioner. As there were no other proposed comparables nor any significant evidence challenging the Petitioner's evidence, the Commission determines that the array shall consist of Bellevue, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha, Papillion-LaVista and Ralston.


One of the issues to be resolved is establishment of a salary schedule. The Millard nurses currently have a salary schedule separate from and distinct from the salary schedule used for teachers. There are only two columns on the current schedule for nurses, one for registered nurses and one for nurses with their Bachelors degrees. The Association seeks to retain the current salary schedule for registered nurses but seeks to have nurses with their degrees placed on the existing teacher's salary schedule.

Table 2 sets out the current practices of the districts chosen to comprise the Commission's array. As is apparent from Table 2, the prevalent practice among the array members is to have some type of schedule for registered nurses and to place degreed nurses on the teacher's salary schedule. The Commission thus finds that the Millard School District shall retain the current salary schedule for registered nurses but shall place any registered nurses with their degrees on the teacher's salary schedule.


The only other issue presented to the Commission is base salary applicable to the salary schedule established.

In effect the Commission has not established a new schedule but has instead found that nurses with their degrees shall be placed on the teacher's salary schedule. In as much as the teachers have reached agreement with the District for the 1988-89 contract year, on the base salary applicable to their schedule, it is that base that will apply to those nurses placed on the teacher's schedule. The evidence indicates that in the past the schedule applicable to registered nurses was also tied to the base salary received by teachers. The Association did not request that the Commission alter this practice, so, the schedule applicable to registered nurses shall remain as previously established and shall be tied to the 1988-89 base salary for teachers which is $17,500.


1. All registered nurses with a degree, employed by the Millard School District, be placed on the teacher's salary schedule, giving consideration to their experience, employment history, and educational attainment.

2. The salary schedule for registered nurses without their degrees shall remain unchanged and shall be tied to the teachers 1988-89 base salary of $17,500.

3. All other terms and conditions of employment for the nurses employed by the Millard School District for the 1988-89 school year are not effected by this Order.

All judges assigned to the panel in this case join in the entry of these Findings and Order.

Entered August 1, 1989.