10 CIR 242 (1990)


Petitioner, |
0060, A Political Subdivision of |
the State of Nebraska, |
Respondent. |


For the Petitioner: Mark D. McGuire

Crosby, Guenzel, Davis,

Kessner & Kuester

400 Lincoln Benefit Building

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

For the Respondent: John F. Recknor

Barlow, Johnson, DeMars &


1227 Lincoln Mall

P.O. Box 81686

Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

Before: Judges Dawson, Orr, and Cope



The Adams County District No. The Adams County District No. 0060 Education Association filed a Petition on October 20, l989 for a resolution of an industrial dispute under Section 48-8l8. Adams County School District #60 is a Class I school district employing seven full-time and two part-time teachers and has an enrollment for the l989-90 school year of 99 students. A waiver of the 60 day hearing requirement was filed and a trial was held January l5, l990. There were three issues listed at pretrial: base salary, salary structure, and the amount of employer contribution rate to health insurance. The Petitioner did not raise salary structure as an issue to be determined by the Commission during the trial. The Respondent rested without putting on any evidence and the Petitioner, in closing comments in lieu of briefs, noted that there were only two issues: base salary and health insurance contribution. The Commission will, therefore, only address the issues of base salary and health insurance contribution.


The Petitioner seeks relief and the Commission has jurisdiction over the dispute pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 48-8l8 which, in relevant part, provides:

Except as provided in the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 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 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 offered ten school districts: Adams #l5, Juniata, Hall #3, St. Libory and Chapman, Bellwood, Hall #l2, North Bend, Ruskin, and Wood River. The Report of Pretrial Conference clearly shows that the parties stipulated to similar work, skills and working conditions at all proposed schools. During the trial, the Respondent challenged that stipulation. However the Commission considers the pretrial order to be binding on both parties. The Respondent had ample opportunity to object to this pretrial order but did not. Table l sets forth information on each proposed array member.

All of the districts offered fit the Commission's objective criteria of size and proximity and all are Class l districts. While Table l does not show geographic proximity, the Petitioner's witness testified that all were within l00 straight line miles. The record does not contain any evidence which would support the exclusion of any of the proposed comparables. Petitioner's witness also testified that statistically it is better to choose a larger array than a smaller array in case there is one number which is significantly different from the others which may impact the mean and median to a greater extent than it should. The Commission agrees that a larger array is more statistically sound, although there are times when such a larger array simply is not possible given the evidence presented. In this case, the Commission concludes that an appropriate array consists of all school districts offered: namely, Adams #l5, Bellwood, Chapman, Hall #3, Hall #12, Juniata, North Bend, Ruskin, St. Libory, and Wood River.


The School District of Adams #60 presently has a fringe benefit cafeteria plan, offering its teachers $125.00 per month which they may apply towards health insurance. The Association is asking that the fringe benefit contribution be increased to $l75.00 per month. While only three of the ten comparable school districts have a cafeteria plan, neither party contends that Adams #60 shouldn't pay out their fringes in the form of a cafeteria plan. Petitioner's witness testified that the benefit package should be raised to $l75.00. There was not any evidence offered opposing the increase and the amount is not out-of-line with the total fringe benefit packages set out on Table 2. Therefore, the School District shall contribute $l75.00 per month towards the cafeteria plan.


Table 2 sets forth the total compensation figures for the compared to school districts. These figures have been adjusted where necessary for differences in contract days. Applying the statutory criteria of Section 48-8l8 and with an increase in the cafeteria plan to $l75 per month per teacher, prorated for those teachers less than full-time, we find that the base salary for the l989-90 contract year at Adams County School District #60 shall be $l5,994.00.


l. The base salary for the teachers of the Adams County School District #60 for the l989-90 school year shall be $l5,994.00.

2. That the teachers receive $l75.00 per month, prorated for less than full-time teachers, under their cafeteria plan.

3. That all other conditions of employment shall not be affected by this Order.

4. That the adjustments in compensation resulting from the final order rendered in this matter be made ratably over the twelve months of the contract period. The amount due for that portion of the contract pay period already elapsed shall be paid in a single sum with the payroll check issued next following the final order herein.

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

Entered February 23, 1990.

NOTE: We took judicial notice of enrollment figures from Nebraska Education Directory.