10 CIR 247 (1990)


ASSOCIATION, An Unincorporated |
Association, |
Petitioner, |
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 & Flodman

1227 Lincoln Mall

P.O. Box 81686

Lincoln, Nebraska 68501

Before: Judges Orr, Dawson, and Kratz



The Hall County 1-R Teachers Association filed a petition on October 20, 1990, seeking a determination as to wages and various other terms and conditions of employment for the 1989-1990 school year. Hall County School District No. 501 (hereinafter Hall 1-R), is a Class I school district which has an enrollment of 181 for the 1989-1990 school year. Hall 1-R employs ten full-time teachers and two part-time teachers.

A pretrial conference was held on January 6, 1990, at which the parties listed the issues to be resolved as base salary and payment of cash in lieu of payment of fringe benefit premiums. A trial was held on January 26, 1990. At the trial, neither party offered any evidence with regard to the issue of payment of cash in lieu of payment of fringe benefit premiums. The record is void of any evidence indicating how the benefit should be changed to meet the prevalent. Thus, the Commission chooses to treat the benefits in Hall 1-R as being comparable to the prevalent and determine base salary using the current fringe benefit figure.


The Petitioner seeks relief and the Commission has jurisdiction over the pending industrial dispute pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-818 (Reissue 1988) 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 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 offered nine school districts as being comparable to Hall 1-R. The Respondent offered three schools common to the Petitioner's array and an additional two schools. The common school districts are; Chapman, Hall No. 3, and Juniata. Petitioner also offered the following school districts; Atkinson, Bellwood, North Bend, Platte No. 10, Platte No. 24, and Wood River. The Respondent also offered Hall No. 12 and St. Libory. All of the school districts offered are Class I districts. Table 1 sets out the relevant data on the offered array points.

Immediately preceding the trial the parties stipulated that the work, skills and working conditions for all of the array points offered by either party are similar and satisfy the standards set out in 48-818, so as to allow the Commission to include them in its array if it so chooses. While the Commission is not bound by the stipulations of the parties, the record in this case supports a finding that all of the districts offered are similar and should be included in the Commission's array.

The Petitioner's expert testified that he comprised a list of all Class 1 districts that fit the Commission's size criteria and were reasonably proximate to Hall 1-R. He testified that the array provided by the Petitioner was, in his opinion, comprised of the most comparable school districts. The Respondent did not call any witnesses so there is no independent testimony as to the comparability of the Respondent's proposed array points. While the Petitioner choose to emphasize similarity of size over proximity, there is nothing in the record to indicate that the Respondent's offered array points are not similar even though they are the smallest of the districts offered. All of the districts offered are within the Commission's size guidelines and are reasonably proximate to Hall 1-R. The comparability array shall thus consist of; Atkinson, Bellwood, Chapman, Hall No. 3, Hall No. 12, Juniata, North Bend, Platte No. 10, Platte No. 24, St. Libory, and Wood River.


The sole remaining issue for resolution by this Commission is base salary. Table 2 sets the overall compensation data for the districts in the Commission's array.

There was disagreement at the time of trial as to how the Hall 1-R teachers should be placed on the salary schedule in place in Chapman. Chapman established their current salary schedule in 1988 pursuant to an order issued by this Commission, Chapman Education Ass'n v. School District No. 9 , 9 CIR 293 (1988). Following the order establishing a salary schedule the Chapman school district and the teachers association agreed on a policy of crediting four years outside experience. The Petitioner argued that the current policy at Chapman should be applied when placing the Hall 1-R Teachers on the Chapman schedule. The Respondent acknowledges the policy but argues that the agreement as to outside credit is only applied at the time of initial hiring and since all but one of the Hall 1-R teachers were hired prior to the time the Chapman district implemented their four year credit agreement, then only the one teacher hired since that time should receive outside credit.

In every school wage case presented, the Commission must place the teachers in the district at dispute on the salary schedules of the chosen array members in order to make a comparable comparison. In placing the disputing district's faculty on the array member's schedule it is necessary that the Commission follow all of the policies and procedures of the array district in determining proper placement. The record in the present case indicates that at the time Chapman established their salary schedule they agreed to credit their teachers with four years experience regardless of their initial date of hire. While the record shows that none of the teachers employed at Chapman when the salary schedule was established needed to be credited with four years outside experience in order to be placed at the bottom of a column due to their longevity in the Chapman district, it is clear that the district intended to give everyone the benefit of the four year agreement regardless of the date of hire. The Commission thus uses the Petitioner's placements to determine the total salary figure for Chapman.

Applying the statutory criteria of 48-818, the Commission finds that the base salary for teachers at Hall 1-R for the 1989-1990 school year shall be $15,219.00.


1. That the base salary for the 1989-1990 school year shall be $15,219.00.

2. That all other terms and conditions of employment remain as previously established by the agreements of the parties.

3. That all adjustments in compensation resulting from this order be made by payment of a single sum with the next payroll check issued following the date of entry of this order.

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

Entered February 26, 1990.