11 CIR 100 (1991)


An Unincorporated Association, |
Petitioner, |
NO. 0056, a/k/a CONESTOGA PUBLIC |
SCHOOLS, 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: Rex R. Schultze

Perry, Guthery, Haase &

Gessford, P.C.

1400 FirsTier Bank Building

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

Before: Judges F. Moore, Kratz, and Orr



The Conestoga Education Association filed a Petition on December 26,1990 seeking resolution of a pending industrial dispute. The only specific term or condition of employment which the Association asked the Commission to determine was base salary. The Cass County School District No. 0056 (Respondent) then filed its Responsive Pleading setting out the following two additional issues for resolution: sick leave bank and additional compensation for "class load". The dispute concerns the 1990-1991 school year.

The Respondent is a Class III school district which employs 44 certificated teachers. The 1990-1991 enrollment at the district is 593 students.


The Commission has jurisdiction over these parties and this dispute pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 48-818, 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 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 an array consisting of the following Class III school districts: Arlington, Ashland-Greenwood, Auburn, Bennington, Fort Calhoun, Gretna, Palmyra Bennett, Raymond Central, Syracuse, Valley, Wahoo and Yutan. The Respondent presented the following ten member array: Ashland-Greenwood, Elmwood-Murdock, Louisville, Palmyra Bennett, Raymond Central, Syracuse, Valley, Wahoo, Weeping Water and Yutan. There are seven districts common to both parties arrays: Ashland-Greenwood, Palmyra Bennett, Raymond Central, Syracuse, Valley, Wahoo and Yutan. The parties stipulated that the work, skills, and working conditions of the teachers employed by the Respondent school district and the staff employed at the compared to school districts are sufficiently similar to satisfy the standards set forth in Section 48-818. Table 1 sets out the relevant information on the proposed comparables.

All of the districts offered as comparables are Class III districts and all fit within the Commission's traditional size criteria of one-half to twice the disputed district's enrollment. The furthest proposed district is approximately 44 air miles or 64 road miles away while there are only 13 air miles or 19 road miles between the closest district and Conestoga. The Petitioner's expert testified that he excluded the three smallest districts offered by the Respondent because of their size in relation to other districts that were somewhat larger but still within reasonable proximity. The Petitioner's expert did testify, however, that the three additional schools offered by the Respondent would be appropriate comparisons.

The Respondent's expert testified that he did not include the additional five districts offered by the Petitioner because Conestoga does not have as many contacts with them as they did to some of the other districts included in their array. The expert testified as to contacts with all of the proposed array members but stated that because they determined that an array of ten would be sufficient they chose the districts that they had the greatest association with.

There is no evidence that any of the proposed school districts should not be included in the Commission's array. All of the districts are geographically proximate and all fit the Commission's size criteria. The Commission's array will thus consist of the school districts of Arlington, Ashland-Greenwood, Auburn, Bennington, Elmwood-Murdock, Fort Calhoun, Gretna, Louisville, Palmyra Bennett, Raymond Central, Syracuse, Valley, Wahoo, Weeping Water, and Yutan.


Conestoga currently has a provision for a sick leave bank whereby teachers may donate 1 day of accumulated sick leave to the bank and then, at the end of the year, teachers who have used more than their accumulated sick leave may apply to receive excess sick leave days from the bank. The Respondent contends that this is not a prevalent practice among the comparable school districts. Table 2 sets out the relevant information on this issue from the school districts included in the Commission's array. As Table 2 shows this is not a prevalent practice and the Commission finds that this practice should be eliminated at Conestoga.


The Respondent further contends that Conestoga's practice of providing overload pay is also not in keeping with the prevalent. Table 3 sets out the current policies at the school districts included in the Commission's array. Only two of the districts in the Commission's array provide for such payment to teachers teaching more than the standard class load. This practice is, therefore, not a prevalent practice and it shall be eliminated. As the superintendent testified that no payments have been made to teachers teaching more than the standard class load for the 1990-1991 school year, there is no need for any further adjustment to salary.


Table 4 sets out the total compensation figures for the Commission's array. Applying the statutory criteria of Section 48-818, we find that the base salary for the 1990-1991 school year at Cass County School District No. 0056 shall be $16,500.46.


1. The base salary for the teachers of Cass Co. School Dist. No. 0056 shall be $l6,500.46 for the 1990-199l school year.

2. Sick leave bank and overload payments be eliminated.

3. All other terms and conditions of employment for the l990-l99l school year shall be as previously established by the agreements of the parties.

4. Adjustments in compensation resulting from the final order rendered in this matter shall be made by payment of a single sum with a payroll check issued next folowing the final order entered herein.

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

Entered March 25, 1991.