11 CIR 108 (1991)


An Unincorporated Association, |
Petitioner, |
NO. 0033, a/k/a STERLING PUBLIC |
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 V. Moore, Kratz, and Orr



The Sterling Education Association filed a petition on December 26, 1990 for a resolution of an industrial dispute pursuant to Section 48-818. The year in dispute is the 1990-9l school year. Johnson County School District No. 0033 is a Class III school district with a l990-9l student enrollment of 216. The issues pending before the Commission are base salary and amount of employer paid health insurance.


The Association 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 (also referred to as Association) and the Respondent (also referred to as School District) offered eight school districts in common: Adams, Humboldt, Johnson Brock, Lewiston, Nemaha Valley, Odell, Pawnee City, and Table Rock. In addition, the Association offered Dawson Verdon, Southeast Consolidated and Weeping Water and the School District offered Diller and Malcolm.

The criteria the Association used in choosing its array included geographic proximity (40-50 air miles from Sterling) and size (within the one-half to twice parameter). They also tried to choose an array that had some balance and they chose an odd number of schools, rather than even. The School District chose an array based on size, geographic proximity (but used highway miles rather than air miles), affiliation (contacts) and balance. The petitioner objected to any testimony concerning contacts. The Commission has ruled that it will only consider discretionary factors, such as contacts, if there is substantial evidence that work, skills and working conditions are related to or similar because of the discretionary factor. Genoa Educ. Ass'n v. Nance Co. School Dist. No. 0003 , 10 CIR 179, 185 (1989). In the present case, the parties stipulated that all of the school districts in both offered arrays satisfy the work, skill and working condition standards of same or similar pursuant to Section 48-818.

Table l sets out the relevant information on the array points. Looking at either air or highway miles, all of the array members are within geographic proximity to Sterling and all are well within the size criteria of one-half to twice. There is nothing in the record to show that any of these array members should be excluded and we include them all. An appropriate array in this case consists of Adams, Dawson Verdon, Diller, Humboldt, Johnson Brock, Lewiston, Malcolm, Nemaha Valley, Odell, Pawnee City, Southeast Consolidated, Table Rock and Weeping Water.


Table 2 sets forth the health insurance contributions by the employers in the comparable array. The prevalent practice is for the employer to contribute $130.25 per month towards single and $355.60 per month towards family health insurance. The evidence in this case indicates that the School District has been paying based on last year's premium rates. We have used the prevalent amounts in determining Sterling's base salary.


Table 3 sets forth the total compensation figures for the compared to school districts. These total salary figures given to us by the parties were adjusted for differences in contract days. Applying the statutory criteria of Section 48-818, we find that the base salary for the 1990-9l school year at Johnson Co. School Dist. No. 0033 shall be $l6,121.00.


1. The base salary for the teachers of Johnson Co. School Dist. 0033 shall be $16,121.00.

2. The prevalent contribution towards health insurance shall be $130.25 per month for single and $355.60 per month for family and the school district shall reimburse those teachers for the difference between what the school district has been paying and the prevalent.

3. All other terms and conditions of employment shall be as previously established by the Agreement 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 following 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 22, 199l.