11 CIR 11 (1990)


An Unincorporated Association, |
Petitioner, |
Respondent. |


For the Petitioner: Mark D. McGuire

Crosby, Guenzel, Davis,

Kessner & Kuester

400 Lincoln Benefit Building

Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

For the Respondent: John P. Heitz

Cronin, Symonds & Heitz

P.O. Box 898

O'Neill, Nebraska 68763

Before: Judges Dawson, Kratz, and Orr



The O'Neill Education Association filed a Petition on February 8, 1990 for a resolution of an industrial dispute pursuant to Section 48-8l8. Holt County School District 0007 is a Class III school district employing 57 teachers with a l989-90 student enrollment of 778 students. At pretrial, base salary was listed as an issue. The Respondent (also referred to as School District) also contended that extra duty pay should be considered in overall compensation to arrive at base salary while the Petitioner (also referred to as Association) contended it should not. On the day of the trial, March 30, l990, the parties stipulated that extra duty pay should not be considered, leaving base salary as the only issue.


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.......


Both parties offered in common the eight school districts of Broken Bow, Madison, Ord, Neligh-Oakdale, Pierce, St. Paul, South Sioux City, and Wayne. In addition, the Association offered Cozad and Lexington and the School District offered Ainsworth, Albion, and Valentine. All of these schools are Class III schools except Valentine which is a class VI school district. The parties stipulated at the beginning of the trial that "Except for Class VI school districts as listed by the respondent, the work skill and working conditions of the teachers employed by the respondent school district and the staff employed at the compared-to school districts .... are similar."

Both parties indicated that they utilized the Commission's objective criteria of size (one-half to twice) and geographical proximity in arriving at their proposed arrays. Neither party offered a summary exhibit listing these objective criteria, although the Association presented what appears to be l989-90 enrollment figures on their Exhibits l-ll since they are exactly the same figures as those published in the Nebraska Dept. of Education's "l989-90 Nebraska Education Directory". Petitioner's Exhibit 22 enrollment figures are for l988-89 which we would rather not use when there are more current figures readily available. No enrollment figures were given to us by the School District. However, we can obtain these enrollment figures from the "l989-90 Nebraska Education Directory" and we take judicial notice of the figures as we have in the past. Trenton Educ. Ass'n v. School Dist. of Trenton , 9 CIR 20l (l987). For geographical proximity, the Association extended out l35 air miles so that they could obtain a balanced array. The School District stated that they used highway miles but did not indicate the actual miles used in the determination of their array. In addition, the School District also looked at athletic conference and contacts.

At the trial it was disclosed that there were discrepancies between the parties' compensation figures. The Respondent's witness testified that he accepted the Petitioner's compensation figures for the ten schools presented by the Petitioner,including their placement of the teachers (T58:12-20). Upon cross-examination, Respondent's witness admitted there was an error by the School District in the placement of one teacher (T82:15-18). With the Respondent's incorrect placement of this teacher, the salary figures that they arrive at when they place these teachers on the schedules of the other schools are suspect. We have no evidence of how much credit they would be given for outside experience when placed on the school districts' schedules of Albion, Ainsworth and Valentine, the Respondent's additional schools, so that we might arrive at the correct compensation ourselves. Nor do we know if the salaries were adjusted for contract day differences. With regard to the inclusion of Valentine, the Commission has previously declined to compare different classes of schools when there is a sufficient number of more similar school districts. Valentine Educ. Ass'n v. School Dist. No. 6, Cherry Co., a/k/a Valentine Rural High School , 8 CIR 27l (l986); School Dist. No. 125, Frontier Co., a/k/a Medicine Valley Public Schools , 7 CIR 96 (l983). Similarity of work, skills and working conditions with Valentine was also not proved. For all of the above reasons we decline to include the additional schools of Ainsworth, Albion and Valentine proposed by the School District.

The Commission finds that an appropriate array consists of the eight school districts proposed by both parties: Broken Bow, Madison, Ord, Neligh-Oakdale, Pierce, St. Paul, South Sioux City, and Wayne. The parties have agreed that the work, skills and working conditions are similar in these school districts and the Petitioner's witness testified that they would constitute an appropriate array. (T22:3-16). Furthermore, this array provides a sufficiently large enough array as the Commission has held that an array of six to eight employers is an appropriate array. State Code Agencies Education Ass'n v. Department of Correctional Services , 7 CIR 226, 232 (1984), aff'd on other grounds , 219 Neb. 555, 364 N.W.2d 44 (1985).


Table 2 sets forth the total compensation figures for the compared to school districts. These figures have been adjusted where necessary for contract day differences. Applying the statutory criteria of Section 48-818, we find that the base salary for the 1989-90 school year at Holt County School District 0007 shall be $l6,0l5.


1. The base salary for the teachers of the Holt County School District 0007 for the 1989-90 school year shall be $l6,0l5.

2. That all other terms and conditions of employment shall not be affected by this Order.

3. That the 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 May 11, 1990.

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