11 CIR 25 (1990)


An Unincorporated Association, |
Petitioner, |
NO. 0036, a/k/a LYNCH 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: Neal Stenberg

Harding & Ogborn

1200 N St., 500 The Atrium

P.O. Box 82028

Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-2028

Before: Judges Cope, Kratz and Orr



The Petitioner, Lynch Education Association, filed a petition on March 9, 1990, seeking a determination of wages and other terms and conditions of employment for the 1989-1990 school year pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-818 (Reissue 1988). The Respondent, Boyd County School District No. 0036, a/k/a Lynch Public Schools, filed an answer on April 2, 1990. The trial in this matter was held on April 27, 1990. Boyd Co. School District is a Class III school district with a 1989-90 student enrollment of 130. The District employs 14 full-time teachers and one part-time teacher. The sole issues listed at the pretrial conference for resolution by the Commission were base salary and amount of employer contribution towards health insurance premium costs.


The Petitioner seeks relief and the Commission has jurisdiction over the pending industrial dispute pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-8l8 (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 Commission was presented with sixteen different school districts as comparables for the Boyd Co. School District. The common districts included Butte, Niobrara and Stuart. In addition, the Petitioner offered the districts of Arcadia, Elba, Greeley, Loup County Taylor, Petersburg, Spalding, and Wynot and the Respondent offered the districts of Chambers, Clearwater, Elgin, Ewing, Orchard and Verdigre. The school districts offered by both parties consisted of both class II's and III's. The parties stipulated that the work, skills, and working conditions for the employees of all the proposed districts are similar and satisfy the requirements of Section 48-818 and that the Commission can apply its previously announced criteria for limiting the number of comparisons to be made. Table 1 sets out the relevant data on the array points offered by the parties.

The Petitioner's expert testified that he chose the Association's array based on size, geographic proximity measured by air miles, whether they offered a K-12 education program, and balance. Respondent's expert testified that he chose the school district's array based on size and geographic proximity measured by drawing a 60 mile concentric circle around Butte Co. School District (air miles), athletic conference and other contacts. As Table 1 indicates, all of the districts offered by the parties are within the size criteria used by the Commission and are within reasonable geographic proximity. The parties stipulated that all of the districts are appropriate for comparison and there is no evidence in the record that the work, skills, and working conditions at any of the proposed districts are not similar so as to require excluding them from the Commission's array. The Commission thus determines that a comparable array shall consist of all sixteen school districts offered: Arcadia, Butte, Chambers, Clearwater, Elba, Elgin, Ewing, Greeley, Loup Co., Niobrara, Orchard, Petersburg, Spalding, Stuart, Verdigre and Wynot.


Table 2 sets forth information on the amount contributed towards health insurance by the various districts. The prevalent payment towards single is $l06.29 and towards family is $289.65. The Commission finds that the Boyd Co. School District shall pay these prevalent amounts. The evidence indicated that the school district has been paying during this school year $l06.29 towards single and $l80.00 towards family. The Commission finds that those teachers with family insurance shall be reimbursed the difference between the current school district's contribution of $l80.00 and the prevalent of $289.65. In arriving at base salary, the Commission has used the total fringe benefits which should have been paid using these prevalent health insurance amounts.


Table 3 sets forth the prevalent adjusted total salary figures based on the array chosen by the Commission. Applying the statutory criteria of Section 48-8l8, we find that the base salary for the 1989-90 school year at Boyd Co. School District No. 0036 shall be $14,480.00.


l. The base salary for the teachers of the Boyd Co. School District No. 0036 shall be $14,480.00.

2. The prevalent contribution towards health insurance shall be $l06.29 towards single and $289.65 towards family and that the school district shall reimburse those teachers carrying family insurance for the difference between what the school district has been paying and the prevalent.

3. All other terms and conditions of employment shall not be affected by this Order.

4. All amounts due shall be paid in a single sum with a payroll check issued within a month 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 June 12, 1990.

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