|KRAMER POWER STATION|||||CASE NO. 14|
|v.|||||FINDINGS AND ORDER|
|NEBRASKA PUBLIC POWER||||
|SYSTEM, LOUP RIVER PUBLIC||||
|POWER DISTRICT, AND PLATTE||||
|VALLEY PUBLIC POWER AND||||
NOTE: SOME PUBLISHED ORDERS HAVE BEEN DEEMED TO BE NOT HELPFUL AND HAVE, THEREFORE, BEEN OMITTED FROM THIS FILE.
(Editor's Note: By stipulation filed May 12, 1960, approved by the Court in its Order filed the same date, plaintiff amended its petition, alleging that the labor market area in which the Kramer Power Station in Bellevue, Nebraska was located was the Omaha Metropolitan area consisting of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. By its answer to defendant's interrogatories, plaintiff stated that the employer engaged in work comparable to that done at the Kramer Power Station and employing workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions in the same labor market area as that wherein the Kramer Power Station was located was the Omaha Public Power District, Jones Street Station, Omaha, Nebraska. By their answer to plaintiff's interrogatories, defendants stated that: (1) "There is no single case to the exclusion of all other areas*** The area to be investigated will depend on the nature of the individual job involved, and the area from which qualified personnel might be obtained to fill it. Generally speaking, although the precise area which may be proper in the case of any given job may be more restricted, certain elements of comparison with jobs and wage rates throughout the eastern 2/3rds of the State of Nebraska should properly be considered;" (2) "Nebraska Public Power System is the only geographically wide-spread electric utility in the state which carries on its business principally as a manufacturer and wholesaler of electric power and energy;" (3) "There are no plants or places of employment which defendants claim are comparable throughout to the categories of employment at Kramer Power Station. It is the belief of the defendants, however, that certain similarities to certain of the jobs at Kramer Power Station, but that in most cases there are also distinctions to be noted for which allowance should be made:" K-Street Generating Station, Lincoln; Fremont Municipal Plant; Grand Island Municipal Plant; Hastings Municipal Plant; Fairbury Municipal Plant; Canaday Power Station, Lexington; Nebraska City Municipal Plant; Omaha Public Power District Plants; Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue; AlliedChemical Company, LaPlatte; Western Electric Company, Omaha; Burlington Refrigerator Express Shops, Plattsmouth. Both parties submitted exhibits containing job descriptions of the job classifications which they contended were similar to those in issue at the Kramer Power Station, as demanded by the interrogatories of each.
In addition to the issues which were specifically decided by the Court in its Findings and Order, published below, defendants, by their amended answer filed September 6, 1960, contended that Article 8 of Chapter 48 was invalid and unconstitutional under the provisions of Article III, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Nebraska, "for the reason that said statute in that event would be amendatory of Article 6, Chapter 70, *** wherein the legislature delegated complete authority and discretion to the Boards of Directors of these defendant districts to manage the affairs of their respective districts, including the employment of personnel and fixing their wages, salaries and compensation for services," and that application of the statute in this case would result in "divesting the Boards of Directors of these defendant districts of their statutory discretions and powers respecting the employment of personnel and determination of their wages, salaries and compensation for work performed, and further would result in re-vesting such authority in the Board of Directors of Omaha Public Power District, an entirely different political subdivision of the state," notwithstanding the fact that the statute did not contain nor repeal Article 6, Chapter 70.)
On the 18th day of July, 1960, this cause came on for trial upon the issues made by plaintiff's petition, as amended, the answer of the defendants Loup River Public Power District and Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District, and the reply of the plaintiff, as said issues have been limited by stipulation of the parties on file in this cause. Heretofore, on May 12, 1960, pursuant to stipulation of the parties, the summons and service thereof upon the defendant Nebraska Public Power System was quashed. Attorneys appearing for the parties were David D. Weinberg for plaintiff, and Vance E. Leininger and William H. Grant for defendants. Evidence was adduced by both parties. At the conclusion of the evidence counsel for defendants were given leave to amend their answer as disclosed by the record, and counsel for both parties were granted leave to submit briefs in support of their respective contentions. Thereupon the cause was submitted to the Court upon the pleadings, the stipulations of the parties, and the evidence; and now, on this 29th day of September, 1960, the Court being fully advised in the premises does find and conclude as follows:
(1) Defendants Loup River Public Power District and Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District are public corporations and political subdivisions of the State of Nebraska. Under the name, Nebraska Public Power System, they are engaged jointly in the business of the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electrical energy throughout a large part of the State of Nebraska. The Kramer Power Station at Bellevue, Nebraska, known as a steam generating plant, is one of several facilities throughout the state operated by the defendants in such business. Defendants currently employ sixty-two individuals for the operation and maintenance of said plant. The service so performed under such employment constitutes governmental service in a proprietary capacity.
(2) Plaintiff Kramer Power Station Employees Committee, is comprised of three of the employees at said station, Edwin C. Nunnally, Maurice F. Hall and Thomas W. Byers, Jr. This committee was constituted by written authorization executed by fifty-three of the employees at said station for the purpose of negotiating wage increases for such employees and, if necessary, bringing an action in this Court on behalf of the signing employees to accomplish such purpose. As an employee representation committee it is a labor organization and, as such, is entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court on behalf of such employees.
(3) An industrial dispute or controversy concerning wages exists between the employees represented by plaintiff committee and defendants. But for the existence of that dispute, the evidence clearly shows that the employees represented by plaintiff would have received a four per cent wage increase as of March 1, 1960, when defendants granted a general four per cent wage increase to employees at their other facilities throughout the state.
(4) The Omaha metropolitan area consisting of Douglas and Sarpy Counties is the labor market area in which the Kramer Power Station is located and is the area being considered in determining the propriety of the wages being paid to the employees involved herein.
(5) In the Omaha metropolitan area there is only one other plant engaged in a similar business to that of defendants and employing a similar number of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions. Wages currently being paid at that plant are substantially in excess of wages being paid by defendants to the employees involved in this action, even if such employees should be given the general four per cent increase heretofore granted by defendants to employees at other facilities throughout the state.
(6) Those employees, hereinafter named, represented by plaintiff in this action, are entitled to an upward adjustment of their wages to an amount comparable to prevalent wage rates paid in the Omaha metropolitan area to workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions. In determining such prevalent wage rates there is first being added to the current wage rates a four per cent increase and then an amount equivalent to one half of the difference between such increased rates and the wage rates being paid by the one other employer engaged in a similar enterprise in the same labor market area. Applying that formula, wage rates should be increased as follows:
For Charley F. Cox, Lloyd B. Hansen, Richard D. Slagle, and Harold L. Marsh, shift engineers and Roy L. Bay, relief shift engineer, from their current wage of $565.00 per month to a monthly wage of $611.30;
For Wilbur Pellisero, mechanical maintenance foreman, John L. Culver, electrical maintenance foreman, and Frank T. Kelling, yard foreman, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.86 to a basic hourly wage of $3.13;
For Frederick G. Schlosser, machinist, Clifford F. Paup, welder and repair man, Edward M. Umshler, welder-fitter, John F.P. Taylor, steam fitter, and Paul R. Holthusen, electrician, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.68 to a basic hourly wage of $2.89;
For Floyd A. Harnish, Edwin C. Nunnaly, Edwin A. Miller, Durward M. Welch, Floyd W. Adkins, Alfred R. Smith, and Roy A. Fry, firemen, and Joseph L. Citta, relief fireman, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.58 to a basic hourly wage of $2.79;
For Maurice F. Hall, Earl R. Miller, Levord C. Richmond, George W. Russell, Merland E. McDowell, Don A. Neely, and Thomas W. Byers, Jr., turbine operators, and Ronald E. Langheine, relief turbine operator, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.37 to a basic hourly wage of $2.64;
For Max A. Holman, Carl A. Heydorn, Joseph M. Acamo, G. Duane Manrose, Norman Neil Robinson, William E. Culver, Alfred H. Rase, Joseph F. Berounsky, Samuel J. Thomas, Floyd R. Gustason and Loyd R. Holman, assistant firemen, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.25 to a basic hourly wage of $2.59;
For Gary P. Reed, Arthur H. Nelson, and Gerald E. Craft, pump operators, from their current basic hourly wage of $2.19 to a basic hourly wage of $2.45; and
For Dewitt N. Shaver, Lawrence P. Dressen, Matthew F. Spain, and Merrill P. Bramow, mechanical maintenance men, from their present basic hourly wage of $2.22, to a basic hourly wage of $2.35;
(7) As to Marvin W. Alley, a crane and carryall operator, Harry W. Wilcoxen, a mechanical maintenance helper, Merle T. Hamilton, an assistant instrument man, Nile V. Hemphill, an instrument man, Wayne G. Scott, engineer, and Tommy R. Stahr, water technician, the other employees represented by plaintiff in this action, the evidence failed to disclose that their current wage rates are below those of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions in the Omaha metropolitan area; consequently, no wage adjustment for such employees is being authorized by the Court.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, effective October 1, 1960, basic wage rates to be paid by defendants to workers employed by them in the following classifications and represented in this action be increased to the following minimum rates:
Shift engineers and relief shift engineers.....$611.30 per month
Mechanical maintenance foremen, electrical
maintenance foremen and yard foremen.........3.13 per hour
Machinists, welders, steamfitters,
welder fitters, and electricians.............2.89 per hour
Firemen, and relief firemen.......................2.79 per hour
Turbine operators and relief turbine operators....2.64 per hour
Assistant firemen.................................2.59 per hour
Pump operators....................................2.45 per hour
Mechanical maintenance men........................2.35 per hour
BY THE COURT
Arthur J. Denney
Varro E. Tyler
Francis N. Robinson
(Defendants filed a motion for new trial on October 5, 1960. On November 22, 1960, the parties filed a stipulation for modification of findings and order of the Court, published below.)
Subject to the approval of the Court herein, it is hereby stipulated by and between the parties hereto that the findings and order of the Court entered in this cause under date of September 29, 1960 be modified as follows:
1. By striking the word "authorized" from the last line of paragraph (7) of the findings and conclusions of the Court, and inserting in lieu thereof the word "required";
2. By inserting the words "not less than" following the words "increased to" in the fourth line on the last page of the findings and order of the Court, and by inserting the words "for fully qualified and top-rated personnel holding said classifications" immediately following the words "minimum rates" in said fourth line on the last page of the findings and order of the Court; and that upon approval by the Court of said modifications to its findings and order, the motion for new trial heretofore filed herein by the defendants be overruled and said findings and order as so modified stand as the final order in this cause.
It is further stipulated and agreed that, if the foregoing stipulation for modification of the findings and order of the Court be not approved by the Court, this stipulation shall be of no force or effect, and the rights of the parties herein shall not be prejudiced hereby, but this cause shall thereupon proceed to final determination upon the findings and order of the Court as originally entered on September 29, 1960 and the motion for new trial heretofore filed by the defendants herein.
(On November 22, 1960, the Court disallowed the above stipulation and overruled defendants' motion for new trial.)