|FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, HALL|||||CASE NO. 424|
|COUNTY NO. 10,||||
|COUNTY OF HALL, NEBRASKA,||||
|Defendant.|||||OPINION AND ORDER|
For the Plaintiff:Sam Grimminger
For the Defendant:Don Walters
Before: Judges Orr, Gradwohl, and Davis.
This matter came on for trial for a determination of wages and other conditions of employment pursuant to Section 48-818. The Petition seeks an adjustment for bargaining unit members in the Hall County Sheriff's Office for the contract year of July 1, 1981, to June 30, 1982. In the Amended Petition there is an allegation that the employment practice of overtime use and the compensation for such constitutes an unfair labor practice. The Commission has jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter.
The controlling statute is Section 48-818, which states:
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 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. Any order or orders entered may be modified on the commission's own motion or on application by any of the parties affected, but only upon a showing of a change in the conditions from those prevailing at the time the original order was entered.
2. Applicable Rules of Procedure, Evidence and Burdens of Proof.
The procedure in the Commission of Industrial Relations must conform to the code of civil procedure applicable to the district courts of the state, except as modified by Commission Rule or by a specific statute pertaining to the Commission.
The burden is on the moving party in a Section 48-818 determination to demonstrate that existing wages, hours of labor and conditions of employment are not comparable to the prevalent wage rates, hours of labor, and conditions of employment.
The parties stipulated that the following job classifications were involved in this matter: Corrections Officer, Corrections Officer Supervisor, Deputy, Corporal, Clerical, Nurse, and Cook.
The parties stipulated at trial that the work, skills, and working conditions of the bargaining unit members employed by the County of Hall and at the compared to counties are similar, and satisfy the standards set forth in Section 48-818 to permit a comparison of terms and conditions of employment if included in the array of compared to counties by the Commission. Both parties presented evidence concerning wages and conditions of employment in the Nebraska counties of Adams, Buffalo, Lincoln, Madison, Platte, Sarpy, and Scotts Bluff, and the Kansas county of Saline. In addition, the Plaintiff presented evidence as to the Nebraska counties of Dodge and Gage, and the Kansas county of Ellis. The Defendant, likewise, presented evidence as to the Missouri county of Buchanan and the Iowa county of Plymouth.
It is usually a difficult task for the Commission to select
the appropriate array from the diverse evidence presented by the parties. However, in this case, the parties have presented evidence for eight common counties. Eight is a statistically sound number for comparison purposes. From the evidence we find that the agreed upon counties are a properly constructed array in accordance with the requirements of Section 48-818. The populations, geographical, and other general considerations of said counties are in compliance with Section 48-818 and prior determinations of this Commission and the Supreme Court. Therefore, we need look no further. The appropriate array shall consist of Adams County, Buffalo County, Lincoln County, Madison County, Platte County, Sarpy County, Scotts Bluff County, and Saline County in Kansas.
5. Wage Comparisons.
The Plaintiff's evidence contains minimum and maximum monthly wage figures for the following job classes: Sworn Law Enforcement Officer, Corrections Officer, Clerical Worker, Cook, and Dispatcher. The Defendant's evidence contains the average of the minimum and maximum hourly wage figures for the following job classes: Secretary-Civil, Secretary-Dispatcher, Deputy, and Corrections Officer.
The following tables contain a comparison of the minimum and maximum monthly salary figures in evidence for the job classes of: Deputy, Corrections Officer, Clerical, and Cook. There is no evidence in the record comparing the minimum and maximum salary figures for the job classes of: Corrections Officer Supervisor, Corporal, and Nurse. However, the parties stipulated that the Commission "in determining the salary of corporal and corrections (officer) supervisor nay maintain the same differential as appears in the July 1, 1980, through June 30, 1981, agreement between the County of Hall and Fraternal Order of Police, Hall County
Lodge No. 10." (Record of Hearing, p. 103).
6. Comparisons of Other Conditions of Employment in Dispute.
In the following tables are comparisons of other conditions of employment in dispute as in evidence.
NOTE: LEFT OUT TABLES ON "UNIFORM ALLOWANCE IN COMPARED TO COUNTIES" (WHICH HAD A FOOTNOTE THAT SAID THAT FOR BUFFALO, WHICH HAD TWO DIFFERENT MONTHLY UNIFORM ALLOWANCES FOR DIFFERNENT JOB POSITIONS, WE AVERAGED THE TWO) AND A TABLE ON "OVERTIME PAY POLICY IN COMPARED TO COUNTIES".
7. Unfair Labor Practice Charge - Overtime Policy and Compensation.
The Plaintiff Union alleges in its Amended Petition the
4. That the Hall County Sheriff's Office, with respect to law enforcement officers and corrections personnel, is understaffed. That in order to compensate for such understaffing, employees are required to put in excessive amounts of overtime; that overtime is a common and consistent employment practice engaged in by the Hall County Sheriff's Office in order to avoid the necessity of hiring and paying a sufficient number of staff personnel; that employees are not allowed overtime compensation other than comparable time or straight time pay; that such conditions of employment coupled with a failure to pay time and a half constitutes an unfair labor practice.
After the Plaintiff rested its case the Defendant moved for a dismissal of the above portion of the Petition due to "a total failure of the Plaintiff to meet its burden to show by preponderance or substantial amount of evidence that in fact the County of Hall Sheriff's Office has in fact entered into unfair labor practices as alleged. . ." (Record of Hearing, p. 73). Ruling on the motion was reserved until the close of the evidence. At the close of the evidence the motion was sustained and the unfair labor practicer allegation was stricken from the Petition.
8. Determination as to "Overall Compensation."
Section 48-818 states that "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." This rule of overall compensation does not require an identity of benefits, but that the overall compensation be "comparable to the prevalent wage rates paid and conditions of employment maintained for the same or similar work or workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions." These determinations must be made on the basis of the evidence introduced by the parties in the trial of the case. The determinations under Section 48-818, R.R.S. 1943, may, therefore, vary from case to case depending upon the evidence introduced by the parties.
When analyzing the wages paid by the Defendant as compared to the array counties, it becomes apparent that the Defendant is paying less wages at the minimum level for Corrections Officer and Clerical and at the maximum level for Deputy, Corrections Officer, and Clerical. However, at the minimum level for Deputy and the minimum and maximum level for Cook the wages of these job classes involved in this dispute are near or above the prevalent of the counties selected as comparable. Both parties presented some wage figures for the job class of Dispatcher. However, pursuant to the parties' previous stipulation, this was not a job classification involved in this case.
Applying the statutory requirements to the evidence this case, we find that the wages and conditions of employment for the job classes of Cook and Nurse should not be changed. In taking into account the entire evidence, we find that the minimum wage levels for Corrections Officer and Clerical should be increased and the maximum wage levels for Deputy, Corrections Officer, and Clerical should be increased. Pursuant to the stipulation of the parties as to the wages of Corporal and Corrections Officer Supervisor, increases have been given so as to maintain the same differential between Corrections Officer Supervisor and Corrections Officer as appears in the 1980-81 agreement between the parties. No other conditions of employment should be changed for the job classes in this dispute.
The current and changed wages are shown as follows:
NOTE: TABLE DELETED
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that for Deputy the starting wage shall remain unchanged at $1,045 per month, after six months the wage shall be $1,160 per month and after one year the wage shall be $1,220 per month; and for Corporal after six months the wage shall be $1,245, and after one year the wage shall be $1,270; and for Corrections Officer the starting wage shall be $930 per month, after six months the wage shall be $995 per month, and after one year the wage shall be $1,090 per month; and for Corrections Officer Supervisor, after six months the wage shall be $1,090 per month, and after one year the wage shall be $1,140 per month; and for Clerical, the starting wage shall be $780 per month, after six months the wage shall be $860 per month, and after one year the wage shall be $935 per month. No other adjustment is ordered concerning the wages and conditions of employment for the employees represented by the Plaintiff in this matter.
This Order shall be effective for the period of July 1, 1981, to June 30, 1982. The adjustments resulting from this order shall be made ratably over the twelve months of the contract year. The amount due for the portion of the contract year already elapsed shall be paid as soon as feasible following the entry of this Order.
All Judges assigned to the panel in this case join in the
entry of this Opinion and Order.
Filed January 22, 1982
NOTE: This order was appealed to the Supreme Court and while on appeal the parties arrived at a stipulated settlement. The appeal was dismissed and the Commission approved the settlement on March 25, 1982.