|INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF|||||CASE NO. 427|
|ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL||||
|UNION 1536, AFL-CIO,||||
|v.|||||OPINION AND ORDER|
|CITY OF FREMONT,||||
For the Petitioner: Brian L. Campbell
Thomas C. Lansworth
Bauer, Galter & Geier
For the Respondent: William A. Harding
Nelson & Harding
Before: Judges Orr, Kratz, and Berkheimer.
The petition herein, filed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 1536, AFL/CIO (hereafter also called petitioner or union) requests an order of the Commission establishing wages and conditions of employment for their bargaining unit members employed by the City of Fremont (hereafter also called respondent or city) effective August 1, 1981.
The petitioner identified at the pretrial conference the following conditions of employment at issue in this case. The respondent has added no other conditions of employment.
b. Health Insurance
c. Dental Insurance
d. Life Insurance
g. Overtime Policy
h. Meal Allowance
i. Sick Leave
j. Shift Differential
k. Minimum Call Back Time
l. Uniform Allowance
m. Inclement Weather Allowance
n. Tool and Equipment Allowance
o. Mileage Reimbursement Policy
p. Safety Glasses being provided
q. Disability Income Provision
r. Education Allowance
s. Retirement Program
The Commission has jurisdiction of the parties and of the subject matter.
The controlling statute is Section 48-818, which says as follows:
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. 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 Burden 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. Section 48-812. See Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 8 v. County of Douglas , 4 CIR 185 (1980). The Commission is bound to follow the rules of evidence applicable to the trial of civil cases. Section 48-809. See Plattsmouth Police Department Collective Bargaining Committee v. City of Plattsmouth , 205 Neb. 567, 288 N.W.2d 729 (1980). Decisions must be made solely upon evidence in the record or evidence of which a district court might take judicial notice. Section 48-817. General Drivers and Helpers Union v. City of West Point , 204 Neb. 238, 281 N.W. 2d 772 (1979).
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 burden of proof is satisfied by actual proof of the facts, of which proof is necessary, regardless of which party introduces the evidence. Lincoln Fire Fighters Ass'n v. City of Lincoln , 198 Neb. 174, 178, 252 N.W. 2d 607, 610 (1977).
3. Bargaining Unit Employees.
Joint Exhibit 1 lists the job classifications in the bargaining unit and the names of the persons employed in those job classes as of August 18, 1981. The wages of the bargaining unit employees by class title are listed on Joint Exhibit 2. Job descriptions for the bargaining unit members are compiled in Joint Exhibit 3.
Section 48-818 mandates that wages and conditions of employment ordered by the Commission be comparable to those "maintained for the same or similar work of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions." See Crete educ. Ass'n v. School Dist. of Crete , 193 Neb. 245, 253-258, 226 N.W.2d 752, 757-760 (1975).
In Fraternal Order of Police v. County of Adams , 205 Neb. 682, 684-685, 289 N.W.2d 535, 537 (1980), the Supreme Court approved the rejection by the Commission of Industrial Relations of evidence pertaining to other employers when the evidence did not establish a similarity of work skills under the same or similar working conditions.
The Petitioner's evidence consisted of comparisons with employees of the Nebraska cities of Beatrice, Grand Island, Hastings, Norfolk and North Platte; and the public power districts of Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District and Nebraska Public Power District; and the Iowa cities of Ames, Cedar Falls, and Muscatine. The respondent's evidence consisted of comparisons with employees of the Nebraska cities of Beatrice, Bellevue, Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, and North Platte; and the public power districts of Norris Public Power District, Loup Public Power District, and the Kramer Plant of Nebraska Public Power District; and the following cities outside Nebraska: McPherson and Manhattan, Kansas; Ames and Ankeny, Iowa; and Yankton, South Dakota. From both parties arrays their are seven common employers; Nebraska cities of Beatrice, Grand Island, Hastings, Norfolk, and North Platte; Nebraska Public Power District (Kramer Plant); and Ames Iowa.
The evidence shows the seven employers presented by both parties conform to the statutory criteria of Section 48-818, taking into account factors of "same or similar work of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions."
The guidelines generally followed in using a "key job" classification comparison survey have been met by the comparison array selected. See A.F.S.C.M.E. Local 2088 v. County of Douglas , 208 Neb. 511, 522-524, 304 N.W> 2d 368 (1981), reversed and remanded with directions on other grounds; I.B.E.W. Local 1521 v. Metropolitan Utilities District , 5 CIR 1 (1980); I.B.E.W. Local 762 v. Omaha Public Power District , 3 CIR 554 (1978).
We, therefore, find that the following seven member array is appropriately balanced, sufficiently similar, and has enough like characteristics or qualities to make an appropriate comparison: Ames, Iowa; Beatrice, Nebraska; Grand Island, Nebraska; Hastings, Nebraska; Nebraska Public Power District (Kramer Plant); Norfolk, Nebraska; and North Platte, Nebraska.
5. Wage Comparisons
The minimum and maximum wages of the Fremont bargaining unit employees by class titles are listed on Joint Exhibit 2. There are a number of discrepancies in the wage figures presented by the parties. Some of the reasons are the following: 1) Petitioner and respondent in surveying the comparable localities did not always agree as to which job class in that locality matched the key job class in Fremont; 2) Petitioner and respondent disagreed on what the maximum pay step is on Grand Island's pay plan. Petitioner included the last two steps which carry the designation LI and LII. The respondent excluded these last two steps as being outside the regular pay provided by Grand Island; 3) Petitioner provides adjusted wage figures for those survey points taking into account changes in pay rates since the filing of the petition. Respondent has provided wage figures that are current as of the date of the filing of the petition, with no adjustments being made for increases after the filing date.
Based upon the evidence presented, the Commission finds the figures in Table 1-13 are the minimum and maximum hourly wages for the job classes in the array selected as comparable to Fremont's key job classes. The Commission has determined that the maximum pay figure for the Grand Island job classes should take into account the LI and LII steps since it appears from the evidence that in Grand Island placement on these steps is automatic. With the exception of the Kramer Plant, the parties evidence was insufficient for the Commission to make any adjustment for wage increases given after the filing of the petition. The Commission has determined that the respondent's expert testimony on the NPPD-Kramer plant and whether there are job matches there is controlling. Our determination is based on the testimony that only respondent's expert visited the Kramer Plant and made his judgments as to job matches after interviewing personnel at the site. It is not clear from the evidence presented by the petitioner if its wage figures were from the Kramer Plant only or the entire N.P.P.D. organization. The respondent's evidence for wages figures were from the Kramer Plant only or the entire N.P.P.D. organization. The respondent's evidence for wages was presented in monthly figures and has been reduced to hourly figures in the tables. The calculation was made in the following manner: monthly wage x 12 ÷ 2,080 = hourly wage.
6. Comparison of Other Conditions of Employment in Dispute.
Tables 14-22 show comparisons of other conditions of employment in dispute for the bargaining unit employees found in the array selected.
7. Determination as to "Overall Compensation".
Section 48-818 states that "... In establishing wage rates the commission 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 by "comparable to the prevalent wage rates paid and conditions of employment for the same or similar work of 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 may, therefore, vary from case to case depending upon the evidence introduced by the parties. They may vary with respect to different job classes in the same case depending upon the evidence introduced by the parties in the case.
Applying the statutory requirements of Section 48-818 to the evidence, we find the wages for respondent's employees represented by petitioner should be as set out in Table 23. In considering "overall compensation" the Commission finds that fringe benefits and other working conditions in dispute shall remain unchanged.
It is, therefore, ordered that the wages for Respondent's employees represented by the Petitioner in this matter for the period beginning August 1, 1981, shall be those fixed by and pursuant to Table 23 hereto. These increases should be allocated to the intervening steps between the minimum and maximum wage levels in the same proportionate relationship as the current steps.
All other conditions of employment shall remain unchanged.
All Judges assigned to the panel in this matter join the entry of this Opinion and Order.
Filed July 14, 1982.