|EDUCATIONAL SERVICE UNIT NO. 12|||||CASE NO. 651|
|EDUCATIONAL SERVICE UNIT NO. 12||||
|OF THE STATE OF NEBRASKA, A||||
Before: Judges Cullan, Mullin, and Orr
This matter came on for hearing on Petitioner's Motion for Post-Trial Conference by telephone conference call on March 9, 1987. Mark D. McGuire appeared for Petitioner and Thomas A. Danehey appeared for Respondent. The only issue argued to the Commission related to clarification of the Findings and Order entered February 19, 1987, concerning payment for health insurance coverage.
We have ordered as follows:
That health insurance coverage shall be provided at the rate of $66.51 per month for single coverage and $180.48 per month for dependent coverage. All insurance benefits shall be prorated as per employment full time equivalency.
As discussed in our opinion, fringe benefits at ESU 12 included health insurance coverage at a cost of $66.51 per month per employee (single coverage). They did not provide dependent coverage which the evidence established would cost an additional $113.97 per month or a total of $180.48 per month. By our Order, this additional coverage is ordered. The Order is silent as to what, if anything, is to be done retroactively or prospectively while such coverage is or was not provided.
Health insurance coverage for a family is considered a basic need in modern society. To be without such coverage, if it can be obtained, is commonly said to be imprudent. If dependent coverage is not offered as a fringe benefit, prudent employees with dependents are left with no reasonable alternative but to secure such coverage at their own expense. While it is obviously impossible to make such coverage available retroactively, it is possible to compensate employees who have been forced to obtain coverage with their own resources.
We find merit in Petitioner's argument that it would be an unfair windfall to the employer to allow it to retain the value of a fringe benefit found to be prevalent merely because it cannot be provided retroactively. This is particularly so in the context of Nebraska public employment law where total compensation must be considered in determining prevalent compensation. Accordingly, we find that full-time employees with dependents shall be compensated at the rate of $113.97 per month for any and all months during which dependent coverage was not provided or is not made available. Such compensation for employees with less than full-time equivalency shall be appropriately prorated. ESU 12 shall, however, receive credit for the value (cost) of the single coverage provided.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
1. That employees eligible for dependent coverage during the 1986-87 school year shall be compensated in a lump sum payment for all months of the 1986-87 contract year preceeding our Findings and Order issued February 18, 1987, at the rate of $113.97 per month for full-time employees and at the appropriately prorated rate per full time equivalency for part-time employees.
2. That ESU 12 provide dependent coverage at the rate of $180.48 per month for those tachers eligible for such coverage as soon as administratively psosible. Until dependent coverage is available employees eligible for such coverage shall continue to be compensated at the rate of $113.97 per month or appropriately prorated per full time equivalency.
3. Part-time employees eligible for dependent coverage must elect to take the dependent coverage when it becomes available or they shall not be paid the compensation provided herein. Such election shall be made in writing within one month from the date hereof.
4. That other than the above listed clarifications the Findings and Order shall stand as previously issued on February 18, 1987.
All judges assigned to the panel in this case join in the entry of this Final Order.
Entered April 23, 1987.