|INTERNATIONAL|||||CASE NO. 703|
|LOCAL NO. 1536, AFL-CIO,||||
|CITY OF FAIRBURY, NEBRASKA||||
|and FAIRBURY, BOARD OF||||
|CITY OF FAIRBURY, NEBRASKA,|||||CASE NO. 705|
|LOCAL NO. 1536, AFL-CIO,||||
For the Petitioner: David D. Weinberg
Weinberg & Weinberg, P.C.
8901 Indian Hills Drive, Suite 1
Omaha, Nebraska 68114
For the Respondents: Jerry L. Pigsley
Nelson & Harding
500 The Atrium, 1200 N Street
P.O. Box 82028
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501
Before: Judges Orr, Mullin, and Kratz
In its Journal Entry of February 9, 1988, the Commission consolidated the Petition and Application for Temporary Order filed by the employer in Case No. 705 with the wage case filed by the union in Case No. 703 and stated that hereinafter these matters would be referred to as Case No. 703/705. In Case No. 703, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 1536 (union) is the Petitioner and the City of Fairbury and Fairbury Board of Public Workers (employer) is the Respondent. For consistency throughout this Order, we will refer to the union as the Petitioner and the employer as the Respondent.
As stated in the Journal Entry and at trial, this matter comes before the Commission on the issue of compelling bargaining raised by the Respondent's Petition in Case No. 705. Both parties offered evidence through exhibits and testimony which were received by the Commission. The Petitioner was represented by its attorney, David D. Weinberg, and Respondent was represented by its attorney, Jerry L. Pigsley.
The main thrust of Respondent's argument was that the parties were still negotiating and a formal impasse had not been declared when the Petitioner filed its wage petition in Case No. 703. the evidence clearly establishes that the two parties have been attempting to negotiate a contract since 1985. In particular, in calendar year 1987 they met on ten separate occasions.
The Commission encourages parties to bargain and settle disputes themselves and if it appears that further bargaining would be fruitful, we will send them back to the bargaining table as we are authorized to do under Section 48-816(1). However, bargaining cannot continue beyond a reasonable time period and still adhere to the public policy of resolving disputes in a timely fashion. Tekamah-Herman Educ. Ass'n v. School Dist. of Tekamah-Herman , 9 CIR 78 (1987). After negotiating for two years, the Petitioner determined that they were in no better position than when they began bargaining in 1985. We feel that the parties have devoted a reasonable amount of time in resolving their differences but that now it is time for the dispute to be resolved.
In regard to Respondent's argument that formal impasse has not been declared, there has never been a prerequisite of impasse. As stated in International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 1536 v. McCook Public Power District , 3 CIR 117, 120 (1976):
...The record shows clearly that the parties are unable to agree on wages and conditions. Consequently, we have a "controversy concerning terms, tenure, or conditions of employment" and thus an industrial dispute, in accordance with Section 48-801(7), and the parties, therefore, may submit their dispute to this Court for determination....Defendant argues that the parties have not reached impasse and thus they should be allowed to continue to bargain without interference from this Court. This argument is without merit. The statute doesn't specifically require an impasse in bargaining before this Court can entertain jurisdiction, and if it did, the condition precedent has been met. The parties clearly are at impasse and we find it rather incredible that Defendant would suggest otherwise under the facts of this case.
Here too, the evidence clearly establishes that an industrial dispute exists and that the jurisdiction of the Commission has been invoked pursuant to Section 48-810.
The Commission hereby denies Respondent's motion to compel bargaining in Case No. 705
Entered March 8, 1988