State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Nebraska > Chapter48 > 48-818

48-818. Commission; findings; order; powers; content; modification.Except as provided in the State Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 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. SourceLaws 1947, c. 178, § 18, p. 592; Laws 1969, c. 407, § 6, p. 1410; Laws 1987, LB 661, § 28. Cross ReferencesState Employees Collective Bargaining Act, see section 81-1369. Annotations1. Commission of Industrial Relations, powers and duties2. Establishing wage rates3. Miscellaneous1. Commission of Industrial Relations, powers and dutiesA prevalence determination by the Commission of Industrial Relations is a subjective determination, and the standard inherent in the word "prevalent" will be one of general practice, occurrence, or acceptance. Hyannis Ed. Assn. v. Grant Cty. Sch. Dist. No. 38-0011, 269 Neb. 956, 698 N.W.2d 45 (2005).A valid prevalence analysis by the Commission of Industrial Relations does not require as a prerequisite a complete identity of provisions in the array. Hyannis Ed. Assn. v. Grant Cty. Sch. Dist. No. 38-0011, 269 Neb. 956, 698 N.W.2d 45 (2005).When discussing the Commission of Industrial Relations' authority under this section, the Nebraska Supreme Court has acknowledged that a prevalent wage rate to be determined by the commission must almost invariably be determined after consideration of a combination of factors. Hyannis Ed. Assn. v. Grant Cty. Sch. Dist. No. 38-0011, 269 Neb. 956, 698 N.W.2d 45 (2005).In industrial disputes involving governmental services, the Commission of Industrial Relations is empowered to establish rates of pay and conditions of employment comparable to those prevalent for the same or similar work of workers exhibiting like or similar skills under the same or similar working conditions. Employers selected for the comparative array must be demonstrated to be similar. The Commission is required to take into consideration the overall compensation received by the employees, including all fringe benefits, but dollar-for-dollar costing out of each benefit is not required. The Commission's findings and order may establish or alter the scale of wages, including establishing wage-step progression schedules. Lincoln Firefighters Assn. Local 644 v. City of Lincoln, 253 Neb. 837, 572 N.W.2d 369 (1998).The Commission of Industrial Relations is without the power to declare that interest shall be due on its orders from the date of their entry since the power is not specifically conferred by statute, and such a construction is not necessary to accomplish the plain purpose of the act. IBEW Local 763 v. Omaha P.P. Dist., 209 Neb. 335, 307 N.W.2d 795 (1981).The Commission of Industrial Relations does not have authority to alter the terms of an existing agreement. Transport Workers of America v. Transit Authority of City of Omaha, 205 Neb. 26, 286 N.W.2d 102 (1979).The Commission of Industrial Relations has no jurisdiction to hear breach of contract cases. Such cases must be heard in a court of competent jurisdiction. The Commission of Industrial Relations also lacks jurisdiction to grant declaratory or equitable relief, both of which are judicial functions and may not be exercised by an administrative agency. Transport Workers of America v. Transit Authority of City of Omaha, 205 Neb. 26, 286 N.W.2d 102 (1979); State Coll. Ed. Assoc. & Chadron State Coll. v. Bd. of Trustees, 205 Neb. 107, 286 N.W.2d 433 (1979).The Commission of Industrial Relations cannot in a section 48-818 case obtain evidence on its own motion unless the moving party has first made a prima facie case of noncomparability with prevalent conditions. General Driver and Helpers Union v. City of West Point, 204 Neb. 238, 281 N.W.2d 772 (1979).The Commission of Industrial Relations' authority is limited to the provisions of this section which, at the time, provide that Commission of Industrial Relations' findings and orders may only establish or alter the scale of wages, hours of labor, or condition of employment. University Police Officers Union v. University of Nebraska, 203 Neb. 4, 277 N.W.2d 529 (1979).While Court of Industrial Relations may not order a school district to enter into a contract, it has the power to settle a dispute. School Dist. of Seward Education Assn. v. School Dist. of Seward, 188 Neb. 772, 199 N.W.2d 752 (1972).2. Establishing wage ratesEmployees have no vested right to placement on the top step of a new pay plan based upon 1 year of employment, and the employer does not act arbitrarily or capriciously in placing the employees on the new pay plan. Nebraska Pub. Emp. v. City of Omaha, 247 Neb. 468, 528 N.W.2d 297 (1995).In a case to establish or alter the scale of wages under this section, the burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that existing wages are not comparable to the prevalent wage rate. Douglas Cty. Health Dept. Emp. Assn. v. Douglas Cty., 229 Neb. 301, 427 N.W.2d 28 (1988).Where large number of job classifications exist and established lines of progression and relationships are present, key job classifications may be utilized to establish wages, provided reasonable requirements of prevalence and relevance are met. IBEW Local 1536 v. City of Fremont, 216 Neb. 357, 345 N.W.2d 291 (1984).With regard to comparability, the Commission of Industrial Relations will enter an order either adjusting condition of employment or find subject city's condition to be lesser or greater than prevalent and adjust overall compensation accordingly. IBEW Local 1536 v. City of Fremont, 216 Neb. 357, 345 N.W.2d 291 (1984).The Commisssion of Industrial Relations is required to consider every possible array which is sufficiently representative so as to determine whether the wage paid or benefits given are comparable. The Commission of Industrial Relation's determination of an array consisting of Nebraska counties excluding outstate counties fully complied with the statutory standard. Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Emp. Assn. v. Co. of Lincoln, 216 Neb. 274, 343 N.W.2d 735 (1984).Absent evidence to show dissimilarities of work performed, or working conditions, where there are local comparisons which can or should be made, the Commission of Industrial Relations cannot disregard them and create an array which is not reflective of the local labor market. The use of the "key job" classification system in situations involving a large number of employee classifications is approved. AFSCME Local No. 2088 v. County of Douglas, 208 Neb. 511, 304 N.W.2d 368 (1981).Determinations made as to the acceptance and rejection of proposed "comparables" were within the expertise of the commission, were made after consideration and comparison of the evidence, and were arrived at by methods in accord with the requirements of this section, and are affirmed. Fraternal Order of Police v. County of Adams, 205 Neb. 682, 289 N.W.2d 535 (1980).Prevalent wage rates for firemen must be determined by comparison with wages paid for comparable services in similar labor markets, determined upon the factors in this section, and adjusted for economic dissimilarities shown to exist with the compared markets. Lincoln Fire Fighters Assn. v. City of Lincoln, 198 Neb. 174, 252 N.W.2d 607 (1977).In establishing wages, the Court of Industrial Relations must consider overall compensation, including fringe benefits, and it may compare with wages in similar labor markets. Omaha Assn. of Firefighters v. City of Omaha, 194 Neb. 436, 231 N.W.2d 710 (1975).In selecting school districts for purpose of comparison, the ultimate question is whether those selected are sufficiently similar to the subject district and in establishing wage rates the entire situation, including fringe benefits, should be considered. Crete Education Assn. v. School Dist. of Crete, 193 Neb. 245, 226 N.W.2d 752 (1975).3. MiscellaneousAct establishing Court of Industrial Relations does not violate any constitutional provision and the standards for its guidance are adequate. Orleans Education Assn. v. School Dist. of Orleans, 193 Neb. 675, 229 N.W.2d 172 (1975).This section lists the factors that the Court of Industrial Relations should consider in establishing wage scales, hours of labor, and conditions of employment. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. City of Hastings, 179 Neb. 455, 138 N.W.2d 822 (1965).