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STATE OF WISCONSIN

BEFORE THE WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION

In the Matter of the Petition of

REEDSVILLE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

To Initiate Arbitration Between

Said Petitioner and

REEDSVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT

Case 14

No. 49243 INT/ARB-6883

Decision No. 28058

Appearances:

Mr. Anthony L. Sheehan, Staff Counsel, Wisconsin Education Association Council, 33 Nob Hill Drive, P.O. Box 8003, Madison, Wisconsin 53708, with Mr. Dennis W. Muehl, Executive Director, and Mr. David Campsure, Research Consultant, Bayland Teachers United, 1136 North Military Avenue, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 54303, for the Association.

Mr. William G. Bracken, Director of Employee Relations Services, Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Inc., 132 West Main Street, P.O. Box 160, Winneconne, Wisconsin 54986, for the District.

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSION OF LAW AND ORDER

On February 10, 1994, the Reedsville Education Association filed a motion with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission seeking review pursuant to ERB 33.10(6) of the manner in which the Reedsville School District was proposing to implement a qualified economic offer.

The parties stipulated to certain matters and filed initial written argument. On April 7, 1994, the parties advised the Commission that no reply briefs would be filed.

Having considered the matter and being fully advised in the premises, the Commission makes and issues the following

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. The Reedsville School District, herein the District, is a municipal employer having its principal offices at Reedsville, Wisconsin.

2. The Reedsville Education Association, herein the Association, is a labor organization functioning as the collective bargaining representative of certain District employes and having its principal offices at 1136 North Military Avenue, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

3. The 1992-1993 salary schedule in a collective bargaining agreement between the District and the Association is set forth in Appendix A (attached) and includes steps (increments) of $920 and lanes of $375.

4. The historical evolution of the 1992-1993 salary schedule in terms of step and lane amounts is set forth in Appendix B (attached) and reflects that the value of steps and lanes in the 1992-1993 schedule is a function of bargained uniform dollar amounts.

5. The historical value of steps and lanes as a percentage of the BA base is set forth in Appendix C (attached) and reflects that the value of steps and lanes in the 1992-1993 schedule is a function of bargained uniform dollar amounts.

Based upon the above and foregoing Findings of Fact, the Commission makes and issues the following

CONCLUSION OF LAW

Section 111.70(4)(cm)8p, Stats., ERB 33.03 and Form C, Section 2.A.4. man-date that the Reedsville School District implement the general salary increase portion of its qualified economic offer in a manner which distributes general salary increase monies through a uniform dollar amount increase on each salary cell of the 1992-1993 salary schedule.

Based upon the above and foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law, the Commission makes and issues the following

ORDER (1)

If the Reedsville School District elects to implement its qualified economic offer to the Reedsville Education Association, the District must distribute general salary increase monies in a manner which maintains the $920 steps and the $375 lanes contained in the 1992-1993 salary schedule.

Given under our hands and seal at the City of Madison, Wisconsin this 27th day of May, 1994.

WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION

By A. Henry Hempe /s/

A. Henry Hempe, Chairperson

Herman Torosian /s/ Herman Torosian, Commissioner

William K. Strycker /s/

William K. Strycker, Commissioner


MEMORANDUM ACCOMPANYING FINDINGS OF FACT,

CONCLUSION OF LAW AND ORDER

POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES:

The Association

The Association argues that compliance with Commission rules and Act 16 requires the District to maintain the cell-to-base ratios and increment percentages that existed in the 1992-1993 salary schedule. Because the District proposes to maintain the existing dollar relationships contained in the 1992-1993 schedule, the Association contends the District's proposed method of implementation is incorrect.

Citing Act 16's reference to the "previous collective bargaining agreement," the Association maintains that the only relevant salary schedule is the 1992-1993 schedule in the immediate predecessor agreement. Any practice demonstrated by earlier schedules is irrelevant to maintenance of the existing salary structure, argues the Association.

The Association asserts its proposed method of implementation is more beneficial to teachers who are not eligible to receive a step and is thus consistent with the legislature's intent not to penalize such teachers.

Given the foregoing, the Association alleges the District has not made a legitimate qualified economic offer.

The District:

The District asserts that its proposed manner of implementing its qualified economic offer complies with ERB 33 and Sec. 111.70(4)(cm)8p, Stats. It contends that the salary schedule structure which it must maintain consists of flat dollar amounts that define the vertical and horizontal increments. The District alleges that an analysis of prior salary schedules demonstrates that the parties do not have an indexed schedule but have historically bargained the increase on the BA base independently from the increase in the vertical and horizontal increments. Under such circumstances, the District alleges that its proposed manner of implementation (uniform dollar amounts per cell) is the only manner of implementation permitted by ERB 33.03 and Sec. 111.70(4)(cm)8p., Stats.

Given the foregoing, the District asks the Commission to confirm that the District's proposed manner of implementation is correct.

DISCUSSION:

Section 111.70(4)(cm)8p., Stats. provides in pertinent part:

. . . In every collective bargaining unit covering municipal employes who are school district professional employes in which the municipal employe positions were, on the effective date of this subdivision . . . assigned to salary ranges with steps that determine the levels of progression within each salary range, the parties shall not, in any new or modified collective bargaining agreement, alter the salary range structure, . . . (emphasis added)

ERB 33.03 provides in pertinent part:

. . .

Any collective bargaining agreement shall not alter the salary range structure, number of steps or requirements for attaining a step or assignment of a position to a salary range for any professional school district employes who were assigned to salary ranges with steps that determined the level of progression within each salary range.

. . .

Form C of Chapter ERB 33 provides in pertinent part:

4. Pay an average salary increase to all employes . . . in a manner which does not alter the relationship between steps and lanes in your existing salary structure. The options available for distribution of the general salary increase are a uniform dollar amount increase on each salary cell; or a uniform % increase to each salary cell; or an increase in the base which increases each cell in accordance with the existing salary structure. USE THE OPTION WHICH DOES NOT ALTER YOUR EXISTING SALARY STRUCTURE AS REFLECTED BY THE EXISTING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STEPS AND LANES.

As both parties have noted, Form C, Section 2.A.4 provides three methods for the distribution of general salary increase money on the "salary range structure" which the District must maintain when implementing a qualified economic offer and parties ultimately must maintain when they reach agreement on a new contract.

1. A uniform dollar amount increase on each salary cell;

2. A uniform percentage increase to each salary cell; or

3. An increase in the base which increases each salary cell.

Selection of the appropriate method requires an analysis of the salary range structure in effect August 12, 1993 (the effective date of Act 16) to determine whether the relationships between steps and lanes are a product of a bargained dollar amount (Method 1, above); a bargained percentage (Method 2, above), or a bargained index relationship of the base to salary cells (Method 3, above). Thus, while it is the "salary range structure" in effect on August 12, 1993 which is to be maintained, consideration of prior schedules is appropriate to determine which type of step/lane relationship (or combination thereof) generated the structure and thus must be used to maintain the structure.

The Association argues that the existing salary schedule structure is maintained only where existing cell-to-base ratios and step/lane increment percentages are maintained. We concur with the Association where it is established that the parties bargained such ratios and percentages as the basis for their structure. However, where the structure is produced by bargained dollar amounts, our rules reflect our view that the statutorily mandated maintenance of that structure requires use of dollar amount increases. Adoption of the Association view in all cases would in some cases alter the "structure" the parties have previously bargained and thus alter the "structure" the statute requires must be maintained.

The record before us in this case conclusively establishes that the step/lane relationship and "structure" in question is based upon uniform dollar amounts.

As clearly reflected in Appendices B and C, the parties' "salary range structure" has been generated by bargained dollar amounts rather than the indexed structure argued by the Association or any percent per cell structure. Further, the 1992-1993 salary range structure on its face (Appendix A) provides no persuasive evidence of any index or percentage step/lane relationship. Indeed, the 1992-1993 schedule explicitly reflects uniform dollar steps (i.e. "Increments") of $920.00.

Given the foregoing, we conclude that when implementing its qualified economic offer the District is correct that it must distribute general salary increase money in a manner which maintains the $920 steps and the $375 lanes.

Dated at Madison, Wisconsin this 27th day of May, 1994.

WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION

By A. Henry Hempe /s/

A. Henry Hempe, Chairperson

Herman Torosian /s/ Herman Torosian, Commissioner

William K. Strycker /s/

William K. Strycker, Commissioner

APPENDIX A
SALARY SCHEDULE - 1992-1993
STEPBA BA6 BA12 BA18 BA24 BA30MAMA6 MA12 MA18 MA24
1 2225022625 23000233752375024125 2450024875 2525025625 26000
2 2317023545 2392024295 24670 25045 25420 25795 26170 26545 26920
3 24090 24465 24840 25215 25590 25965 26340 26715 27090 27465 27840
4 25010 25385 25760 26135 26510 26885 27260 27635 28010 28385 28760
5 25930 26305 26680 27055 27430 27805 28180 28555 28930 29305 39680
6 26850 27225 27600 27975 28350 28725 29100 29475 29850 30225 30000
7 27770 28145 28520 28895 29270 29645 30020 30395 30770 31145 31520
8 28690 29065 29440 29815 30190 30565 30940 31315 31690 32065 32440
9 29610 29985 30360 30735 31110 31485 31860 32235 32610 32985 33360
10 30530 30905 31280 31655 32030 32405 32780 33155 33530 33905 34280
11 31450 31825 32200 32575 32950 33325 33700 34075 34450 34825 35200
12 32370 32745 33120 33495 33870 34245 34620 34995 35370 35745 36120
13 355403591536290 3666537040
14 364603683537210 3758537960
15 373803775538130 3850538880
16 383003867539050 3942539800
Incre. 920 920 920 920 920 920 920 920 920 920 920

APPENDIX B


Year
Step
Increment
Lane
Increment
1980-81400300
1981-82470300
1982-83470300
1983-84495300
1984-85555300
1985-86645300
1986-87645300
1987-88690300
1988-89735300
1989-90820325
1990-91840325
1991-92885350
1992-93920375

APPENDIX C

Step And Lane Increments Computed As A Percent Of The Base

Vertical IncrementHorizontal Increment

Year
Expressed As A Percent
Of The BA Base
Expressed As A Percent
Of The BA Base
1980-813.57142852.6785714
1981-823.91666662.5000000
1982-833.69642152.3594180
1983-843.69402982.2388059
1984-853.78710332.0470829
1985-864.13064361.9212295
1986-873.93893121.8320610
1987-883.92045451.7045454
1988-893.90438241.5936254
1989-904.22136421.6731016
1990-914.10256411.5873015
1991-924.1451991.6393442
1992-934.13483141.6853932

1. Pursuant to Sec. 227.48(2), Stats., the Commission hereby notifies the parties that a petition for rehearing may be filed with the Commission by following the procedures set forth in Sec. 227.49 and that a petition for judicial review naming the Commission as Respondent, may be filed by following the procedures set forth in Sec. 227.53, Stats.

227.49 Petitions for rehearing in contested cases. (1) A petition for rehearing shall not be prerequisite for appeal or review. Any person aggrieved by a final order may, within 20 days after service of the order, file a written petition for rehearing which shall specify in detail the grounds for the relief sought and supporting authorities. An agency may order a rehearing on its own motion within 20 days after service of a final order. This subsection does not apply to s. 17.025(3)(e). No agency is required to conduct more than one rehearing based on a petition for rehearing filed under this subsection in any contested case.

227.53 Parties and proceedings for review. (1) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, any person aggrieved by a decision specified in s. 227.52 shall be entitled to judicial review thereof as provided in this chapter.

(a) Proceedings for review shall be instituted by serving a petition therefore personally or by certified mail upon the agency or one of its officials, and filing the petition in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county where the judicial review proceedings are to be held. Unless a rehearing is requested under s. 227.49, petitions for review under this paragraph shall be served and filed within 30 days after the service of the decision of the agency upon all parties under s. 227.48. If a rehearing is requested under s. 227.49, any party desiring judicial review shall serve and file a petition for review within 30 days after service of the order finally disposing of the application for rehearing, or within 30 days after the final disposition by operation of law of any such application for rehearing. The 30-day period for serving and filing a petition under this paragraph commences on the day after personal service or mailing of the decision by the agency. If the petitioner is a resident, the proceedings shall be held in the circuit court for the county where the petitioner resides, except that if the petitioner is an agency, the proceedings shall be in the circuit court for the county where the respondent resides and except as provided in ss. 77.59(6)(b), 182.70(6) and 182.71(5)(g). The proceedings shall be in the circuit court for Dane county if the petitioner is a nonresident. If all parties stipulate and the court to which the parties desire to transfer the proceedings agrees, the proceedings may be held in the county designated by the parties. If 2 or more petitions for review of the same decision are filed in different counties, the circuit judge for the county in which a petition for review of the decision was first filed shall determine the venue for judicial review of the decision, and shall order transfer or consolidation where appropriate.

(b) The petition shall state the nature of the petitioner's interest, the facts showing that petitioner is a person aggrieved by the decision, and the grounds specified in s. 227.57 upon which petitioner contends that the decision should be reversed or modified.

(c) Copies of the petition shall be served, personally or by certified mail, or, when service is timely admitted in writing, by first class mail, not later than 30 days after the institution of the proceeding, upon all parties who appeared before the agency in the proceeding in which the order sought to be reviewed was made.

Note: For purposes of the above-noted statutory time-limits, the date of Commission service of this decision is the date it is placed in the mail (in this case the date appearing immediately above the signatures); the date of filing of a rehearing petition is the date of actual receipt by the Commission; and the service date of a judicial review petition is the date of actual receipt by the Court and placement in the mail to the Commission.