STATE OF WISCONSIN
BEFORE THE WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
COMMISSIONIn the Matter of the Petition of
EVANSVILLE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AUXILIARY--
CAPITAL AREA UNISERV SOUTH
Involving Certain Employes of
EVANSVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Decision No. 16127-B
Ms. Ellen La Luzerne, UniServ Director, Capital Area UniServ
South, 4800 Ivywood Trail,
McFarland, Wisconsin 53558, appearing on behalf of Evansville Education Association
Capital Area UniServ South.
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C., by Attorney JoAnn M.
Hart, 119 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Boulevard, P. O. Box 1664, Madison, Wisconsin 53701-1664, appearing on behalf of the
Community School District.
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSION OF LAW
ORDER CLARIFYING BARGAINING
Evansville Education Association Auxiliary--Capital Area UniServ South filed a
clarify bargaining unit on October 17, 1997, with the Wisconsin Employment Relations
seeking to include the Evansville Community School District positions of Middle School
Administrative Assistant and the Elementary School Principal's Administrative Assistant in
unit it represents. The District opposes the petition and argues the employes are supervisors,
confidential and managerial employes.
Hearing was held in Evansville, Wisconsin, on February 26, 1998, before
Examiner Lionel L. Crowley. The hearing was transcribed and the parties filed briefs and
the last of which was exchanged on June 9, 1998.
The Commission, having reviewed the evidence and arguments of counsel and being
advised in the premises, makes and issues the following Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law
Order Clarifying Bargaining Unit.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Evansville Education Association Auxiliary--Capital Area UniServ South,
referred to as the Association, is a labor organization and has its offices at 4800 Ivywood
McFarland, Wisconsin 53558.
2. Evansville Community School District, hereinafter referred to as the District, is a
employer and has its offices at 420 South Fourth Street, Evansville, Wisconsin 53536.
3. In 1978, in Dec. No. 16127 (WERC, 3/78), the Wisconsin Employment Relations
Commission certified the Association as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of
following District employes:
All full-time and regular part-time aides and clerical
including teacher aides, library
aides, nurses' aides and secretaries, excluding professional employes, managerial employes,
confidential employes, custodial and maintenance employes, and supervisors.
4. The District has a K-4 grade Elementary School, a 5-8 grade Middle School and a
grade High School. The Elementary School is connected by a large gymnasium to the High
and the Middle School is a few blocks from the High School. There is a principal in each
At all times material herein, the High School Principal has had an Administrative Assistant
excluded from the Association bargaining unit. Prior to July 1, 1997, there was no
Assistant in the Middle or Elementary School.
The District has experienced significant growth in enrollment in the last 14 years.
Elementary School has gone from four sections in each grade K-4 with 20 teachers to eight
of K, seven each of grades 1 and 2 and six sections of grades 3 and 4. It now has 54
Middle School has also experienced increased enrollment. At the beginning of the 1996-97
year, the Elementary and Middle School Principals informed the District Administrator that
needed more support due to the increase in staff and asked for an assistant principal at each
The District Administrator said it wasn't likely that this would be approved but he would
bring it up
with the District's Board. The Board discussed it but decided it was not practical and the
Administrator then suggested an administrative assistant at each school and the Board
The District Administrator reported the Board's action to the Principals who were directed to
a job description for the position. The Principals drafted job descriptions which were revised
eventually approved by the District's Board.
5. The job descriptions for the disputed Administrative Assistants are essentially the
provide, in part, as follows:
Duties and Performance
The principal's assistant will supervise
clerks and educational assistants at the building level and
will manage the elementary (middle school) office. The assistant will be responsible for the
1. Supervise all building clerks and assistants in the
a. Evaluate clerks and assistants, and
prepare written evaluations of their work.
b. Assign daily work including special
projects to clerks and assistants.
c. Schedule and approve vacation, personal
leave, absences and other time off.
d Receive and discuss grievances from
clerks and assistants serve as a liaison between they (sic)
and the principal.
e. Review disciplinary situations and
recommend disciplinary actions to the elementary school
(middle school) principal.
f. Conduct initial interviews, participate in
second interviews, make recommenda- tions for hiring
of clerks and assistants.
2. Control and supply of
office and instructional supplies.
a. Fulfill staff and student supply needs.
b. Maintain sufficient inventory of supplies
for staff and all reproduction machines.
c. Fulfill requests for printed forms such as
report cards, envelopes, mid-terms, conference
letters, music programs, handbooks and etc.
d. Arrange proper maintenance of office
and assistant workroom machines.
6. The two positions of Administrative Assistant were posted on May 22, 1997, and
Marenes, the Elementary School Secretary, was the only one to sign the posting for the
School and was awarded the position on August 11, 1997. Jane Sperry, the Middle School
was the only applicant for the Middle School Administrative Assistant and she was awarded
position on August 11, 1997.
7. The Middle School Administrative Assistant, Jane Sperry, spends at least 30% of
day supervising the Media Assistant, the Study Hall Aide, the Office Clerk and five EEN
Assistants. She reassigns employes as necessary, signs their time cards, approves sick leave
time off, arranges substitutes for absent employes, counsels employes when needed,
holds staff meetings with these employes, evaluates employes, drafts job descriptions,
applicants for positions, independently conducts the initial interview, participates in the
interview and makes an effective recommendation on who should be hired.
Sperry is paid an hourly rate of $10.64/hour and as a Secretary made $9.15/hour.
types the Principal's evaluations of teachers, any discipline, letters of referral and any
between the Middle School and the District's offices. Sperry prepares the office budget for
Middle School, orders and purchases supplies and arranges for equipment servicing.
8. The Elementary School Administrative Assistant, Susan Marenes, supervises
and two clerks. Marenes schedules and reschedules employes on a daily basis, arranges
approves sick leave and other absences and signs employes' time cards. Marenes evaluates
and has counseled employes on procedures for performing work. Marenes holds staff
employes. Marenes is responsible for recruiting, interviewing and recommending for hire
in the aide and clerk positions she supervises. In one instance, Marenes created an external
for a position, screened the applicants, drafted the interview questions and along with the
of Student Services and an EEN Teacher, interviewed prospective employes, fielded the
questions and by a consensus process selected and effectively recommended to the Board the
applicant who was hired.
Marenes' pay rate on an hourly basis is $10.64/hour and as Secretary, she was paid
Marenes takes notes of investigatory and disciplinary meetings between the Principal
professional staff and types the notes. She types all teacher evaluations by the Principal.
prepares the Elementary School's office budget and purchases supplies and services for the
9. The occupants of the Administrative Assistant positions at the Elementary and
Schools possess and exercise supervisory responsibilities in sufficient combination and
degree so as
to make them supervisors.
Based on the above and foregoing Findings of Fact, the Commission makes and
CONCLUSION OF LAW
1. The occupants of the positions of Administrative Assistant in the Elementary and
Schools are supervisors within the meaning of Sec. 111.70(1)(o), Stats., and thus are not
employes within the meaning of Sec. 111.70(l)(i), Stats.
Based on the above and foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law, the
makes and issues the following
The positions of Administrative Assistant in the Elementary and Middle Schools shall
to be excluded from the bargaining unit set forth in Finding of Fact 3.
Given under our hands and seal at the City of Madison, Wisconsin, this
14th day of August, 1998.
WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
James R. Meier, Chairperson
A. Henry Hempe, Commissioner
Paul A. Hahn, Commissioner
EVANSVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSION OF LAW
ORDER CLARIFYING BARGAINING
The Association filed the instant petition to clarify bargaining unit seeking to include
unit the Administrative Assistants to the Elementary and Middle School Principals. The
the position that the employes are supervisors, and confidential and managerial employes and
continue to be excluded from the unit.
The Association contends that the District has used a scattershot approach of adding
to these positions and then claiming they are supervisory, confidential and managerial. The
Association submits that the District could function quite well without excluding these
the level and frequency of duties are limited and could be handled by other administrative
As to the factors the Commission considers in determining supervisory status, the
contends that the hiring process involves a team approach which does not necessarily imply
supervisory status. It asserts that the initial screening and interviewing can be accomplished
non-supervisory personnel. It submits that the Principal and Superintendent make the
decision and when an employe was transferred from the Middle School to the Elementary
neither Marenes nor Sperry were consulted. It notes that decisions on discipline have not
to date and the Administrative Assistants have functioned in a very limited manner. As to
authority to direct and assign the work force, these duties, according to the Association, can
assigned to lead workers and it is standard practice to have support staff call in substitutes.
that teachers direct the work activity of education assistants and the Administrative Assistants
supervising work rather than workers.
As to the number of employes supervised, it notes that the Principals supervised their
respective buildings and now have created a new level of bureaucracy; however, teachers
input and authority over these employes and are not supervisors. As to pay level which went
$9.15/hour to $10.64/hour, the Association points out that these employes are paid less than
starting teacher and it estimates that the Principals are paid two or three times as much. It
the difference in pay is explained by increases in non-supervisory responsibilities when their
The Association maintains that the Administrative Assistants are performing clerical
and directing work flow and direct supervision duties are minimal. It observes that 16 of the
employes are education assistants working primarily as part of the educational process
with day-to-day work under the classroom teacher. It argues that the evaluations performed
every two years
average four to six hours per year which is de minimus. The
Association alleges that one of the major
duties taken over by Marenes is supervising student activity for 420 minutes a week which is
supervisory duty. The Association claims that the Administrative Assistants mainly provide
and lunch room supervision and only one percent of the time is spent on supervisory duties.
Association argues that the Principal did not provide much direction to these positions before
even after the change in classification, any major decisions are made by committee or in
with others so these Administrative Assistants have input but limited independence in
With respect to managerial status, the Association concedes that these employes work
budget, but asserts they do not have authority to commit the District's resources because the
goes through the Principal before submission for Board approval. It notes that the employes
purchase supplies and have equipment repaired but spending is within a budget for minor
Association claims that they do not possess the authority to commit the District's resources in
substantial way and should not be considered managerial.
The Association argues that these employes are not confidential and their participation
limited to contract enforcement. It points out the number of grievances is small, seven since
for an average of one per year. It submits that their participation in confidential matters is
minimal and not sufficient to exclude them on the basis that they are confidential.
It concludes that the supervisory, managerial and confidential duties of the
Assistants are insufficient to exclude them from the bargaining unit. It reiterates that as the
are clerical in nature and clearly fall within the bargaining unit description, the District is
the bargaining unit and attempting to limit the employes' right to representation. It observes
Marenes and Sperry publicly worked toward exclusion from the unit and the District is
to accommodate them by removing them from the unit. It notes that in 1978 there were five
secretarial positions and now there is one. It asks that the Administrative Assistants be
the bargaining unit.
The District contends that the Middle School Administrative Assistant is a supervisor.
points out that she testified that she supervises eight support staff in the Middle School and
on a daily
basis assigns work, approves time cards, arranges for substitutes, orients and trains
approves sick and other leave - all duties which the Principal had performed previously. It
that she counsels employes and in October, 1997, counseled an employe not to perform
work during school time. It notes that she holds staff meetings, evaluates employes and
the collective bargaining agreement with respect to the rights of employes. It argues that she
recruited, interviewed and participated in hiring an applicant for a newly created position. It
that she acts for the Principal in his absence except for student discipline issues. It states
she is paid at a higher rate to reflect her supervisory duties and argues that because she
25-40% of her time on clerical duties, she is not a "working supervisor." The position is
and should be excluded from the unit.
The District takes the position that the Elementary School Administrative Assistant is
supervisor based on the job description and her duties which include supervising 13
scheduling them, assigning particular job duties throughout the day, arranging for substitutes
reassigning employes when necessary. It observes that she approves leaves, signs time cards
evaluates employes, including three between August, 1997 and February 26, 1998. It claims
counsels employes, holds staff meetings and created a new policy on student lunch time. It
out that she is responsible for recruiting, interviewing and recommending the hire of support
In one case, Marenes reviewed the applicants for hire, prepared interview questions,
applicants, and then interviewed applicants along with a teacher and the Director of Student
and reached a consensus on the successful applicant. It concludes that the position is
The District contends that the Administrative Assistants are confidential. It submits
Administrative Assistant is the only confidential employe in their respective schools and they
the confidential documents including notes of investigatory and disciplinary meetings and
evaluations. It asserts that the Union may argue that it gets all this information but it is in
and virtually all go through a drafting process where changes are made which is confidential
It states that the Middle School Principal supervises 24 teachers and the Elementary School
supervises 54 teachers and each has significant labor relations responsibilities and even if the
of confidential work is not substantial, it would be unduly disruptive if the Administrative
were not found to be confidential.
The District claims that the Administrative Assistants are managerial. The District
each has authority to commit the District's resources as each prepares the office budget for
respective school and they are responsible for ordering supplies and arranging for servicing
equipment. It maintains that these duties do not consume a substantial amount of time but do
exclusion from the unit as managerial. The District takes the position that the evidence
that the Administrative Assistant positions are supervisors, confidential and managerial
the petition should be dismissed.
The Association argues that the Administrative Assistants engage in a minimal
supervisory, managerial and confidential duties which could be assigned to other supervisory,
managerial or confidential staff and it seeks inclusion of the positions in the bargaining unit.
The District contends that the Union's brief contains unsupported or erroneous
its attempt to dispute the evidence. It states that without facts or law to support it, the Union
back on its unsupported claim that the District is undermining the bargaining unit and
employes' right to representation. It submits that the Union's argument lacks any factual,
logical support. It submits it established that the positions provide direct supervision,
direction and confidential clerical support to the Principals and are properly excluded from
Section 111.70(1)(o), Stats., defines a "supervisor" in pertinent part as:
. . . any individual who has authority, in the interest of the
municipal employer, to hire, transfer,
suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employes, or
their grievances or effectively to recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing
exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of
When evaluating the claim of supervisory status under Sec.
111.70(1)(o), Stats., we consider
the following factors:
1. The authority to effectively recommend the hiring, promotion,
transfer, discipline or discharge
2. The authority to direct and assign the work force;
3. The number of employes supervised,
and the number of persons exercising greater, similar
or lesser authority over the same employes;
4. The level of pay, including an
evaluation of whether the supervisor is paid for his/her skills
or for his/her supervision of employes;
5. Whether the supervisor is supervising an
activity or is primarily supervising employes;
6. Whether the supervisor is a working
supervisor or whether he spends a substantial majority
of his time supervising employes; and
7. The amount of independent judgment
exercised in the supervision of employes.
Not all of the above-quoted factors need to reflect supervisory status for us to find an
individual to be a supervisor. Our task is to determine whether factors supporting
are present in sufficient combination and degree to warrant finding an employe to be a
Walworth County, Dec. No. 29378 (WERC, 5/98).
The record establishes that the Administrative Assistants should be excluded from the
bargaining unit based upon the supervisory duties performed by the incumbents, Sperry and
The incumbents have been in the positions only since August 11, 1997. Nonetheless,
supervisory status is clear. The Principals have turned over the supervision of support staff
to the Assistants.
The Assistants assign and reassign work to the support staff. They hold staff
the employes they supervise. Sperry supervises eight employes and Marenes thirteen
sign employes' time cards and approve sick leave and other leaves. While no significant
has been meted out, they have both counseled employes, and we conclude their disciplinary
recommendations would be effective. They evaluate employes. As evidenced by Marenes'
role in the hiring of a Special Education Program Aide, they have significant hiring
spend a substantial amount of their time directing the work of the support staff and we are
they are compensated at the higher pay level than bargaining unit employes due to their
We conclude that the Administrative Assistants in the Elementary and Middle Schools
supervisory authority in sufficient combination and degree to warrant exclusion of the
incumbents as supervisors. West Bend Jt. School District No. 1, Dec. No. 16669-A
12/92); DePere School District, Dec. No. 25712-A (WERC, 10/90).
Given our conclusion, we need not and do not determine whether they are also
or managerial employes.
Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, this 14th day of August, 1998.
WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
James R. Meier, Chairperson
A. Henry Hempe, Commissioner
Paul A. Hahn, Commissioner