Richardson County cleared by Commission of Industrial Relations

(KLZA)--Richardson County Commissioners reviewed a ruling from the Nebraska Commission of Industrial relations when they met Wednesday.

Three members of the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations have concluded that evidence submitted by the union representing employees of the Richardson County Road and Highway Department, failed to establish that a prohibited practice by the County had occurred.

In the conclusion, the commission ordered the Petition be dismissed.

The petition was filed following information concerning the County's new payroll system and vacation calculations was provided to the employees in April, 2022 and subsequent disagreement over reopening the current contract in regards to a Union proposed Memorandum of Understanding.

In the opinion from the Commission of Industrial Relations, it notes the Union was notified of the County Board's desire to offer raises to Union employees and was specifically requested to send a letter to begin negotiations.

The Union Director failed to make the request and the following frustrations were seen in various comments made by County Board members and Highway Superintendent Steve Darveau Jr. The Commission called those comments “unwise, unnecessary, and made out of frustration, but does not mean they were in violation,” noting that information was poorly communicated.

The Commission noted there was no testimony from Union members or Commissioners, and the lack of documentary evidence solidifies that no offer of a pay raise was made or rejected by either party. No evidence was found that the County Board offered a 10% raise for the union members, on the condition that the members dissolve the union.

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