July 12, 2010

Civic Involvement and Your Job - State employment is clearly influenced by Minnesota's politics, and there's a lot at stake with the 2010 election. The budget deficit makes it impossible not to affect state programs and staffing. Party agendas also affect programming and staffing. Every ten years, political district boundaries are redrawn, changing the makeup of the house and senate. Your involvement now can make a difference. Candidates are seeking help during these last few busy months before the election. Parades, home parties, fundraisers, local organization meetings, town halls, debates, door knocking--you’ll never have a better chance for “face time” and to make your issues and suggestions known than during this time when they want to hear from you! To get involved check out their website (Google them) and/or Facebook site (just about anyone running for office has one) to find opportunities for face time. Links to Minnesota elections and elected officials:

“NEW” Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - as of July 1, 2010, the State has contracted with a new provider for services. They are NEAS (National Employee Assistance Services). You or any member of your family may call 800-657-3719 anytime, any day, or check out their services at www.neas.com. Go to their “our services” tab to learn more about the valuable ways they may benefit you. You may also login at their site by entering the pass code: STMN1. More information will be coming to you from the State’s EAP and from NEAS by letter, about mid-August. Their services are CONFIDENTIAL (within the limits of the law). You don’t need to provide any identifying information and they can help. Their services are available to you now and include:  

Clinic Cost Changes - to take place 1/1/2011. If you are a member of a clinic in one of the following systems you may want to: 1) contact your clinic and doctor and complain about the price increases; 2) encourage them to reverse the increases for the Advantage Health Plan for state employees while they still have time to do so;  and 3) let them know you may consider changing clinics in the next open enrolment.

Executive Board Elections – the MGEC Nominations Committee requests that you consider and express interest in serving on the MGEC Executive Board. Starting January 1, 2011, terms for the following positions will begin: Secretary, Vice President, Director (five positions). Terms are for two years (except VP who serves one year as VP, one year as President and one year as Past President). Your contributions will be valued and we believe the experience will be valuable to you. Call MGEC at 651-774-0996 or e-mail mgec@mgec.org to express your interest or ask questions. The election will take place in fall 2010.

MGEC Survey – each year MGEC surveys members about a variety of issues. We do so to make sure we are providing the services our members need and want and to gather information on topics relevant to work being done. As we prepare the survey for this fall,  you have an opportunity to suggest to us a question you think would be useful to your MGEC leadership to know the answer to. Send any survey suggestions for consideration to us at mgec@mgec.org.

2010 MGEC Golf Outing and Social - join fellow members on Monday, September 13, 2010, at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater. Golfing starts at 12:30 p.m.; dinner after golf 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. To RSVP for the dinner only, email rhonda.bauer@mgec.org. For more information and to register for the golf outing, see the registration form. Special dietary requirements should be noted on your registration or sent to Rhonda. There will be no business meeting during the event. Annual meeting and scholarships/awards will occur separately (late winter/early spring 2011).

PE Exam Review Class - for those planning to take the fall P.E. exam, the fall review class begins in August. Scheduling and dates are still being worked out but you may register anytime at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MB2VZRF.

Risk Management Division new website - "On July 1st, Administration's Risk Management Division went 'live' with a new website that consolidates information and tools from our property and casualty, workers' compensation and safety divisions into one package. The new website has consistent navigation across its structure, which will get visitors to where they want to be faster; a more modern design and easier access to forms, publications and programs. With this improvement, our new address on the World Wide Web is www.admin.state.mn.us/risk."

Worksite wellness opportunities lead to improved employee health and productivity – you have resources through Minnesota Management and Budget, as well as your agency. Contact Linda Feltes, Employee Wellness Project Manager, MMB, 651-259-3779, linda.feltes@state.mn.us. Another resource is Melissa Schoeller, who can provide your worksite with a variety of classes: Boot Camp, Vinyasa Yoga, Kettlebells, Zumba, Spin, and any group fitness. "All classes can be done outdoors or in a small conference room. Please let me know if you have any further questions. She has some flexibility with times & days, also with how to go about getting a class/classes started. Thanks again and I am here to answer any questions or other ideas that you may have." Melissa Schoeller, 612-644-1953, www.urban-warriors.com, mjschoeller@gmail.com.

2010 Midwest Worksite Health Promotion Conference – November 4, 2010 at the St. Paul RiverCentre, "Sharing Solutions in Changing Times." For more information visit the conference website at http://www.healthsource-solutions.com/midwest-conference. Featured topics: Health Care Reform and the Future of Wellness, and Riding the Wave of Change.

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