Often Asked Questions:
Why doesn’t Minnesota Government Engineering Council (MGEC) begin contract negotiations earlier with Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)?
MGEC and MMB do not begin contract negotiations until after the “across the board” raises have been agreed to between ASFCME and MAPE. MMB will not begin to negotiate raises with MGEC until after a settlement has been reached with ASFCME and MAPE.
MMB has previously indicated that contract language revision negotiations could begin earlier, even though raises would not be negotiated early on. However, MGEC believes that it is more efficient to negotiate the entire contract at once, thus the wait until the “across the board” raises for MAPE and ASFCME are agreed to.
What is the process of getting higher raises for MGEC members?
There are two primary ways to get higher wages:
- Get the State of Minnesota to give it to MGEC in contract negotiations, or
- Have an arbitrator award the higher wages to MGEC through contract arbitration.MMB’s first offer for raises are often short of what MAPE and ASFCME received. Near the conclusion of the contract negotiation process MMB typically offers the same raises that MAPE and ASFCME received.
MMB will not offer more than what ASFCME or MAPE received. In previous contracts, MMB has agreed to squaring up the pay grid (it was an economic equivalent to the across the board raise).
In the last three negotiations, MGEC had compensation studies jointly completed by MMB and MGEC showing that MGEC wages for many of our members was less than other public sectors in Minnesota. This did not compel MMB to offer higher wages; however, it likely influenced an arbitrator to increase the wages for some of our members in the 2015-2017 contract.
What is the Process for the 2019-2021 Contract Negotiations?
Insurance bargaining begins in early spring. MGEC, together with the other labor unions, negotiates the insurance benefits with MMB. MMB wants to administer only one insurance plan for all state unions; thus the joint negotiations.
After the Subcommittee of Employee Relations is formed, MGEC will reach out to the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee of Employee Relations needs to pass state labor contracts, including MGEC’s, before the legislature can ratify the contracts. The goal of reaching out to the Subcommittee of Employee Relations is to show the value that MGEC members provide to the State. MGEC will also reach out to key legislative representatives.
The MGEC Board met in February and generated a starting list of contract issues.
MGEC board members will poll members, and meet with members at work site meetings, to generate other contract issues and determine what is important to our members.
Negotiation meetings will be scheduled for early fall 2019. It is anticipated that about 40-60 hours of negotiations will be scheduled over 2-3 weeks.
The MGEC Board will review the final offer made by MMB and make a recommendation to our members to accept or reject the offer.
In the 2015-2017 Contract, no contract agreement was reached in negotiations or in mediation. MGEC members voted to reject the offer as recommended by the MGEC Board and the contract was settled in arbitration. In the 2017-2019 contract, the MGEC Board reached a compromise with MMB in the mediation process and made a recommendation to the members that MGEC accept the offer reached in mediation. The members voted to accept that offer.