Conference Call with State Labor Unions
Governor Walz held a conference phone call with the state employee unions today. His message included some of the following:
- Thanks to state employees; he knows state leadership is asking a lot of employees.
- The State created COVID leave so employees wouldn’t have to take vacation or sick leave.
- Being part of a union is sacred to him.
- Our labor contracts are a top priority to them. He needs the Senate to share his sense of urgency.
- Continue to work together and bring concerns to MMB.
- If employees are not getting what they need, give the employer the opportunity to fix it before it becomes a morale issue.
There is a federal requirement that the State needs to comply with, so the State will be changing/updating COVID-19 (CVD) leave policies. The policy will be updated by April 1, 2020. In situations when school closure makes an employee eligible for the leave, the policy will be expanded to include people with kids over age 12. For those people, the benefit will be limited to 12 weeks at 2/3 pay and may be limited to $200 per day or $12,000 aggregate. The leave will count against an employee’s FMLA bank. Those employees may supplement the CVD Leave with vacation time (VAC) to get back full pay.
Redeployment Service Centers
Employees do not need to contact the State to volunteer their services. They have already been reassigning people. More to come on this topic. All employees must update their self-service pandemic information using the Employee Self Service website. There is a tab called “My Personal Information.” Focus on Pandemic Availability, completing the pandemic availability information by midnight tonight, March 27, 2020. (icon is in the lower right).
Agencies needing staff will send a request to the Center explaining what they need. Recruiters in the Center will search for candidate.
Executive Order 20-20, the Stay at Home Order, goes into effect at 11:59 pm tonight, Friday, March 27, 2020.
How it affects the state workforce: The administration stressed that a top priority is any state employee who can telework must do so. Employees should not be working at the usual work office without supervisor approval.
Today, the state issued a limited hiring freeze on all positions that perform Priority 3 & 4 services. Agencies should talk to MMB about any unique situations.
If you are working from home or at home on COVID-19 Leave (CVD), remember to check your personal and work e-mail. We suggest doing so daily.
Commissioner Myron Frans stated, “Key is for everyone to take care of yourself, your family, your co-workers.”