|President Corey Mathisen||X||Director Mary Kloos||X|
|Vice President Dan Sullivan||X||Director Justin Kraus||X|
|Past President Forrest Hasty||X||Director Mike Kruse||X|
|Treasurer Laura Lyons||X||Director Blake Nelson||X|
|(Acting) Secretary Laura Lyons||N/A||Director Jason Radde||X|
|Director Benton Campbell||X||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson||X|
|Director John Dalton||X||Executive Director Dana Wheeler||X|
|Director Kevin Joyce||X||Administrative Assistant Donna Blackwell||X|
Others in attendance:
Michelle Hoff, MGEC member;
Tony Kelly, Prospective Labor Relations Staff – Only attended Board training portion;
Mohammad Dehdashti, MGEC member; and
Jim Michels, Board trainer – Only attended Board training portion.
Call to Order
Meeting was called to order by President Corey Mathisen at 1:04 PM
Jim Michels conducted the first half of a training session on board ethics, relevant statutes and regulations, and responsibilities of a Corporate Board. This training ended at 2:33 PM, with a second session planned to complete the training at a future board meeting.
Review & Approve Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda was made by Benton Campbell, Forrest Hasty seconded. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
President’s Report (Corey Mathisen)
- Monthly Meeting Schedule
Corey Mathisen discussed planned meetings for the year, generally on the 4th Monday of each month, but one week earlier in December to avoid the Christmas week (meeting will take place on 12/19 instead of 12/26).
- Filling the Board Secretary Position
Forrest Hasty Moved to fill the vacancy, Mike Kruse seconded. Motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
Directors Benton Campbell and Mary Kloos expressed interest, each gave a brief pitch.
Voting methods were discussed, including a coin flip and having the candidates not present for the vote.
A Teams vote by show of hands for each candidate was determined to be the most effective polling method.
Benton Campbell won the poll with a vote of 6-3, with Jason Radde, Blake Nelson, Benton Campbell, Mike Kruse, Mark TI, Laura Lyons for Benton; Justin Kraus, Kevin Joyce, Forrest Hasty for Mary Kloos.
Laura Lyons moved to appoint Benton Campbell, Forrest Hasty seconded. Motion passed with majority Teams vote.
Benton Campbell will work with Laura Lyons to get 1/24 meeting minutes sent to the board, will assume position post-meeting.
Forrest will send the secretary position description to Benton Campbell for signature
- New director vacancy created by Benton Campbell’s change to secretary position
Laura Lyons moved to fill the vacancy, Forrest Hasty seconded, motion passed with unanimous voice vote.
Forrest Hasty noted directors may need to always include one non-MnDOT person.
Benton Campbell noted per bylaws, “The nominating committee will strive to nominate candidates from other than MnDOT so that at least two directorships on the Executive Board will be held by Full Members not employed by MnDOT.” (no directorships are currently held by non-MnDOT members).
Prior to the meeting, Corey Mathisen confirmed with 2 MnDOT people and 1 DLI person they are still interested.
Benton Campbell moved for Sam Padelford, DLI, to fill the director vacancy, Mike Kruse seconded, the motion passed 9-1.
Corey and Dana will reach out to Sam Padelford to determine contact information and a specific start date for his directorship (runs through 2023).
Forrest will send the director position description to Sam Padelford for signature.
- MGEC Staffing Update
Corey Mathisen is working with Dana Wheeler and Donna Blackwell to get info on work time, leave used, work plan and workflow for each pay period.
Corey plans to provide the board with routine updates on MGEC Staff work and hours.
Donna Blackwell has been working more hours than originally expected, she is currently half-time; Dana Wheeler is currently full time.
- Labor Relations Representative Position Update
Tony Kelly has ‘essentially’ accepted LRR position with MGEC.
It may be several weeks to a month for him to transition out of current role, expected to start in March.
Executive committee is finalizing his contract.
Jason Radde asked on status of background check – per Dana, MGEC is waiting on information from Tony to complete the check. No formal contract will be offered until the background check is passed.
Laura Lyons asked if Tony attending the board training was paid or unpaid – Corey Mathisen and Dana Wheeler will check in with Tony to confirm he was stopping by as a courtesy to meet board members.
- Committee Updates
Role of Committee
Corey Mathisen provided an overview of each committee, recommended new board members check in with him to determine which (if any) committees might be a good fit
Corey Mathisen would like each committee chair to set up a meeting with their committee and check in on current agenda items
Check-in – do we want to follow up on tasks listed for each committee? Add to or drop those tasks?
Each year, committees are fired up at the start and fizzle out, Corey Mathisen wants a monthly update from chairs at each board meeting
Laura Lyons asked if it has been confirmed with former board members whether they want to continue serving or helping out.
Corey Mathisen and Dana confirmed Heather Gardner, Gene Hicks, and Jason Hedeen are still interested, and thought they would provide value and different perspectives to committees. Dana also confirmed with Samuel Paddleford who expressed interest before the last election.
|Committee Name||Committee Members (chair in bold, new members highlighted))||Agenda|
|Bargaining Team||Dana, Blake, Mohammad, Victor, Jason R., Kevin, Corey, Forrest||Identifying final positions for arbitration|
|Communication/Social Committee||Donna, Gene, Heather, Corey, Dana||Draft communication, ongoing review of MGEC mass communication and website.|
|Finance Committee||Laura, Gene, Corey, Blake, Jason R., Dana||1. Consult a Professional Advisor
3. Asset Investment Plan
|Legislative Committee||Laura, John S., Forrest, Mark TI, Jason R., Corey, Dana||Update of MGEC policies
a. Election policies
|Membership Advocacy Committee||Dana, Forrest, Blake, Jason H., Mark TI, Corey, John D.||No issues to consider|
|Nominations Committee||Hannah Braatz, Mohammad, Dana||Nomination process resumes in late summer|
|Promotional/Recruiting Committee||Kevin, Corey, Blake, Dana, Justin||Contact new hires non-members. Set up meeting with grads|
|Technology & Education Committee||Corey, Jason H., Blake, Kevin, Donna, Dana, Mary||Up to date|
|Tellers Committee||Up to date. Tellers report after 1st week in November|
Review & Approve Past Minutes (Laura Lyons)
- December 20th Meeting
Routine minutes, minutes sent out 1/23.
Benton Campbell moved to approve, Jason Radde seconded – Motion passed via unanimous voice vote.
- January 6 Meeting
This meeting was held to discuss Tony Kelly’s qualifications, minutes sent out 1/23.
Mike Kruse moved to approve, Forrest Hasty seconded – Motion passed via unanimous voice vote.
Treasurer’s Report (Laura Lyons)
- Dana Wheeler sent out the financial report on 1/14
Laura Lyons asked Forrest Hasty and Corey Mathisen about line 72 of this report – $54,932.75 December payment to executive director
Forrest Hasty said cost savings to making this payment now – without the 2nd potential 2.5% ATB increases on this comp time – per Forrest this will save $20,000 if Dana Wheeler expects to work 2 more years
Gene Hicks (outgoing treasurer) and Laura Lyons (incoming treasurer) were not part of that payment, nor involved in discussions around the payment.
December payment is ~$38,000 higher – Laura Lyons believed this was approximately 530 hours of comp time.
Per Laura Lyons, Dana Wheeler does not have a current contract, therefore should not be able to accrue comp time, previous boards did not approve overtime, Laura Lyons asked how there are over 500 hours of banked comp time.
Corey Mathisen was not part of the discussion about this December comp time payment either.
Dana Wheeler confirmed the comp time payout was “523-530” hours. Per Dana, his last contract was in regular employment status, and we continue to operate under that contract. He was asked to stop accruing overtime during Mohammad’s second term once a new admin staff was hired (Kari), and this was never communicated to him after that date. He is surprised the board would assume he would not continue accruing overtime. Per Dana Wheeler, some vacation and comp time was paid upon his retirement in 2018, but not all.
Jason Radde asked if comp time/overtime has been preapproved per “legislative policy section 12”? Dana Wheeler pointed out there is no legislative policy 12 or other MGEC policy that applies to this issue. At the same time, working additional hours has not been hidden, was discussed with each MGEC president and should have been clear to the board that he was working overtime.
Forrest Hasty was aware Dana Wheeler was working overtime, especially Feb and March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
Next steps: Dana Wheeler will collect information on specific number of comp time hours paid out. Finance committee will meet and draft a policy preventing unilateral payouts, for board approval at the February meeting. Laura Lyons was concerned that approximately 10% of MGEC’s annual expenditures could be paid out without a second approval.
Jason Radde asked: If Dana Wheeler was at 450 hours of comp time at the previous meeting, how did he get to 530 hours by this meeting? Dana responded that 450 hours was an estimate.
Jason Radde pointed out some numbers were different between the original copy and the one sent to the Board: Vanguard assets (Row 92) of the spreadsheet: Dana Wheeler responded that the report reflects entries made in Quick Books up to that point in time. When additional entries are made, the report changes. Once the board said to include in the report only amounts recorded up to the end of the prior month, he has updated the numbers to use statements instead of the online balance view.
Jason Radde asked whether constant contact is an annual fee vs semi-annual fee. Dana responded that it was an annual fee. Jason Radde also asked what the differences are between Dana Wheeler’s MAPD costs and MGEC costs for IT, hosting, email etc. MAPD costs are unrelated to MGEC and not included in the financial report per Dana. MAPD is a separate organization with separate financing.
Jason Radde asked about Column G, not expensed travel to menard’s and microcenter. Dana clarified these trips were listed for clarity, but NOT expensed to MGEC.
Forrest Hasty said Dana Wheeler is trying to be transparent. Mark Trogstad-Isaacson asked if Jason Radde would not like to see nonexpensed trips listed.
Mike Kruse asked if accrued liabilities include just comp and vacation time for staff – this item went down ~$50k between Nov and Dec. Per Dana Wheeler, this item includes orgs MGEC pays dues to, property tax accruals (is paid down to $0 in May and October). Also includes estimated payroll taxes, leave, comp balances.
Laura Lyons asked about light switch replacement in the MGEC building – Jason Radde asked if the electric company is licensed or pulled a permit for this work. Dana Wheeler stated the company was licensed.
Jason Radde asked about Line 47, deposit to MGEC of $1.16. Dana Wheeler inadvertently used 2 stamps at home, and reimbursed MGEC that amount. Jason Radde thanked Dana Wheeler for his honesty.
Jason Radde asked about a $1580.40 charge in miscellaneous section, Dana Wheeler responded the job posting was one part, a refunded charge was placed in there but this should be a deposit in a future month (show as negative).
Benton Campbell asked if 1 million dollars of assets is too much to hold in reserve. Dana Wheeler responded that it has been discussed, and having a specific plan for rainy day funds might be helpful. Other PELR orgs have a lot more in reserve. Board has discussed in the past hiring an investment/financial advisor – this is an ongoing discussion between Gene Hicks, Laura Lyons, the finance committee, and MGEC Board.
Executive Director’s Report (Dana Wheeler)
- Per Board’s request, stipends were paid prior to end of 2021.
- As requested, Dana Wheeler priced out the cost for additional email addresses on the @mgec.org server. Each additional address costs ~$7, the board member who requested this is fine with using personal and work emails for MGEC business, this item is resolved with no further action required.
- Building dues increased by $5/month per unit, for a total of $10/month total.
- Public Employee Pension Committee (PEPC): The PEPC has been re-formed and is meeting again. Generally, public pension funds never reach full funding. Last time laws were passed affecting the MSRS funds, the pension was funded at approximately 88%.
Last time law was changed, MSRS was at 88% funding, last time Dana Wheeler saw was ~93%. The committee focuses on making them affordable for the state and funded. Increases were capped in last legislation, hurting employees. Latest comms from committee: last round of legislation may have had a poor estimate of lifespan and performance (overestimated lifespan, underestimate performance). About once every 8 years new legislation will pop up. Per Dana Wheeler, it is a good thing this committee is meeting again.
- Safety Footwear
MGEC does not want to sign MOUs on docs that the employer could use against us in the future, in this case, a MOU on safety footwear could inhibit bargaining positions in the future.
Employer believes current contract language does not prohibit them from setting reimbursement limits. MGEC has advised members to submit for reimbursement any reasonable footwear, will give MGEC grounds for future grievances.
- SER Meeting Report
The Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER) passed contracts for a few college faculty unions, a State Administrators’ Plan, and several MOUs. The faculty unions took lower ATB but added steps. The MOUs were about 1) Sick Leave Utilization related to COVID quarantining, 2) Increasing Safety Footwear reimbursement limit, and 3) Including domestic partners in tuition wavier for MN State employees.
This is an example of non-pattern bargaining that was approved. This may support MGEC’s case in arbitration as we are looking for non-pattern bargaining.
- Advocacy Update
An employee was the subject of a 2nd investigation about the COVID Vaccination and Testing Policy. A written reprimand was issued based on the contract preamble, work rules and discipline. Based on discussion during the Loudermill hearings, subsequent discipline is to be expected. A grievance allows further discussion and negotiation of an eventual resolution. A grievance meeting at first step was held. Employer denied any remedy to the reprimand. The employer continues to send this employee weekly additional notices about the COVID Policy and possibly not being paid for work from home. MGEC will move the grievance to step 2 at the MnDOT Central Office level.
MDH employee on military leave claimed he has not been paid correctly. So far, he is working with his own department to rectify the issue, but his claims have been denied. This may lead to a grievance.
- Bargaining Update (Forrest Hasty provided this update)
Back to mediation to decide issues – must be certified prior to arbitration beginning and being scheduled.
Bargaining committee met on 1/12/22, and then met again with Jim Michels (MGEC Counsel) on 1/13/22 to prep for issue certification.
First year MGEC plans to ask for ATB Inflation (~7%, Bargaining committee will be meeting to determine exact value).
In the second year of the contract, MGEC plans to ask for ~2.5%.
Each year of the contract will add one step to the top of the grid in MGEC’s request.
Forrest Hasty projected an arbitration date of April/May.
Laura Lyons asked for the cause of delay – According to Forrest it seemed to be due to MGEC lack of haste, and potentially MGEC counsel having delays.
Timeline: Issues likely to be certified within 2 weeks, MGEC then gets 7 names from BMS (Bureau of Mediation Services), MGEC will strike 3 names, employer will strike 3 names, leaving 1 arbitrator left.
MGEC brought 9-10 items into mediation, parsed to 4 (2 wage/grid changes – 1 per contract year, Juneteenth Holiday, non-exempt employee overtime/holiday language).
Benton Campbell asked what proportion of employees we have are non-exempt, Forrest Hasty speculated approx. 300 (~25% of members and represented non-members), maybe a bit less.
Membership & Communication Report (Donna Blackwell)
- Membership Update
SEMA4 included 4 new members added 01/24/22 (In addition to those in the table below) – she did not edit the agenda so reported here.
Board members should reach out to new eligible employees to see if they have any questions. This will be included in a report with the board member who is reaching out.
John Dalton asked to look over the new member packet, Donna Blackwell said she would send it to the board for review and feedback.
- Website Update
Website is updated with monthly board meetings and guidelines for non-board member etiquette; this will include links to the Board meetings so members can attend.
- Communications Committee Meeting
Scheduled for Feb. 2nd.
- Ethics Training
Information will be sent to MGEC members in March via Constant Contact.
Laura Lyons asked if there was a limit to numbers. Per Donna Blackwell, classes were never overfilled – MGEC will cross that bridge if it comes to it.
Vice President’s Report (Dan Sullivan)
Past President’s Report (Forrest Hasty)
Other updates, comments, questions, suggestions (Round Robin)
Michelle Hoff was given an opportunity to speak. She is a full member located in MnDOT District 3. She experienced issues with overtime related to those that MGEC plans to certify for arbitration and wanted to make her voice heard. She resolved to communicate more with board members about things she or coworkers are experiencing. She assumed she didn’t have a vote on board votes, but the guidance on non-executive board members attending board meetings was unclear. She thanked the board for increased transparency efforts. Corey Mathisen will update guidance on MGEC’s website to clearly indicate the voting process when non-exec board members attend board meetings.
Forrest Hasty motioned to adjourn, Benton Campbell seconded, motion passed unanimously by voice vote at 5:33 PM.
Laura Lyons (Outgoing Acting Secretary)
Benton Campbell (Incoming Secretary)