|President Forrest Hasty||Vice President Corey Mathisen|
|Past President Mohammad Dehdashti||Treasurer Gene Hicks|
|Secretary Laura Lyons||Director Heather Gardner|
|Director Jason Hedeen||Director Kevin Joyce|
|Director Mike Kruse||Director Blake Nelson|
|Director Jason Radde||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson|
|Director Victor Vasas||Open Director position|
|Executive Director Dana Wheeler||Administrative Assistant Donna Blackwell|
Call to order
Meeting was called to order by President Forrest Hasty at 3:39 pm.
Motion to approve the edited agenda by Heather Gardner, Mark T-I seconded the motion. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
Secretary’s report (approval of prior meeting minutes) (Laura Lyons)
The minutes from the September board meeting were reviewed. Blake Nelson made a motion to approve the September minutes; Heather Gardner seconded; motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
The minutes from the 2021 MGEC Annual (all-members) Meeting in August were reviewed. Heather Gardner made a motion to approve the Annual Meeting minutes; Victor Vasas seconded; motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
President’s report (Forrest Hasty)
- Introductions with Donna Blackwell, new Administrative Assistant
- Executive Committee didn’t meet in October
- Staffing Update
- Executive Administrative Assistant
- Donna Blackwell signed her contract with MGEC on October 8th, 2021. Kari has already started meeting with her to train her on the website, SEMA4, Constant Contact, etc. Training is expected to continue for a few weeks to months depending on both women’s availability.
- Labor Relations Representative
- In October Dana began attempts to reduce work time. He is unsure of how his connectivity will be or when his availability will be, so we won’t have an exact up-to-date calendar to consult. He’s hoping he can join most meetings and take afternoons off when he doesn’t have appointments. If we can’t get ahold of him by email, please call him. As discussed in the September meeting, to fill the work load gap this will cause, a labor relations position is being pursued (details below).
- Labor Relations Representative staff position
- Since the last board meeting, several (6-8) people applied to MGEC’s labor relations position posting on Indeed. Dana was also called by individuals from other public-sector state and city unions in the last few weeks. Dana’s goal is to review the resumes and cover letters than have come in, do background checks, and then share a list of qualified candidates with the Executive Committee by the month of November. Corey stopped getting Indeed emails after they removed the Administrative Assistant position from the web, so he and Dana will follow-up on his account permissions and the posting status. Position could be as an employee or a consultant (similar to current positions).
Corey made a motion to set next year’s annual board election end-date to November 8, 2022; Laura seconded. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
- Telework policy
There is currently an MMB policy that if you telework in the morning, then come into the office during the day, you get paid time and mileage for the commute. Or if you start work in the office, and then move home to start teleworking for the remainder of the day, you get paid time and mileage for that commute. MnDOT District 7 may start making telework policies related to this MMB policy, so MGEC is trying to determine next steps to limit repercussions to staff without giving up current teleworking benefits.
- Insurance updates (Blake)
- Open enrollment is coming up. MMB sent out some links too early so they weren’t working yet, but they will be working by the time open enrollment starts.
- MMB is aware that southeastern MN is in hardship with all the Mayo Clinics in the area that keep drastically changing cost levels each year.
- In the Virgin Pulse health incentive program, staff need to earn their points by October 31st. Members of the insurance bargaining coalition told MMB that there ought to be more variety to earn points – this year there were fewer webinars, scavenger hunts, etc.
- There’s also a ‘dead period’ between November 1st and December 31st, where if you earn points they don’t count towards the following year’s total.
- Employee MDEA accounts can carryover unused 2021 funds to 2022. 121 Benefits, the MDEA administrator, was bought by BRI. It’s a larger company so the transition is anticipated to be seamless and better for staff.
- MMB was hoping for much higher participation in the diabetes management and prevention programs, so ways we can encourage participation are appreciated.
- CVS Caremark is still providing mail-order prescriptions so we can remind staff to take advantage of that benefit as well.
- Communications/Social Committee (Corey, Gene, Heather)
Met to go through MGEC website and propose edits on items that could be updated. Donna will join future Committee meetings.
- Committee will decide a Chair, and Co-chair if desired.
- At Executive Board’s request, the Communications Committee will meet quarterly to review the website and bring any updates to Dana/Executive Administrative Assistant.
- Promotional/Recruiting Committee (Kevin, Blake, Corey, Mohammad, Victor)
- Committee will split a list of new represented non-members up by which board member or local representative will contact them. (This may require routine Committee meetings to follow-up on outreach progress and assign new represented non-members outreach as hiring picks up again.)
- Will go to MnDOT grad engineer meeting? There’s an in-person grad meeting that we could send folks to too. Kevin and Jason H will follow-up with Des about the date/schedule.
- Technology/Education Committee (Corey, Heather, Jason H., Kevin)
Action items: Continue reviewing P.E. class reimbursement requests as they come in.
- Legislative Committee (Laura, Forrest, Jason R., John Siekmeier, Mark, Dana)
- Continue updating other policies to reflect current practices.
- Jason R. to lead efforts to update the lost time policy to better reflect current board practices and norms.
- Member Advocacy Committee (Dana, Forrest, Mark)
- Negotiations Committee (Dana/Jim, Corey, Forrest, Blake, Jason R., Jeff Southward, John Siekmeier, Kevin, Mike, Mohammad, Thomas Villar, Victor)
Two mediation dates are scheduled for Nov. 23rd and Dec. 7th, 2021.
The MN Legislative Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER) met October 1 to consider approval of the 2021-2023 AFSCME, 2021-2023 MAPE, and 2019-2021 MLEA (Minnesota Law Enforcement Association) tentative contract agreements. In August the SER had a very confrontational meeting, but in the October meeting the SER thought the contracts were appropriate and fair, and thought the salary increases are able to be absorbed by the applicable Agencies. AFSCME, MAPE, and MLEA packages were all grouped together and approved by a vote of 9-1.
MMA spent several days in mediation with MMB and a well-known good mediator, and MMB pulled the COLA offer and Juneteenth holiday during mediation. They no longer have any agreement on anything they’ll interest-arbitrate on. Their negotiating team unanimously decided to move to arbitration due to MMB refusing to consider internal pay equity.
MMB is working with unions on a COVID-related MOU about parents’ sick leave utilization during COVID.
- Finance Committee (Gene, Blake, Jason R., Laura, Mohammad, Victor)
The finance committee met with Mike Englund at Northwestern Mutual, on October 5th. He was insightful and provided some investment resources to assess the risk we can take with our finances. Committee is going to meet again and go over the form he provided to discuss what risks we can take. Discussion on whether we should pay a financial advisor 1% a year to manage MGEC’s finances or pay an advisor a one-time fee just to help create a finance plan that we would then follow.
The board agreed to wait until a financial advisor is found to make decision on what to do with MGEC’s building.
- Nominations/Tellers Committees
Ballots were sent out October 15 and voting closes on November 2nd.
Executive Director Report (Dana Wheeler)
- Grievance update
- One employee grievance that had lasted 2-3 years was finally settled.
- Deferred comp match grievance – State didn’t pay back MPCA employees or past employees who are retired or no longer with the state. We’ve given MMB a month to try to fix the situation.
- COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing attestation policy went into effect on September 8th. In late September MnDOT sent Dana and Forrest about 25 Loudermille hearing letters for MnDOT MGEC employees who had not yet met the policy; about 10 responded that they had already complied with the policy.
- All but one member were pleased to have MGEC represent them at these Loudermille hearings.
- After the hearings affected members complied through various channels (by agreeing to test, resigning, retiring, changing telework status to permanent, etc.). We currently have no MGEC members that we know of on unpaid leave due to this policy.
- MnDOT District 2 supervisors were concerned about having to pick up employees’ COVID-19 tests, but they were reminded that employees could mail them in, resolving the issue.
Treasurer’s Report (review of monthly finance report) (Gene Hicks)
Finance report was not updated but will be updated for the next meeting – we’ll review end of Sept and all of Oct.
Dana will strive to send us the final monthly financial numbers by the 15th of each month; Gene and Forrest agreed.
Past President’s Report (Mohammad Dehdashti)
Vice President’s Report (Corey Mathisen)
Corey would love to hear any ideas folks have for his transition to President.
Mike joined at 4:24 pm.
A motion was made to adjourn by Heather Gardner, Blake Nelson seconded. Passed by voice vote at 5:37 pm.
Laura Lyons Dana Wheeler
Secretary Executive Director