|President Forrest Hasty||Director Mike Kruse|
|Vice President Corey Mathisen||Director Blake Nelson|
|Past President Mohammad Dehdashti||Director Jason Radde|
|Treasurer Gene Hicks||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson|
|Secretary Laura Lyons||Director Victor Vasas|
|Director Heather Gardner||Director (vacant)|
|Director Jason Hedeen||Executive Director Dana Wheeler|
|Director Kevin Joyce||Administrative Assistant Donna Blackwell|
Call to order:
Meeting was called to order by Vice President Corey Mathisen at 3:34 pm.
Approval of Agenda:
Motion to approve the edited agenda by Mike Kruse; Heather Gardner seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority Teams vote.
Secretary’s report (Laura Lyons)
The minutes from the October board meeting were reviewed. Jason Radde made a motion to approve the October minutes; Mike Kruse seconded. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
Presidents Report (Forrest Hasty)
- Executive Committee didn’t meet in November
- Staffing Update
Labor relations Executive Director
In October Dana began taking more vacation time. He discovered the limits of his cell plan, but is hoping to switch to 5G to get better connectivity. His schedule is fairly open now, he just can’t join meetings with video or it kills his bandwidth.
As discussed in the September meeting, to fill the work load gap this is causing, an intermediate labor relations position is being pursued (details below).
Labor relations intermediate staff member
More applicants applied and were reviewed since the October board meeting. Dana provided Corey and Forrest with a list of his top four candidates about two weeks ago. The three of them will meet to go through the candidates’ backgrounds. He also sent them candidates’ profiles who have less experience but still potential, to provide an idea of the range of people who applied. After going through applications they’ll set up interviews. Forrest will send dates to Dana that work for him and Corey.
- Elections/Teller Committee (Mike, Mohammad, Gene)
The MGEC board election closed on November 2nd. Ballots were tallied by Constant Contact scoring system (8 points to #1 choice, 7 to #2, etc., per ballot). This scoring system required all eight candidates to be ranked for director for a person’s ballot to be accepted. A large percentage of members opened the ballot email, but about half as many votes were submitted as past board elections. This could be due to the ranking system or because MGEC didn’t send any reminder emails during the two-week voting period.
The election results were sent to the Tellers Committee for their review. Additionally, Kari, Donna, and Dana closely reviewed the votes for instances of duplicate voting or votes by non-members. The Teller committee recommends the results for approval. Accordingly, in 2022 the Vice President will be Dan Sullivan and Treasurer will be Laura Lyons (leaving the Secretary position vacant), and Directors for the two year term starting January 2022 will be Benton Campbell, John Dalton, Mary Kloos, and Blake Nelson.
The vacant director position (a 13-month term ending December 2022) was then discussed. The next highest vote-getter after the aforementioned director candidates was Justin Kraus. We also considered Samuel Paddleford from DLI, since he was accidentally left off the election ballot. Mike made a motion to appoint Justin Kraus to fill the vacant board position; Mohammad seconded. Motion passed by majority Teams vote.
Board members starting January 2022 and Justin Kraus will be invited to the December board meeting and Dana will let them know we’re looking for a volunteer Secretary in January once Laura starts as Treasurer. If everyone can come next meeting we can discuss the position and see who’s interested.
Discussed that it is not currently clear than anyone in MGEC can join a board meeting if they so desire. Dana or Donna to add the following note to the MGEC google calendar board meetings: “If you’re interested in joining, contact email@example.com for the link.”
- Communications/Social Committee (Corey, Gene, Heather)
- 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/Donna.
- Promotional/Recruiting Committee (Kevin, Blake, Corey, Mohammad, Victor)
Committee meeting scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving. Since the last board meeting committee members went to the MnDOT Grad Engineer Development Committee (GEDC) promotional event.
- 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.)
- Technology/Education Committee (Corey, Heather, Jason H., Kevin)
Discussed that MGEC shouldn’t be reimbursing people for multiple classes if they don’t pass their P.E. the first time. Mohammad will be helping MnDOT grads organize groups of 5 that gets them a P.E. class registration discount, not on MGEC time.
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, 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 bargaining team has a list of issues prepped. There will be a lot of downtime in the 11/23 meeting so lost time charged to MGEC should reflect that.
MMA went back to mediation and it resulted in a Tentative Agreement which included the same COLA as MAPE/AFSCME and the Juneteenth holiday. They also got higher holiday pay; cashing in vacation to deferred comp, hour for hour, without any caveats; and a meal increase that was given to the nurses during the nurses’ last contract update. The Tentative Agreement also included language that if a clerical error is noticed in the contract and both the union and MMB agree, it can be fixed without going to bargaining.
- Finance Committee (Gene, Blake, Jason R., Laura, Mohammad, Victor)
- Continue searching for a financial advisor.
- Tellers Committees
See elections results above.
Executive Directors report (Dana Wheeler)
- Grievance update
Deferred compensation match grievance – State didn’t pay back MPCA employees or past employees who are retired or no longer with the state. We gave MMB a month to try to fix the situation. Since the last board meeting MGEC got new information from MMB to review before going to the Arbitrator.
A new grievance was filed today (11/22) for an employee not in compliance with the COVID vaccination/testing policy; today was also the employee’s third Loudermill hearing. MMB is serious about going through progressive discipline with employees related to the policy. We had thought MGEC wouldn’t have to file a grievance until the employee was given leave without pay, but as soon as they were given a written reprimand in October then it became grievable. MGEC is grieving discipline for a policy that we hadn’t been able to negotiate, not the policy itself.
Refresher: When a grievance moves to arbitration, that’s when MGEC meets as a committee to decide if the issue is something we want to pursue as a union. Right now this grievance is just paperwork on our part. Grieving it keeps the discipline private and could give the employee the opportunity to retire/resign instead of being fired.
MMB has indicated that a lot more people chose to accept vaccinations or doing testing than they initially anticipated. Nationally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is now requiring vaccinations, so OSHA will likely follow suit. If that happens, MN-OSHA will also likely follow suit and include more facilities in rules requiring vaccinations.
- Public Employee Pension Committee (PEPC) Report
PEPC is made up of unions representing everyone with pension plans: MSRS, PERA, TERA, etc. PEPC met October 27th, and is meeting again mid-December, to discuss if pension plans need adjustments made. They are drafting a letter to Legislators with reminders about life expectancy, retirement dates, how COVID is impacted finances, etc. and asking that Legislators not make any drastic decisions related to state pensions.
- Board members to send any comments to Dana by December 3rd on the wording of the letter(s)
- Equity Adjustments
MMB is not fulfilling any requests from MnDOT to do equity adjustments. Accordingly, supervisors are trying to do a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or get permission another way to do step increases as part of achievement awards. Another less desirable option would be to give people who are higher out-of-step fewer steps on promotion, to lessen inequities.
Administrative Assistant/Membership Manager (Donna Blackwell)
Treasurer’s Report (Gene Hicks)
The finance report covering the end of September and all of October was reviewed. Notes: Corey has organized a lot of golf tournaments and has never had to pay a deposit before, so we should look into a different venue or agreement with the golf course in the future.
Kari will likely stay on part-time through the holidays as trainings fit into her and Donna’s schedules. Donna knows day to day membership tasks now but is still learning intricacies of WordPress (website) and Constant Contact.
Past Presidents report (Mohammad Dehdashti)
Vice Presidents Report (Corey Mathisen)
December board meeting is on the 20th, so stipend checks should be sent right after that to make sure they get to people before the end of the calendar year. This will keep income-earned lines on people’s W2s accurate.
A motion was made to adjourn by Jason Radde; Mike Kruse seconded. Passed by voice vote at 5:34 pm.
Laura Lyons Dana Wheeler
Secretary Executive Director