|President Forrest Hasty||Director Blake Nelson|
|Vice President Corey Mathisen||Director Jason Radde|
|Past President Mohammad Dehdashti||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson|
|Treasurer Gene Hicks||Director Victor Vasas|
|Secretary Laura Lyons||Executive Director Dana Wheeler|
|Director Heather Gardner||Administrative Assistant Donna Blackwell|
|Director Jason Hedeen||2022 Vice President Dan Sullivan|
|Director Kevin Joyce||2022 Director Benton Campbell|
|Director Justin Kraus||2022 Director John Dalton|
|Director Mike Kruse||2022 Director Mary Kloos|
Call to order:
Meeting was called to order by President Forrest Hasty at 3:36 pm.
Approval of Agenda:
Motion to approve the edited agenda by Mike Kruse; Heather Gardner seconded the motion. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
Secretary’s report (Laura Lyons)
The minutes from the November board meeting were reviewed. Jason Radde made a motion to approve the November minutes; Mike Kruse seconded. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
The minutes from the December 7th non-routine board meeting were reviewed. Mike Kruse made a motion to approve the December minutes; Jason Radde seconded. Motion passed by unanimous Teams vote.
Presidents Report (Forrest Hasty)
- Introductions – Forrest will send out position descriptions to everyone to sign and return to him before the first board meeting. He’ll also meet with newer folks to teach them about lost time, meeting etiquette expectations, etc.
- Executive Committee didn’t meet in December
- Staffing Update
Labor relations Executive Director
Dana has returned from working out of state. When able, he is still hoping to work <40 hours/week and take vacation to keep working down his vacation balance. Right now he reports that his vacation time balance is about 800 hours and comp time balance is about 400 hours. As discussed in the September through November meetings, to fill the work load gap this is causing, an intermediate labor relations position is being pursued (details below).
Labor relations intermediate staff member
In December, Forrest, Corey, and Dana interviewed four people who Dana selected from the pool of candidates received on Indeed. One in particular stood out to the three interviewers. His qualifications:
- a lot of experience with unions, negotiating, and arbitrations.
- currently represents people who are laborers in various positions—around 4000 members.
- has organized membership, built it up, and ‘sold’ the idea of a union to places that didn’t have one previously.
- has worked with Jim Michels (MGEC lawyer) and with the labor relations person for Middle Management Association (MMA).
Per the MGEC Constitution, “The President shall, with the approval of the Executive Board, hire and determine the compensation for such outside assistance as may be necessary for advancement of the objectives of MGEC.” Forrest is ready to hire him, but the board requested additional information prior to approving a new hire. He did not provide MGEC with a resume in his application or during the interview, so the board requested his resume, proof of degree, and for Forrest to call his references and share their responses with the board. Board members also requested he be asked the following questions:
- MGEC is a different kind of union than laborers, how does he feel about that?
- If MGEC sells the building, would he be willing and able to work from his home?
For the first few months of the new hire working with MGEC, Forrest, Corey, and Dana envision Dana and the new hire both working full time, then Dana taking more comp and/or vacation time to be working 30 hours/week, 20 hours/week, etc. Dana thinks it’ll take at least a year for him to get all his vacation depleted with this plan. Then Dana can be the ‘Bob Haag’ type back-up for the new hire at board meetings and when the new hire would like to take vacation.
Forrest will gather the requested information by the end of next week (December 31st) and everyone on the board can look at it and meet in early January for a non-routine meeting to keep the hiring process moving.
- Communications/Social Committee (Corey, Gene, Heather)
No updates from the last month. A membership update was requested about the board member elections and arbitration vote.
- 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 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)
One person applied for P.E. reimbursement so they reviewed and approved it.
- 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)
The last day of mediation was December 7th, when the committee received the State’s final best offer. A non-routine board meeting was called later that day (those minutes are available separately). The board decided to send the State’s final best offer to membership for a vote. Of 989 full members, 674 voted. About 75% of them voted to reject the State’s offer and go to arbitration.
The Teller committee (Mike, Mohammad, Gene) recommends the results for approval. The board accepts the teller committee report and will report the outcome to the State mediator to begin the arbitration steps. The next step is the bargaining team meeting with the mediator to draft a “statement of the issues.”
- Finance Committee (Gene, Blake, Jason R., Laura, Mohammad, Victor)
- Continue searching for a financial advisor. Eric Myer and Mike Mosier Pacifica were financial advisor names given to Gene by Fidelity since the other Fidelity financial advisor we spoke to has a conflict of interest.
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. MGEC still needs to review information received from MMB before the November board meeting.
MMB canceled their COVID meetings this week – they’re focusing on parts of the State with day-long care – hospitals, elderly care facilities, prisons, etc.
- Public Employee Pension Committee (PEPC) Report
PEPC is made up of unions representing everyone with pension plans: MSRS, PERA, TERA, etc. PEPC is drafting a letter (described in the November board meeting minutes) to Legislators. MGEC board members sent comments to PEPC about some wording in the letter, and PEPC responded to clarify the letter’s intent. PEPC hasn’t sent the letter yet and may meet with the Governor instead.
Administrative Assistant/Membership Manager (Donna Blackwell)
Treasurer’s Report (Gene Hicks)
The finance report covering November wasn’t completed in time for the meeting; it will be reviewed at January’s board meeting.
Gene and Laura will meet separately to hand off the treasurer ‘baton.’ MGEC’s credit union gave Gene the forms we need to add Laura’s name to accounts as treasurer and remove Gene’s name as past treasurer.
Vice Presidents Report (Corey Mathisen)
During the potential new-hire’s interview he brought up the idea of a board training. Corey asked if folks would be interested in a training by Jim Michels on Robert’s Rules, other standard board procedures, discussing negotiating for members and non-members, how we use stewards, etc. Jim estimates it would be about 2.5 hours of presentation topics with about 1 hour of prep ($1000-1500 charge depending on the exact times).
Corey made a motion for him to work with Dana to coordinate a board training meeting with Jim Michels in 2022; Mark seconded. Motion passed by majority Teams vote.
Past Presidents report (Mohammad Dehdashti)
For the 2016-2017 contract arbitration, MGEC had witnesses (e.g., a P.E. from Dakota County testified, past P.E.s testified, etc.), wage comparisons, and more. Now that the membership vote is certified, the negotiations committee needs to get similar people lined up for this upcoming arbitration. Also, check that our data about how many people are at each step and grid is up to date.
Stipend checks were sent out on Friday, 12/17/21, 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. This was before the December meeting so Dana will check meeting attendance against the stipend policy to make sure everyone received the correct amount.
Secretary position – Benton and Mary are potentially interested. Laura will set up a meeting with them to discuss what the position entails.
A motion was made to adjourn by Mike Kruse; Jason Hedeen seconded. Passed by voice vote at 6:02 pm.
Laura Lyons Dana Wheeler
Secretary Executive Director