|President Corey Mathisen||X||Director Mike Kruse||X|
|Vice President Dan Sullivan||Director Blake Nelson||X|
|Past President Forrest Hasty||X||Director Sam Padelford|
|Treasurer Laura Lyons||X||Director Jason Radde||X|
|Secretary Benton Campbell||X||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson|
|Director John Dalton||Executive Director Dana Wheeler||X|
|Director Kevin Joyce||X||Administrative Assistant Donna Blackwell|
|Director Mary Kloos||X||Labor Relations Specialist Tony Kelly||X|
|Director Justin Kraus||X|
Welcome participants & guests (Corey Mathisen)
Call the Meeting to Order (Corey Mathisen)
Meeting called to order at 3:33 PM.
Review & Approve Agenda (Corey Mathisen)
Blake Nelson proposes adding achievement awards for groups and individuals to agenda. This is accepted. Corey Mathisen wants to make sure pending Juneteenth holiday is addressed. This will be included in bargaining update. Forrest Hasty moves to approve, Blake Nelson seconds. Motion passes.
Open Forum (from non-board members)
No non-board members present during this segment.
Secretary’s Report – Review & Approve Past Minutes (Benton Campbell)
March 28 Meeting Minutes
Mike Kruse moves to approve with one edit (MGEC has begun scanning minutes), Forrest Hasty seconds. Motion passes.
President’s Report (Corey Mathisen)
- Committee Reports
Promotions Committee (Dana Wheeler and Justin Kraus): Updates to awards process for golden slide rule and other awards. Applications will be updated and published. Committee discussed more formal physical awards. Historically this was an obelisk (engraved) and a plaque, respectively.
Originally, promotional items were given to honorary life members, but practice changed to giving promotional items to new full members. Group discussed getting out of the clothing business. Only ordering clothes when specific sizes are needed. Tumblers are very popular and should arrive soon (Early May per Dana Wheeler). Past President award discussion: First it was a plaque, then leather bomber jacket, it has also been a Home Depot gift certificate–is this something we should continue doing since we have changed the stipend amounts? No conclusion was reached.
Donna Blackwell expressed concern over shipping costs long-term. Committee thinks the board should set a dollar amount for future spending on promotional items. Justin Kraus proposed that the committee will come up with a new promotional item list at the next committee meeting. Board agreed.
Communications Committee (Corey Mathisen and Tony Kelly): Met on April 13th to review the email newsletter that went out to members. Donna Blackwell walked the committee through potential changes to the website that could be done for free. More substantial changes would cost $95 an hour for the developer to re-code the website. Committee members are developing a list of changes they may recommend paying for. Heather would like to see a special section for arbitration/bargaining on the site. Donna Blackwell will investigate options and report back to the group.
- Meet with MGEC Meeting
Scheduled for Monday, May 9 during lunch hour. Included in last member update email. Corey Mathisen proposes topics including Tony Kelly introductions, contract/arbitration updates, Juneteenth holiday specifically. Dana Wheeler suggests revisiting the annual meeting date, as holding it post-arbitration may be too late in the year.
Forrest Hasty asks about moving arbitration schedule up, as many members will ask about this at meet with MGEC. Dana Wheeler asked MMB to negotiate earlier in Feb ’21, but MMB denied this request.
- Staffing Update
Dana Wheeler, Donna Blackwell, Tony Kelly’s hours discussed. Over time, the tables will get longer. May drop down to including only the last 4 pay periods or some other amount, per a suggestion from Laura Lyons. Corey Mathisen will present these shorter/cleaner in the future. Donna Blackwell had her 6-month performance appraisal with Corey Mathisen and Dana Wheeler; her performance was deemed satisfactory, and she is eligible for the higher pay rate built into her contract.
Treasurer’s Report (Laura Lyons)
- Budget Spreadsheet
Most lines in the spreadsheet had comments/explanations, which was helpful to the Committee and board members reviewing the finances. Corey Mathisen suggests that we should define routine supplies/costs, as those likely don’t need notes.
Tony Kelly will describe his previous experiences to the Finance Committee to help with transparency of finances.
Executive Director’s Report (Dana Wheeler)
- Member Advocacy Update
Issue 1: Member was given prior service credit for vacation accrual. After an “HR Audit”, the member’s vacation accrual was decreased from 7 hours per pay period to 4. This occurred due to a “break in state service” in which the employee quit their old place of employment 2 weeks prior to new employment starting. Per the contract, the employer “may give prior service credit”. The employee’s manager will help them encourage HR to reverse the decision, Blake Nelson and Dana Wheeler will assist as needed, though the employer does not believe the case is grievable.
Issue 2: Probation extension. Employee whose probation was extended without union agreement, as contract stipulates. This has proceeded to a grievance, which was filed 4/20/22. A meeting will be held with MnDOT central office labor relations.
Issue 3: Supervising out-of-class. The employer rejected the grievance on the grounds that it was filed too late. That isn’t true. MGEC moved the grievance to next step.
Issue 4: COVID policy discipline. The employee has left state service, and the employer denied any remedy. The grievance remains open and should not be available but remain confidential as long as the “due process” steps are incomplete.
- Bargaining Update
Arbitrator has been determined – James Lundberg. Dana Wheeler says people leaving state service are concerned about contract settlement–people should leave an email with MGEC, as you have to request the back pay if you leave state service prior to receiving it. MGEC is considering next steps on Juneteenth holiday, which will be discussed at May 9 Meet with MGEC. Dana Wheeler suggests having a formal plan by next board meeting.
- MnDOT Meetings
Is MnDOT requiring supervisors to pay the cost associated with staff meetings or recognition of people they supervise? Ashley will get back to MGEC. The Worthington District reminded employees to use up compensatory time by April 1, 2022.
- Death Benefit
A past member recently passed away. His notes indicated he had a $6,000 death insurance benefit through MGEC (attachment). He must have been referring to the life insurance he purchased through SEGIP. No separate death insurance policy from Union, people with a lot of state service years may still be eligible for $500 death benefit. Previously was a death benefit of $500, now it is a deferred comp benefit of $250–family members still need to request. This will be discussed at the Meet with MGEC meeting.
Membership Report (Donna Blackwell)
Membership Report: Kevin Joyce is setting up a meeting with the promotional committee and new members, this is scheduled for May 2nd. Committee is calling people who have started since October.
Tony Kelly’s Report (Tony Kelly)
- MN 2050
Cross-sector workgroup is reconvening after being dormant during COVID.
- MDH Reallocation Update
Following up from March: there are 32 total requests – 3 from MGEC
employees. Sue will be notifying the employees and their supervisors of next
- Labor Partners Meeting
4/5 meeting recapped the COVID and RTW situations that we have discussed ii. 4/19 cancelled yet again
- MnDOT Check-in meeting 4/7:
As of the meeting date, COVID numbers are down. Buildings are open to the open to the public 4/22; health screenings and testing policies remain in place. Return to work is considered an evolution – only those who are directly public facing are being required to return. If an employee is required to return, a 30- day notice is issued. Telework discussions will be led by supervisors using “business need” as the lens.
- HR Director Contacts
Reaching out to HR Directors of our agencies to establish working relationships. Some return calls/emails better than others.
- Employee Investigation
Be aware of your Weingarten Rights! If you are asked to a meeting and reasonably suspect that discipline can be an outcome, ask for your union rep
While our role is to clarify and record information, and object to abusive or repetitive questioning, we are there to protect you. Representatives are the heart and soul of the labor relations group. Tony Kelly is looking to create relationships and get better exposure.
Vice President’s Report (Dan Sullivan)
- No Updates
Past President’s Report – (Forrest Hasty)
- Working-Out-Of-Class Update: Covered in Executive Director’s report.
Other updates, comments, questions, suggestions
Corey Mathisen asked about adding the MNclusive link to the “Meet with MGEC ” lunch meeting.
Achievement awards– Blake Nelson requests a list of how many have been awarded through the current time frame–Dana Wheeler explained it will be skewed because MGEC did not give out achievement awards during covid. Typically, the DOT puts in a request for a list of awards achieved, but Laura Lyons would also suggest a MPCA list.
Are the awards a tool or overly scrutinized, unfair, and show favoritism? Seems that all MnDOT districts and other agencies (MPCA, MDH) treat the awards differently.
Anyone can submit an achievement award. Forrest Hasty submits for when people do work outside of their daily/position description such as helping a landowner or fostering a relationship between MnDOT and another agency. Most have been very situational–when things go bad, emergency projects, or other complex situations. A lot of variability–human aspect. Dana Wheeler asked if putting together a list of 10 things people got the awards for to show it is for going above and beyond not just doing your job would be helpful to members. This would be hard as the awards are typically very situational and unique. Managers at DOT are pushing for step increase to come back–best tool to retain young engineers to get them up the latter–MMB not on board (bias against it)
Mike Kruse moves to adjourn, Blake Nelson seconds. Motion passes. Meeting adjourned at 6:01 PM.
Benton Campbell (Secretary)
Mary Kloos (MGEC Executive Board Member)