|President Forrest Hasty||Vice President Corey Mathisen|
|Past President Mohammad Dehdashti||Treasurer Gene Hicks|
|Secretary Alex Bartley||Director Victor Vasas|
|Director Kevin Joyce||Director Heather Gardner|
|Director Steven Oswald||Director Laura Lyons|
|Director Jason Hedeen||Director Mark Trogstad-Isaacson|
|Director Blake Nelson||Director Jason Radde|
|Executive Director Dana Wheeler||Robert Haag, Labor Relations|
Call to order
Meeting was called to order by President Forrest Hasty.
Motion to approve the agenda Heather Gardner, Blake Nelson seconded the motion. Motion passed by Teams vote.
Secretary’s report (approval of prior meeting minutes) (Alex Bartley)
The minutes from the April meeting were reviewed. Jason Radde made a motion to approve the April minutes as-edited, Laura Lyons seconded; motion passed by Teams vote.
President’s report (Forrest Hasty)
- MGEC Board news
- Secretary Position
Secretary Alex Bartley will resign from his position as Secretary May 31st. Alex made a motion that the board appoint someone to fill the Secretary position June 1st, seconded by Heather; motion passed by Teams vote. Candidates included Benton Campbell, Laura Lyons, and Blake Nelson. Laura Lyons was appointed as the Secretary starting June 2021 by Board majority vote.
- Board Director to replace Laura Lyons
The secretary appointment left an open Director position. Corey made a motion that the board appoint someone to fill this position (term from June 2021-December 2022), seconded by Alex; motion passed by Teams vote. Candidates included Benton Campbell, Mike Kruse, and Michael Sonn (all three applied via email after MGEC requested individuals express interest via a May 17 email to membership). Mike Kruse was appointed as the new Director by Board majority vote.
- Annual Meeting
Board decided to tentatively set the dates for the annual virtual membership meeting as August 30, and the annual golf outing as September 13, depending on availability at the course. Dana will check with Oak Marsh to confirm the September 13 date and will send out a Teams invite to get the virtual meeting on all members’ and represented non-members’ work calendars.
- Communications/Social Committee (no lead right now)
- Promotional/Recruiting Committee (Kevin Joyce)
Kevin made a motion to approve the committee’s recommended winners of annual scholarships (Allison Zarling, Junior at Ohio State University in Biomedical Engineering, and Joshua Chikkala, Junior at U of MN, Twin Cities in Biomedical Engineering), seconded by Heather; motion passed by Teams vote.
- Technology/Education Committee (Corey Mathisen)
Proposed $7,500 for PE class reimbursement be in the FY2022 MGEC Budget.
- Legislative Committee (Laura Lyons)
The Committee proposed changes to MGEC Policy III (Representation) that include making the first paragraph more inclusive of all membership MGEC represents and adding a requirement that individuals formally representing MGEC sign their respective position description (MGEC Board made these about a year ago for President, Vice-President, Past-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Director, and Dana and Kari’s positions). It was proposed that non-Directors representing us to membership and/or MMB also sign the Director Position Description, but the Board discussed if this would interfere with licensure if non-Board members signed agreements for a position they technically didn’t have.
Alex made a motion to instead have MGEC draft a ‘Representative’ Position Description/Code of Conduct for non-board members and approve the changes to Policy III with that small addition, seconded by Heather Gardner; motion passed by Teams vote.
The Committee will be discussing a Lost Time policy modification.
- Member Advocacy Committee (Dana Wheeler)
- Negotiations Committee (Alex Bartley – new lead to be designated with his departure)
Will be meeting before 1st day of negotiations, scheduled for June 24.
- Finance Committee (Gene Hicks)
Executive Director’s Report (Dana Wheeler)
- MMB Shutdown Planning
Dana gave background – Because the Legislature hadn’t passed Omnibus Bills, MMB began shutdown planning. This included wanting their Union Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by May 28th from all unions signing it. Mohammed recommended holding off on a MOU agreeing to any revision to the contract due to a government shutdown, unless it included the provision that staff would get back-paid; others agreed. In 2011 during a shutdown MGEC signed the MOU, but members were not allowed to take vacation or cash-out vacation. MGEC believes it was a lock-out, not a layoff.
Not signing the MOU would leave members with fewer than three years of continuous state service to pay the Employer portion of their health insurance while laid off (MGEC 2019-2021 contract, Article 18 Section 3(C)(2)). Would MGEC cover insurance for those individuals? Forest noted this was something previous Boards decided to do when they haven’t signed the MOU. Forrest suggested the employee had to be a member for a year, as of 7/1/21. Laura clarified that for represented people who have been with the state for less than a year, they’d have to be members for a month, as of 7/1/21. Alex suggested if the shutdown becomes more evident, we decide on it later. No decision was made and no insurance-specific messaging was available to tell members for the next month if they came to the Board or Dana with questions.
What will the Governor do regarding state employee eligibility for unemployment? In 2011 they told DEED to allow state employees to apply for unemployment benefits. The state has not addressed this issue yet this year. Federal employees likely didn’t apply for unemployment benefits because they get back pay written into the final legislation that passes. Board discussed how some Omnibus bills may get passed quicker than others given some contentious environmental issues; so we may have some members laid off and others not.
- MGEC Building update
Work on MGEC’s building foundation to stop water intrusion into the basement was completed. The contractor and subcontractors were union members. Dana confirmed with the City of Inver Grove Heights that no permit was required for redoing foundation water-proofing.
Building mask policy – The City of Inver Grove Heights does not have an ordinance pertaining to masks. Some renters prefer we follow CDC and State guidance, while about a quarter prefer that we continue requiring masks and social-distancing for everyone, regardless of CDC or State guidance. The decision was pushed to the Executive Committee to decide in another meeting.
- Union Representation on Work Time
MMB issued a position disallowing MAPE and AFSCME union representatives from representing employees on work time. No word of this policy/contract change yet for MGEC.
- Staffing Update
We’ve received many applications on various employment platforms for the MGEC Administrative Specialist/Labor Relations Advocate position (Kari’s backfill hybridized to add more labor relations work). Almost all of the applications were for Administrative or Executive Specialist. It’s taking a lot of time to get through first reading. Dana is asking follow up questions of some of the candidates to clarify if they’re in-state, their work experience, interest in unions, etc. Forrest suggested MGEC move ahead with the current pool of applicants (i.e., the position will primarily be an Administrative or Executive Specialist, rather than a position that works as both an assistant and in labor relations); the board agreed.
Interviews by Dana, Forrest or Corey, and Laura or Heather. Mohammad expressed concern the interview panel was not diverse, so Heather and Laura agreed that one of them can be on the interview panel. Alex asked if current or former board members would be interested in doing more work if paid, but no one jumped with interest at this proposal. Jason H. and Mohammad will keep looking for labor relations people they know.
- Council of Engineering and Scientist Organizations (CESO) –
Dana explained who CESO is and the role they have had with MGEC. As CESO looks to the future, they are opening an invitation to younger employees (millennials) to become active in CESO and shape its mission. CESO has funds to support that effort. This was shared to let board members think about their interest in such a venture.
Treasurer’s Report (Gene Hicks)
- Review monthly finance report and approve of a budget for FY2022.
- Monthly Financial Update
The monthly finances through April for the Board to review. Jason asked to see the partial number for May as well.
- FY2022 Budget for Approval
Changes were made to the FY2022 Budget, as requested at the last board meeting, to some line-item amounts and to break out line-items related to staffing. Forrest pointed out the MGEC Constitutional by-laws state the Executive Director shall present a budget before the end of the fiscal year (Dana did that), and the board has to approve the new FY budget, not membership. Historically, the budget is presented to the membership for vote at each Annual Meeting. Laura expressed concern that the budget has not been taken seriously in past annual meetings.
Past President’s Report – (Mohammad Dehdashti)
Another group of members is prepping to take an ASCE class, so the Technology/Education Committee should be prepared for their application(s).
Vice President’s Report (Corey Mathisen)
No new business.
Laura has heard concern from members that MGEC doesn’t provide enough updates on bargaining during bargaining.
Alex asked Dana to update the Board on the COVID meeting with MMB.
Laura Lyons Dana Wheeler
Secretary Executive Director