09/21/23 Meeting Minutes

Present: Rick Pitts, Eric Manriquez, Ryan Cates, Nick Weerts, Jamie Schwartz, Cory Moon, James Kibler, Antonio Guerrero, Kyle Heinze, Cami Baume, Jennifer Mills, Lisa Brandenburg. 

Via Zoom: Marvin Sullivan, Annie Jakacki

Secretary Report:

A motion was made to accept the minutes from last month by Rick Pitts and 2nd by Jamie Schwartz – Passed.

Treasurer Report: Antonio Guerrero

Cash Balance Beginning of Month: $94,440.38

Income for the Month: $7,530.53

Expenses for the Month: $8,366.43

Cash Balance End of Month: $93,604.38

Amount in Savings: $257,144.42

Total: $350,748.90

Motion to Accept Subject to Audit made by Eric Manriquez and 2nd by Jamie Schwartz – Passed.

New Business:

Vacant Secretary Position: We had a vacant secretary position due to a resignation. Three members expressed interest: Ronald Herda, Logan Smith, and Steaed Doehring. The E-Board appointed Steaed Doehring.

Vacant Chief Steward Position: We had a vacant Chief Steward position due to a resignation. One member expressed interest: Kyle Heinze. The E-Board appointed Kyle Heinze.

NEW Vacant E-Board Position: Eric Manriquez will send a call out to members interested in filling this position for the rest of the term.

Contract Implementation: – Management implemented the contract poorly, but it should be fully implemented now. The Oct. 6th check should have the back pay (5.5%), and everyone's wage should be adjusted. MMB has not announced when they plan to implement the wage range reassignments, maybe in October.

CBHH and CARE New Member Orientation: - Management at both, the CBHH in Rochester and CARE in Saint Peter have agreed to set days for our local to present to new members. CBHH in Rochester -3rd Wednesday of the month & CARE in Saint Peter - 2nd Friday of the month. This will allow members at these sites a chance to speak with union leadership on a regular basis.

Motion to pay for mileage and lunch was made by James Kibler and 2nd by Jamie Schwartz – Passed.

AFSCME Holiday Party: We last had a holiday party 3 or 4 years ago, and the membership would like a party this year. We are seeking a few volunteers to be on the Holiday party planning committee. Jamie Schwartz nominates Matt Stenger and Marvin Sullivan. Eric Manriquez will send out a call to the membership for volunteers to be on the holiday party planning committee.

FMHP OT shift times: We discussed having consistent overtime shifts at Meet and Confer today. Becky was absent, and no promises were made. Cates to follow up with Becky.

Removing Internet from unit stations and control centers at MSOP: Management announced plans to remove Internet from these areas. Moose Lake has already implemented this, but Saint Peter Management is working with IT to allow the functionality of the computers before implementation. We pushed back about this at labor management and will continue to push back. See the MSOP Labor Management Meeting Minutes 9-14-23 for more info.

LPN Lead / LPN 2 Classification: Discussion occurred at FMHP Labor Management on 9-21-23. We are compiling a list of additional duties outside the scope of the LPN classification, but LPNs regularly perform. Management is still open to this discussion.

The Council 5 convention is next week in Duluth, September 28- 30. Local 404 is sending eight delegates.


Masking: Has there been talk of other facilities requiring masking again?

There have yet to be discussions of this at other facilities. FMHP is pushing N95 Fit Testing again.

MSOP SH2E: MSOP has been using Shantz 2 East for quarantine, wondering how this will work when they start the Pexton remodeling project. We will follow up at the October MSOP Labor management.

Local 404 Savings: Can we move money from our savings account into a CD for a better return? The current return on our savings account is 3.66% APY.

Kyle Heinze volunteered to research current CD Rates/Terms and bring it to the next meeting.

Tuition Reimbursement Info:

The Tuition Reimbursement Mailbox is not monitored on a daily basis.  If you would like to be reimbursed for tuition, at an accredited school, the most important piece is to follow the policy:  Tuition Reimbursement Policy / DHS Intranet (mn.gov).  Then, follow the instructions below: 


The State of MN runs their Fiscal Years Quarters from July 1 – June 30 each year. Class end dates are what we use to reimburse you.  If you choose to participate in the Tuition Reimbursement Program, we are requiring ONLY two e-mails from you as outlined below.  Your two e-mails must be timely and must include the bulleted points listed below. I could tell you more, but let’s start here.  I can be reached at 651-431-2300 if you would like to call me – please always feel free to call me!  


Fiscal Year 2023 – 2024 is July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024  

Quarter 1: July 1, 2023 – September 30, 2023 

Quarter 2: October 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023  

Quarter 3: January 1, 2024 – March 31, 2024  

Quarter 4: April 1, 2024 – June 30, 2024  


Your first e-mail must be e-mailed to us 30 days or more prior to your class(es) start date, and include:  

  • Tuition Reimbursement Authorization Form - completed, signed and dated by you and your supervisor 
  • Request for Approval to Incur Special Expenses Form - completed  
  • Cost per Credit from school documentation  
  • Course Description(s) from school documentation 


Your second e-mail must be e-mailed to us within 30 days of your class(es) end date, and include:  

  • Paid Itemized Receipt  
  • Proof of Class(es) Completion and   
    • must have a grade of “C” or above; or  
    • “Pass”    


After the Tuition Reimbursement Group has reviewed all of the above information and has approved your tuition reimbursement, we will notify you.  You will be given instructions at this time on how to be reimbursed using Self-Service and the Business Expense Report.  


I hope this information is useful.   

Janet Mertesdorf Representing the Tuition Reimbursement Group for DHS/DCT 





President: Ryan Cates

This past month I have…

Attended and led Forensic Meet and Confer- Notes are attached to the meeting minutes.

Attended MSOP Meet and Confer- Notes are attached to the meeting minutes.

Attended meet and confer for CBHH/CARE

Chaired the Executive Board meeting.

Chaired the General Membership meeting.

 Filed multiple grievances and sat investigations.

Attended New Employee Orientation at Rochester CBHH and CARE St Peter

Talked with members in multiple work areas, answered their questions and listened to their concerns.

Presented and argued grievances.

Communicated information to E-Board members about issues facing the Local

Worked to ensure the state writes our contract as it was negotiated.

If any member of Local 404 feels they are not being represented by our Union, please let me know. We cannot fix problems if we do not know there is a problem.

We ask that all members who are interviewed as non-subjects in an investigation, request Union representation. If management refuses, then members should refuse to answer questions. Participation in investigations is completely voluntary and they cannot coerce you to answer their questions. We need to do this to compel management to discontinue their practice of refusing to allow Union representatives into investigations.

Vice President Admin: Matt Stenger

I have attended MSOP, FMHP,CBHH/CARE Meet and Confers this month. Also filed a presented 5 grievances for the month. There have been a lot of question about the new contract I’ve been answering if you have any question, please feel free to reach out to one of us so we can help answer your questions.

Chief Steward: Kyle Heinze

 I am newly elected as the Chief Steward for Physical Plant. I attend monthly general membership meetings and will attend meetings and conferences in the future.   I have been working with the drivers to bring some changes to their department. I would like to meet up with members from the physical plant in the coming months so that they can put a face to the title of Chief Steward and voice their concerns. If anyone has any concerns or problems, please reach out to me, and I will try my best to help.

Chief Steward: Rick Pitts


I attended Meet and confer and the monthly meeting. I also talked to various members about contract and pay inequity’s. Other than that not much. Thanks much Rick

Chief Steward: James Kibler

Attended FMHP monthly meet and confer to address member concerns. Attended local E-board and General membership monthly meetings. Filed grievances and met with local management at multiple steps/levels of the process. Addressed concerns and questions from local members about new contract language implementation/contractual rights while attempting to recruit new stewards. Have been working on multiple side projects that I hope to bring to this month’s meeting.

-James Kibler

Chief Steward-404- FMHP

Chief Steward: Nick Weerts

There have been some active days here at MSOP the last month. I attended our monthly Labor Management meeting and E-board & general membership meetings. I also helped facilitate our New Member Orientation for new employees and the Seniority Lot Draws for MSOP & Forensics.

I sat a number of investigations, as well as three Laudermill hearings (2 for terminations of employees). I filed grievances on behalf of the Laudermill hearing employees, with undetermined outcomes at this time. I did file and present a 3rd Step on behalf of a disciplined staff, whose discipline was upheld. I have also filed some overtime grievances, which resulted in settlements favorable to the employees.

I continue to try and visit MSOP work areas and check-in with staff each month. I’m always available by phone/email as well if I don’t make it to your area when you are working.

Most staff recently had their yearly performance reviews, which is a perfect time to request copies of your personnel & supervisory files from HR to ensure that there are no outdated items needing removal. Staff have had outdated items in their files sited in  discipline, so you want to make sure yours is up to date. Please reach out to a Steward for assistance if needed.

Communication continues to be key to our success & strength, so Members are encouraged to reach out with concerns/observations. Please see www.union404.com for all meeting minutes. I would encourage all members to reach out for accurate answers & information when they are concerned about something.

Onward & Forward!

Nick Weerts

MSOP Chief Steward


Chief Steward: Cory Moon

-Filed numerous grievances for Grove-A.

-Just won a step 2 for a grievance stemming from missed overtime.

-Brought forward safety concerns presented to me in regards to Transition.

-Fielded questions regarding the new contract. (Feel free to reach out to me with any safety concerns or questions regarding the new contract that went into effect. If I do not know the answer off hand, I will work to get you the answers you are seeking.)