5/21/15 MSH Meeting Minutes


Carol Olson, Becky Kern, Jennifer Frew, Scott Melby, Chuck Hottinger, Scott Grefe, Amanda Mathiowetz, Molly Kennedy, Tom Christensen, Rochelle Fischer, Tim Headlee, Shannon Pech, Stacey Mueller, Cindy Jungers, Tom Kolstad, James Hemshrot


1. MSH Vacation distribution and removal

a. When an employee takes off a full week their two days off are being held as well. Management stated that they secure these days because days off do change. Because of this, no one else is able to take these two days off. AFSCME mentioned that this borders on vacation being eliminated.

b. If the employee’s days off changing is the concern, at what point can these days be released for other employees to take? Tom Christenson stated that the scheduling office does not open up these days at all. AFSCME stated that that is eliminating vacation for those days. AFSCME stated that when an employee’s days off change, it is usually known well before 28 days of the schedule being posted. This would allow for those days to then be open to others. Management stated that they would look at this more and see what they can do. During supplemental negotiations there was a tentative agreement stating that vacation could not be guaranteed when bidding across Appointing Authorities (for example MSOP to MSH). This will make days changing easier to predict. Chuck Hottinger stated that the vacation issue is growing more and more heated among the members.

c. Both sides agreed that we can think of something that will work better for the both of us. Management stated that they hear our concerns and appreciate them. AFSCME stated that to limit vacation 6 months from now because we are short today seems unreasonable. This makes what is available a sliding scale. AFSCME stated that they do not want their members to feel that vacation is approved/denied as a whim. Management stated that they have some ideas and would like AFSCME’s ideas as well. Scott Melby stated that he does not know where we are at right now but that they were granting vacation at a rate that was more than agreed on before he joined the team. He said that he would like a chance to work on this specifically and review monthly to see what is working and what is not.

2. MSH Overtime / Inverse Seniority list

a. Scott Melby stated that he would like to have Meghan Goodrich get a small committee together to discuss overtime consisting of himself, James Hemshrot, Tim Headlee, Chuck Hottinger, and possibly Rochelle Fischer. There are days with 35 overtime shifts and 5 on vacation. Management stated that they disagreed with AFSCME on what they saw with the numbers. Vacation is not the only drive for overtime. Scott stated that there are days when it is a contributing factor.

b. There have been a lot of mistakes lately as far as inversing is concerned because the seniority list is inaccurate. The scheduling office now owns the seniority list. AFSCME stated that this list should be reviewed on a regular basis.

c. What can members do if they are inversed incorrectly without being insubordinate? Management stated that OD’s have taken care of it on the spot before. Unfortunately sometimes they are unable to fix the problem because they are given an inaccurate list.

3. Bartlett Hall work environment

a. Scott said that he has not received this back from Mr. Kohl yet. This is frustrating but Mr. Kohl has had some personal tragedies so that is why this has been delayed. Rochelle emailed Mr. Kohl asking about the status and he replied that he needs to talk to the staff one more time before a final product can be produced.

b. Staff in this work area are very frustrated. There have been a lot of complaints about the number of investigations. There have been members calling in sick because they cannot physically come to work due to the poor work environment. This seems to be a bigger problem than what was discussed at April’s Labor Management meeting. James Hemshrot said that the previous two days he spent twenty hours on campus. 8 of those hours were spent sitting investigations. Scott Melby stated that they do not undertake investigations lightly and it is not something people enjoy. He said that they do investigations to get information. Management stated that they appreciate it is unpleasant. AFSCME asked if there can be an audit done with Human Resources to find out exactly how many investigations are currently open on this campus. AFSCME asked if there is formal criteria in place that triggers an investigation. If so, has it changed? Scott said that there is criteria and that it has not changed. Management said that an investigation does not equal discipline and they do not want to minimize that it is uncomfortable. Scott said that, “discipline should be an opportunity for learning.”

c. Becky Kern asked if the Forensic Nursing Home is involved with this. AFSCME stated that it is and that they have been told by members that the investigations are minuet and unnecessary.

d. Scott Grefe said that the grievance process is not working and that, “99.9% of the time the grievance is denied. No one is right 99.9% of the time.” Scott said that getting told we have the grievance process is empty words. Management said that if discipline is issued it is their intent that it is appropriate and progressive. They would like it to help the employee improve their work performance. Management also stated that sometimes it is AFSCME’s own members who demand management look into an issue. Scott Melby said that, “Investigations are a process and we are trying to find the truth of the matter.”

4. Grievance timeline of responses

a. There are some grievances AFSCME is waiting on a response for from March.

b. There is also an increasing number of staff who have never seen their payout from a grievance. Is there a tracking mechanism? HR processes them, they submit it to MMB who reviews every month. If it is not submitted at the right time it can sometimes take an extra pay period. Cindy Jungers said that they would re-review records and get this taken care of.

c. Scott Grefe asked how grievances come up so lop-sided and for an explanation since we are equal partners. Management did not respond.

5. Forensic Nursing Home patient / staff ratios

a. There was a report received from a consultant. It seems things are not being ran as recommended. Management there seem to be doing a criss cross mix of both options in the report. They are operating under option 1 but utilizing the staffing from option 2. This is running staff ragged, leaving some wanting to quit. Becky Kern said that she had not seen this report yet so she is not prepared to speak of it. Becky then stated that they do not have the ability to follow the report because it does not fit their budget. Tim Headlee pointed out that the report stated it was assessed under the current budget. He said that the budget needs to be restructured. Management asked if a small group could be formed to discuss this. AFSCME said that they are running with too many small groups so no, that would not work. AFSCME asked that Becky and Michelle Chalin review the report and set up a meeting to discuss May 28th.

b. There are currently 9 or 10 patients that have a 1:1. This has been causing problems with staff because there are not enough. Nurses are still performing non-nursing duties (i.e. laundry). There have also been reports that management is not following the acuity tool and that the numbers are being skewed. Becky Kern asked, “Is this AFSCME staff saying this to you?” AFSCME said that this is a treatment and safety issue.

6. Dismissing staff overlap

a. Previously there has been an overlap of staff from 1pm – 3pm. This overlap helped because of those hours being a very busy time. Because of all the overtime, that overlap has disappeared. OD’s have been dismissing a staff on overtime at 1 creating short staffing. Scott Melby said that he was not aware this was occurring. If this continues to happen, please let Scott know and that he would follow up.

b. A member who got off of work at 2:30 pm was told by the OD that their inverse would begin at 3pm. 2:30 – 3pm would be an unpaid break. If inversed, you need to be paid straight through.

7. MSH Vacation Audit

c. The audit has been completed. Everyone was able to work things out with their supervisor.