7/19/12 MSOP Meeting Minutes

For Management: Ralph Schmidt, Gary Grimm, Bonnie Wold, Melissa Gresczyk, and Cindy Jungers. Kim Franek via ITV.

For the Union: Molly Kennedy, Scott Grefe, Matt Stenger, Andy Jones, and Chuck Carlson.


Overtime Distribution

Management clarified that overtime is distributed by shift and not by assignment. They agreed to remind the ODs of this.

Volunteer Firefighter Leave

Management addressed the inconsistent practice in releasing staff who are volunteer firefighters. Human Resources clarified that this is not a contractual requirement and there is language specific to Unit 204 regarding volunteer firefighter leave. Management agreed to remind the ODs of this as well.

Labor/Management Meeting – Location Change

Management notified the Union that the monthly Labor/Management meetings would be moved to Pexton 200 so we have ITV capabilities, should it be necessary.


Vacation Request/Approval Process

The Union raised concerns that the vacation calendar is currently open to January 2014 due to piggybacking of requests during the seven-day live posting period. The Union asked that the existing contract language regarding vacation requests be interpreted to only allow piggybacking of requests through the end of the open period. For example, if a request was submitted for 7/19 – 7/28/13 thus opening the calendar through 7/28/13, only requests through 7/28/13 would be accepted/approved. Management asked if this interpretation would affect vacation requests that had already been approved. The Union replied that no, the interpretation would only be in effect from the date it was agreed upon forward. Management indicated they would bring this suggestion to the Moose Lake Management team for discussion.

Mutualing to 16-Hour Shifts

The Union stated that Management had previously told them that mutuals to 16-hour shifts would need to be negotiated, to which the Union replied that ability to mutual shifts is already in the contract. The Union argued that Managements inverses staff to 16-hours shifts, allows staff to volunteer for 16-hour shifts, but doesn’t allow staff to mutual into 16-hour shifts. The Union stated requests for mutuals into 16-hour shifts cannot be unreasonably denied. Management replied that the 8.5 hour scheduled shift is the technicality. At the time, bargaining unit contracts were being negotiated so MMB dictated that there could be no negotiating between agencies and the unions. As the AFSCME contract is now being settled, Management indicated they would be open to discussion while awaiting the final go-ahead from MMB. The Union agreed to review their original written proposal and re-present to Management.

Background Study upon Return from Leave of Absence

The Union asked what the process is for submitting a background study when a staff member contacts Human Resources to return from a leave of absence. Human Resources outlined the process. It is the employee’s responsibility to contact Human Resources to notify them of their return date. Once notified, Human Resources sends an email to DHS Licensing requesting a resubmission of the employee’s background study. Melissa Gresczyk reiterated that there is no timeframe for the final result to be received, but the employee will be allowed to return once the email has been sent to Licensing.

Break Rooms and Allowable Appliances

Agenda item removed by the Union.

A-Team Fit Test Criteria – Bid vs Cross-Trained Staff

Agenda item removed by the Union.

Creation of State E-Mail Distribution List for MSOP Security Counselors and AFSCME Members

The Union asked what information Human Resources had obtained regarding the creation of distribution lists for AFSCME to send notification to its members regarding meetings, updates, etc. Human Resources replied that MN.IT is not in favor of the creation of more distribution lists. Management reiterated that, although they are open to assisting AFSCME in communicating with its members, an email distribution list is not the answer.

The Union then asked about a SharePoint site to serve as an “electronic bulletin board.” Management questioned why the AFSCME website could not serve this function as all staff have access to this site from work. The Union informed Management that, although Union leadership can access the AFSCME site from work, they cannot manage it. Management replied that, if it is an access issue, they could talk to IT about opening access for Union leadership.

The Union also asked about including links to the various bargaining units on the MSOP Human Resources homepage. Management again replied they could address this request with IT.

Tardiness Policy

The Union questioned the human factor in the strict enforcement of the tardiness policy. They also questioned when the policy is applied to staff who are not in the Security Counselor or Security Counselor Lead job class and what is considered an unforeseen emergency. Management replied that the policy is not as black-and-white as the Union portrayed. Further, AFSCME does not have information regarding other bargaining units. However, with that said, Management has been having conversations regarding the tardiness policy. The prescriptive nature of the previous policy was removed from the current policy intentionally, but it was not done so to be punitive to staff. The application of the unforeseen emergency language has been at the supervisor’s discretion – in conjunction with management - to allow room for staff in unforeseen situations. Furthermore, specific information about the determination of unforeseen emergencies may not always get back to the Union. Human Resources reiterated that, although attendance is a performance issues, leave use is always looked at individually in order to best view the whole picture for that particular staff. Both Management and the Union agreed to leave this agenda item as an action item for follow-up.


Minimum Staffing for Coverage on Each Floor

The Union raised concerns that, with the new staffing pattern, staff are not able to perform their job duties and are “spread thin” as there is only one staff scheduled on each unit. They requested that Management consider returning to the old staffing pattern of two staff scheduled on each unit. Management replied that, with open movement, the current staffing pattern will likely continue. Management encouraged staff to contact the OD if they feel the need for additional staff on their unit. The Union expressed additional concerns about staff safety with only one staff on each unit. Management replied that they will continue to examine the staffing pattern as they have been doing since its implementation. It was reiterated that Management’s primary concern is the safety of staff and clients.

The Union requested that Management visit a unit around meal time to see how the staffing pattern is working. Management replied that, if meal time is a particularly bad time of the day, they can examine the staffing at that time to determine if adjustments are necessary. Management asked the Union to request input from its members and bring back the data for Management to review.

Bidding to Vacancies with a 4-10 Rotation

The Union asked about staff bidding to days off for vacancies with a 4-10 rotation. Management addressed the specific situation to which the Union was referring. In this particular case, the employee that was going to lose their fixed days off came forward and indicated that the awarding of days off by seniority on the 4-10 rotation was not in the AFSCME contract, not on the vacancy posting, and not in the globally published Frequently Asked Questions from the staffing forums held last fall. In order to maintain the integrity of the message that had been communicated to staff, Management upheld that this staff would retain their fixed days off, which the Union supported. Management reiterated that the intent of the movement to the current staffing pattern was to alleviate uncertainty for staff regarding the shuffling of days off by seniority upon bid but agreed they would be open to discussion going forward.

Work Out of Class Security Counselor Leads

The Union asked how long Management intended to backfill Security Counselor Lead positions with work out of class. Management replied that, in a work out of class, in the initial appointment is six months with the ability to extend up to one year. After a staff has been on a leave of absence for six months, their position can be posted and filled as a vacancy. Management reiterated that staffing is an ongoing process that is constantly being evaluated.  


***notes were submitted by management***