August 2020 General Membership Minutes

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

August 20, 2020

4 PM Video Conference


Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Steve Wilking, Stacey Mueller, Emilio Florez, Annie Jakacki, Alex Flores, Kurt Crosby, Eric Hesse, Mallory Thomas, Antonino Guerrero, Hans Paulson, Nick Weerts

1. Secretary Report:

Motion to approve July meeting minutes by Adam Castle. 2nd by Alex. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:



INCOME FOR THE MONTH: $ 544.44    Checking with Council 5 as to why it’s low this month.

EXPENSES FOR THE MONTH: $ 8401.35   Lanyards, Reels, Masks


SAVINGS: $ 80229.19

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept upon audit by Kurt. 2nd by Steve. Motion Passes.

3. Correspondence: State Convention is on September 24th and 25th. Deadline has passed for submitting names to attend. SEPC is September 11th.

*There will be a Steward Training on October 9th. If interested, please contact Steve Wilking.

MSOP Meeting Minutes:

FMHP Meeting Minutes:

4. New Business:  Perdiems for state conventions and SEPC. Motion by Alex. 2nd by Hesse. Motion passes

5. Old Business:

6. Items from the membership: Steve-Always have a steward during any investigation. Subject or non-subject. An investigation can go from non-subject to subject at any moment depending on what information the investigator gathers. They must notify you of any change of subject status. You do not have to answer any questions without a union rep present.

Alex-what should union representatives do during laudermills? Cates-explain why the staff should not be receiving the punishment and/or how the investigation was inappropriate. Emilio-make sure to meet with the staff ahead of time so you can get the entire story first. Steve-this is why we need a steward in all investigations. Alex-HR says this is not the time to make arguments. Steve-I ignore it and do my job. Emilio-We are there to make sure the process is being protected.

Steve-The person doing the grievance tracking has been out for quite some time. I have looked into an access database so all stewards can have access to this information. I have spoken to someone about building the database that is an active AFSCME Member. This person will not have access to the information. They will only have access to build the fields and pass it over to the executive board.

If any stewards have any grievances that were sent to arbitration, please get those to Annie Jakacki as soon as possible.

7. Good and Welfare:

8. Officer Reports:

President: Ryan Cates- This past month I have…

Been out of work for the last month with an injury. I have not been on campus but I have continued to attend meetings via teleconference and I have been in contact with Local officers and members.

Attended Forensic Meet and Confer via teleconference-

Attended Weekly covid-19 updates- Management continues to refuse to support hazard pay for employees working during this pandemic.

 Attended MSOP Meet and Confer via teleconference.

 Filed multiple grievances and sat investigations.


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


Presented and argued grievances.

Became even more frustrated with management.

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

Chaired the Executive Board Meeting

Chaired the General Membership Meeting.

Attended the AFSCME International convention. This convention was interactive and online due to Covid-19. During the convention we nominated and voted for a new International Vice President of the North Central district. All international chair officers were also up for election. Numerous resolutions were presented and voted on. These resolutions determine the direction and policies of AFSCME international.


 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.


VP: Steve Wilking-      What I’ve done this past month

            And……….. This pandemic continues!!!!  Our meetings are held via telephone conference still.  I have attended MSOP and Forensics Meet and Confer as well as the safety committee.  I continue to cover for Ryan Cates while he is still out on IOD.  Last month I have received an influx of questions in my email.  I love it!!! Please keep inquires coming as this is an effective way to get questions answered.  Lastly, I continue to prep arbitration cases since management continues to violate our contract. 



I’d just like to communicate some things to the members of FMHP. 


If a bid is posted and there is not bid movement within 2 months.  I would like to know as this is a contractual violations.  See supplemental language-Hours of work- 4th bullet point on page 399.  This is currently happening on Linden Unit and Bartlett 2 South.  I love filing grievances and making arguments.  So…. Please let me know. 


Next, management continues to violate our contract once again by denying mutuals.  This can be found in the Supplemental agreement on page 400 under Mutual Exchange.  I have copied and pasted the section of the supplemental language for your convenience.  Such requests require supervisory approval and shall not be unreasonable denied provided such change does not result in the payment of overtime. If any of you have any mutual denied for any reason….please let me know. 

Management has been conducting investigations over social medial.  Please be very very mindful of what you are doing while on a state computer.  My personal recommendation…… just stay off social media for 8 hrs.  We can do it.  Jeopardizing your job for social media isn’t worth it. 

I just wanted to communicate to the LPN folks that I have won many grievances on your behalf.  If you are one of the LPN’s that I have won a grievance for…. Please communicate with your LPN folks to let them know.  It’s just good for moral!

Lastly, I’d like to communicate about investigations.  There continues to be many.  There are both Subject and Non-Subject investigations.  Your local union’s recommendation is to have a union steward present for your investigation.  This recommendation is to protect YOUR rights.  Management continues to state that you are not allowed a union rep if you are not the subject of an investigation.  This is not our stance! I have copied and pasted a link for you to understand what your Weingarten Rights are.  Here is the link  

There are (2) sections I want to point out.

(1)  The purpose of the interview is to elicit facts from the employee to support disciplinary action that is probable or that is being considered, or to obtain admissions of misconduct or other evidence to support a disciplinary decision already made.

(2)  Rule 2 - After the employee makes the request, the supervisor has 3 options. S/he mug either:

  1. Grant the request and delay the interview until the Union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee: or
  2. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
  3. Give the employee a Choice of: 1)having the interview without representation or 2) ending the interview

So what is my summarization here….. Know your contract! Know your RIGHTS! And lastly, when in doubt CONTACT A STEWARD! 

Now I apologize for the caps with the punctuation.  I’m emphasizing things for your benefit.  We are here to work for you…. To represent you.  Please utilize our knowledge and experience. 

Now I leave you with this quote.

Our movement is of the working people, for the working people, by the working people. . . . There is not a right too long denied to which we do not aspire in order to achieve; there is not a wrong too long endured that we are not determined to abolish.—Samuel Gompers




This month we will discuss Article 6 Overtime.  Now before I get to in depth.  I would like to make a couple statements….. It is impossible for me to cover every section for every area that Local 404 covers.  So if you are CBHH or Care please refer to your sections of the contract. 

This article of the master contract will have language from the Supplemental Agreement that will supersede it.  How I can accurately explain it is this way.  Supplemental Agreement supersedes Master.  To provide a parallel…. Federal Law supersedes State law.  Now I’ll continue…..

      Sections 1,2 and  3 will utilize master contract.  I’ll take some time to explain Section 4.

Section 4 Distribution – Now this section will be replaced with the Supplemental Agreement for Security Counselors and Security Counselor Leads.  If you are a different classification than the SC or SCL then this master language section 4 applies to you. 

Supplemental Agreement for MSH will be found on page 399 (Online Contract).  The page referring to Overtime in the Supplemental will be on page 402 titled Overtime.  This sections is VERY important! I would recommend dissecting the Distribution section, as this is the meat and potatoes.   


If there are any questions, comments or concerns please let me know.





            Information Center

     How to file an OSHA Complaint (Link Below)


     Union Recourses


In Solidarity,

Steve Wilking 

Vice President - Steward Coordinator

AFSCME Local 404


VP: Eric Hesse- I was on vacation for most of the month, but while on vacation I answered e-mail from membership and helped as best I could from home. I also attended the virtual AFSCME International Convention with three other members of this local. It was a short convention where there were a few amendments to the International Constitution were made and some resolutions were passed. I will provide a link when available so the membership can see what was passed.


I will making a call for contract proposals for the next State of Minnesota contract that will be negotiated next year shortly, by mid-September. Please be on the lookout for my email if you have something you would like to see changed, added, or deleted within the contract. For ideas, please review the current contract here:


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.


In solidarity,


Eric Hesse

Vice President – Administrative

AFSCME Local 404


Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Sitting member investigations and attending union meetings.


Executive Board: Chief Steward Emilio Florez- Please ensure you are following protocols and wearing masks where required at work. Also be aware that the use of state property is intended to be used for work purposes only. Please stay off social media at work and use your breaks and if you need to have communication outside of work.  


We had all our regular meetings this month and had many discussions about the best way to deal with certain issues, please see minutes. If anyone has questions or concerns please let us know.


I have heard a lot from some supervisors that many issues being brought to the union has not been discussed with them and they could be resolved without escalating to a grievance. Please follow up with your supervisors first before proceeding to the next step. If you feel uncomfortable in having that conversation please reach out to myself and I will reach out to your supervisor.


Our state employees do so much for our patients and clients and provide an essential services, please take time to yourself, care for yourself so you may be able to continue to provide good care.


The Physical Plant has been doing a great job in maintaining our campus despite all the obstacles the pandemic has created. We are glad to have such a great workforce.


Moving forward we are looking for better ways to help serve our members and will be picking back up soon with completing grievance and investigatory processes.







Executive Board: Chief Steward Alex Flores-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- There’s been no slow up this Summer… I continue to attend Labor Management meetings, as well as regular joint meetings with MNA reps & Nursing Admin as we continue to address systemic issues across the work area, and attempt to get the Atlas Scheduling System launched. This has been a far slower process than any of us hoped for, but we continue pushing forward. Health Services staffing shortages have been better the last month, with far less OT. We have another joint meeting scheduled for early September. All Members are encouraged to stay informed of any COVID leave policy changes, especially as we get into Autumn and the school year. The ending of the fiscal year last means that anyone who uses FMLA will need to contact Leave Management for renewal paperwork. As always, monitor your Leave accruals!

The Commissioners announcement announcing lay-offs and position changes has left some Members with a lot of anxiety & uncertainty. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns & remember the Employee Assistance Program offers free, confidential support. You can talk to a counselor 24/7 by calling 1-800-657-3719 or 651-259-3840. Or email [email protected] and someone will get back to you within 24 hours. We’re probably going to be facing some uncertainty in the coming months.

Communication continues to be key to our success & strength, so Members are encouraged to reach out with concerns/observations. Please see for all meeting minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nick Weerts

MSOP Chief Steward


Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard-

CS Facility Support: Stacey Mueller- August has been a busy month.   There have been many questions about FMLA that staff have asked.  I hope that we were able to help everyone get things sorted out.  OT assignments and pre-assignments were another hot topics for staff.  E-Board had several meetings with Management and HR to help clarify the problem areas and hopefully things can go back to the way it is offered per Contract.   The E-Board has been doing a lot of hard work in the background that a lot of people never see.  I just wanted to let you know that there are several areas that AFSCME have had to have some serious discussions with Management.   The Union was able to hold them to contract language as well as build changes to make this a safer place to work.  Please know that there are several ways to get your concerns heard.  The number one way is joining the Membership Meeting to bring up issues. It is being done through Zoom App now so it is very easy to attend.  If you are at work during the time of the meetings you may ask your Supervisor to use your break time so that you can attend.  The second way to bring items to the Union is to e-mail or call your E-Board members to ask them to bring it up at the next Meet and Confer. 

Your AFSCME Union is only as strong as all of the members combined.  To affect change we need each of you to be present and ready for action.


Chief Steward MSH / CRP / Nursing Nights: Kurt Crosby- This has been a fairly busy month with the continued investigations of members. Please be aware of your surroundings with the frequent patient movements that are occurring. This month we have met with management for meet and confer, and have had continued discussion with management about the contract being upheld.

Please also remember to follow workplace policies and directives, we all sign off on management has the authority to enforce those policy’s when they seem fit, or when someone may suggest they should. If you need any help please remember to reach out to any of the elected officers of any area stewards for help. Please feel free to call or remind us as well, times have been very busy.

Stay safe, We rule!!


Annie Jakacki-If you are planning on SEPC or Convention, get your credentials in as soon as possible. Upcoming election at council 5 can be done virtually thanks to a vote at the international convention.


Motion to adjourn by Hesse. 2nd by Alex. Motion Passes.

Adjourned at 440pm