December 2020 FMHP Meeting Minutes

AFSCME Labor Management MSH

December 17, 2020 1230PM

Administration Building


Attendance: Adam Castle, Steve Wilking, Alex Flores, Ryan Cates, Emilio Florez, Annie Jakacki, Scott Melby, Kurt Crosby, Marvin Sullivan, Alli Kuhlman, Carol Olsen, Michelle Chalin, Roxanne Portner, Becky Robinson


Reflection/Celebration: Carol-Remarkable how well we have managed COVID. The numbers we are getting are very notable with the minimal numbers we are getting for patients. Have not had a staff since last week Monday. Thank You. Kurt-I have photos of the toy drive. Lower turnout but it was an earlier time of year. Good turnout. Carol-Veterans cards are being sent out for the holidays as well. We got a lot of compliments from veterans last year.

Standing Agenda Items:

  1. Osha Information-Handouts
  2. 2.      Overtime Information-Handouts


Old Business




  1. 1.      COVID Issues: Ryan-Wondering about the quarantine unit. Juniper opening in January. Carol-Consulted with others. We haven’t needed a quarantine space yet. The treatment units themselves are probably the least risk. With the pressure on the wait list, it outweighs the need for a quarantine space. Portner-There are still Bartlett units that need to be vacated as well. Marvin-If we take new admits do, we quarantine? Carol-we asked preadmissions to quarantine unless coming from Anoka. Just how they are treated when they go to appointments. Portner-admissions should be quarantined. Patients admitted that have had covid in last 90 days, should not need to be quarantined. Marvin-In corrections it was an issue with new admits causing outbreaks. Carol-Kudos to how its managed. We have been taking admits throughout the pandemic. It has been managed well. Alex-Are we making decision on assumption new patients will follow the precautions? I work on the unit and they don’t. Carol-we recognize that. It’s the screening that occurs prior to admission. Kudos to your team. Portner-we assign to rooms. We are documenting to the best of our ability. Alex-best to run on assumptions they are not going to follow it. We need staff safety as well as the public.
  2. 2.      Defined Work Area Issues: Ryan-grievances on this now. Steve-I put in a request to HR about receiving daily staffing sheets. I have not had a response. Can I get that? Alli-talked with Jodi today. it takes a lot of time to pull that. She is working on it now. The rosters are available every day at the facility. Steve-We did have that prior to atlas. AOD would put them in a basket. I brought it to Jodi many times about other ways to do this as to not burden you. Alli-We can see if there is a way that AODS can help. We talked about it. Steve-other disciplines in atlas have access to it. Nursing dept has access. I asked if I could have access to others schedule as well. I requested to go in electronically for investigations. I don’t know where that falls with permissions. Alli-this provides clarity for what you are asking. I will follow up on that.
  3. 3.      Lead List Update/Juniper: Denise-Administration has had a couple of meetings. We are going to schedule meeting with labor. Eric sent a list of the local attendees. Looking at scheduling for second week in January.
  4. 4.      Hourly Breathing Rounds Ironwood: Ryan-Suggested staff on nights talk to supervisors. I don’t know what has changed. Portner-I checked with Adam. He said since they use 2 staff checks, he hasn’t heard anything more or from patients. He is willing to take concerns. He looked at putting gin mirrors as well. I asked him to touch base with staff about ideas.
  5. 5.      Hazard Pay: Carol-Answered multiple times. MMB is the one to go to. Thanks for bringing it up.
  6. 6.      How Many AFSCME Positions by Classification have not been filled/Budget: Carol-We still have a large budget deficit in forensics. Example-we have funded 987.97 FTEs for forensic. Paid out 1489 fts. Deficit of 61.92 FTEs. 45.4 FTEs paid in overtime for one pay period. We look at this every pay period. This drives every vacant position to fill or not fill. We have 17 FSS and FSSL. 3 FHPs hired. Start interviewing again. Permission to hire up tto10 FSS positions ten we will see how its managed. Also filled off the street. 2gmw. 2 FSS. 4 rec leads. And 1 LPN. 2 Food service workers. We hold on positions related to other classes or bargaining units. Did not fill clinical director. 2 supervisor positions. About positions that go vacant. We are not laying off. Everyone is looked sat when they are vacated according to needs on campus. Portner-One thing we look at is proportionate impact to contracts as well. Only so many positions linked to some bargaining units. If we don’t fill some positions, it can have a large impact on a group as a whole. Looking at afscme that we haven’t filled its less than a 1 percent impact. Carol-I intend to have an official join a labor management meeting to talk about covid and our budget issue. There was money allocated last session that gave additional money to DCT. It was not operating dollars for the future. DCT will ask for a lot to support direct care. If we don’t get that, there will be a lot of implications. I have been asked to manage within our budget so we will be staged in a better position in July. Looking at every angle to save money, maintain safety, and balancing the budget. Portner-Opening more units in the process also. Where do we get the VPNs and where does that come from? PCNs not posted may be reallocated to aspen as well. Kurt-Does the percentage go into how many hours those staff work. Middle management is only here daytime hours. It’s a 24-hour facility so that is why it’s a bigger number. Does it take into consideration how long we are here? Carol-I believe they were, but I will look. We have a spreadsheet with job descriptions. Paid FTEs and total FTEs. I can re look at that. There is not a decision we make that won’t have pros and cons. I have people at the table advocating for all those areas. I am filling every food service worker because it is running very lean. If one or two must be out, it has huge implications. I don’t want to cut one of them and then one goes out on covid. Now setting up individual trays for MSOP. It has been a drain on them. We look at census also. Nursing home is running low on residents, so we may hold one of them. We are looking at all of those things. Alex-Do you go back and look at position descriptions to eliminate redundancies? Some supervisors get 55 retirement but rarely meet those qualifications. Carol-that is not a discussion on this campus. Annie can probably talk about that more than I can. Carol-within your own class, you tell us where there is redundancy as well. It’s easy to point out different classes until you walk in those shoes. Marvin-Is that being put out across the board? Carol-we are having meetings on that as well. Yes, that will be part of the discussion. Portner-we need to also be respectful when we talk about that. Marvin-I don’t mean to be harsh, but we need to look at positions we have created from 10 years ago. We have been in business a while and it hasn’t changed too much. Portner-we can look back at lessons learned but not to compare apples to oranges. We have made good progress over the last 10 years.
  7. 7.      Hickory Unit Day Off Changes, Causes, Coincidental Timing? Ryan-brought it up last month and no one knew. Carol-Staff have left the unit and we looked at what is the right compliment. As long as we can cover the unit and gleam some PCNs off the unit so we can staff juniper and ironwood and how will we staff others. With attrition, we noticed it was staffed high on the morning shift and not so high on the evening. We needed to balance the schedule. Ryan-I was told at the time they were changed they hadn’t lost any staff. Carol-I will ask Jodi about that but that is what I understood. Ryan-Steve sent carol a letter from staff being told by supervisor that because they had to go on unit, it was their job to be punched. They referenced that area and it felt it was retaliatory to then take that staff off weekends. Carol-that is not what we want. Scheduling takes the lead entirely.

New Business


  1. 1.      Vacation Allotment Change: Ryan-Funded mandate paid anyway. How does it save money to reduce ability? Carol-when it comes to overtime, but if we have so many resources, then we lessen buffer for sick calls. Combination of vacation being granted that equate to overtime. Ryan-someone may call in sick if they don’t get the vacation. You are saying it looks better in the summer but come summer it won’t. Portner-that is not an approved way to use sick leave. Ryan-I’m not saying that, but it doesn’t seem right. Steve-Is this a temporary reduction in vacation due to budget or long term? Carol-we have to continuously evaluate. Do the allotments accommodate vacation earned by employees also? I don’t know what the future holds.
  2. 2.      Staff Memo Internet Access: Ryan-memo said anything not related to what a client can see. The areas you did say we could use. Line staff don’t have offices so seems you are limiting access for line staff only. Carol-It wasn’t meant that way. I don’t consider cubicles to be property of that one staff. If anyone needs to jump into a cubicle for break use, go ahead. That holds true to anyone, personal use for the computer should be only during break personal time. I can clarify that in joint management as well. Portner-That is for managerial staff as well. That is who it was a reminder for. Carol-if someone wants to use my office, they can do that as well.
  3. 3.      Screening Area Changes:
  4. 4.      Shift in Progress Vacation Requests Processes and Pilot Project: Scott-Staff want sip they call leave line. We review all requests about 2 hours after shift. We put names of staff that requests, and we use random name process. We repeat the process until the number of available spots are filled. Sometimes people can get selected more than once and others are not. We have been working with scheduling to see if we can get the process in atlas. We are piloting this with a group of nursing. if the pilot works, we will move to everyone using atlas. Atlas can randomly select people. It will speed up the process and allow to process the requests faster. Ryan-RNs or LPNS. Scott-trying it now with MNA. When we are ready to roll it out, we will let you know.



  1. 1.      FTS Shifts: Ryan-Members are wondering about 8-hour shifts. Any possibility of getting those shifts. Carol-I wasn’t prepared for that. Ryan-OK, we can come back next month. Roxanne-I know they wanted overlap there is the reason for the 8.5.
  2. 2.      Breaks and Screening Times for ½ hour breaks: Ryan-staff with half hour breaks told starts when they leave area and ends when they get back to area. After getting off campus, they have a reduced break. Screening area time should be paid by the state. Leave should start when they go out through the gate but end when they get back to the area. Carol-I have talked to management mas well about this, I will follow up and get back to you.
  3. 3.      Should Staff with High Risk Covid exposure come to work? Portner-we are not asking about high risk outside of work. Identified at work are MDA. If staff see a provider and are told not to come to work, they need to provide that documentation. We are not restricting people who have high risk at work or outside of work as long as they don’t have symptoms. Ryan-staff out of work with symptoms, tested negative so they came back. worked half a shift, lost sense of smell. Left and then tested positive. When you test negative but are told to come back to work. Will they be reprimanded? Portner-why didn’t they use sick time? Denise-people are still going to get sick, just because you don’t have the sick time…All employees need to stay home if they are sick. Ryan-if I have a sore throat, on a normal year I would come to work. With covid I am not coming to work or shouldn’t. Now you think about the symptoms differently. Carol-we have always not wanted people to come to work when sick. For some reason COVID has sent people through a loop. You kind of know your body. There is a heightened awareness. Use sick leave and there are specific guidelines for covid leave which wasn’t made locally. Kurt-If you have a flu, we aren’t screening. This is not the flu. Staff are trying to not get their staff sick. Trying to do the right thing by staying away. So why do we have to use my sick time with a symptom. It’s so contagious. It’s different. Portner-we appreciate the topic. Its outside of the local. If you screen positive at work, you should be sent home. If you don’t have an alternative diagnosis from provider, work with HR. If you are told you have a cold, then come back and you have all the symptoms, that is going to happen. This is why we practice hand washing, cleaning surfaces. This is working well. We need to continue with it. There are a few instances like that, but we haven’t seen transmissions Ryan-no known transmissions with staff. Portner-MDH risk assessments haven’t shown correlation. Ryan-They ask if you wear your mask, which no one will admit to not wearing a mask. Carol-we are also watching where people are working, we are not seeing clusters. Its too bad staff think they are going to get in trouble for not wearing a mask.
  4. 4.      Should Staff exposed to Covid at work fill out first report of injury? Carol-HR gives the information to workers comp about staff. It doesn’t mean they can’t. We are not going to; we share that info with workers comp and they take it.
  5. 5.      Are Exposures within forensics OSHA recordable? Carol-That is not a decision made locally. Managed through workers comp.
  6. 6.      Increase in Charge Nurse? Budget Crisis? Portner-has not been, it was a neutral change. AODS is providing that stuff though their office now. Looking at the roles of theses, they were the same. We added RN in charge in Bartlett to add consistency.
  7. 7.      Any Management Positions not being filled? Carol-Answered that earlier
  8. 8.      Vacation Reductions: Earlier
  9. 9.      Managements Definition of unfair labor practice: Carol-follow MN statute 179A. Ryan-can you quote it? Carol-I can send the link to you guys. Ryan-we can look it up.
  10. 10.  Anti-Union Actions and Union Busting: Ryan-you guys had a serious issue about this work action. Portner-not just the cat. Ryan-you said an injury to one is an injury to all. An injury to one is one to all, it has been around a very long time. Carol-Managers establish the milieu of the environment. Creating a therapeutic environment. We believe that does not get the message we want to patients. Ryan-The idea of the cat but the union belief in general. The cat represents direct action in the workplace and the power labor has in the workplace. You are telling us we can’t wear. In the corner store there a black cats made and sold by patients. I placed request in and there have been no physical aggression at corner store. How can you say it creates a problem? Seems only focused because labor is using them. Carol-I appreciate that. Alex-Speaking as a minority, how is a black cat construed at racist or those connotations? Portner-I don’t think we need to debate over how we interpret these things. I can only say the statement, more than the cat. I agree it is popular slogan but nothing our patients can understand. Alex-imagery? Carol-we stated our positions and we know you disagree but inside patient areas, the message is we don’t allow that. Alex-What about the positive messages, they may find cats therapeutic. It’s a heavy-handed action by management and maybe the patients see that as well. It doesn’t seem to be a reason to be agitated by a sticker. As Ryan stated, how many units had black cat decorations. Seems like a reach. I would like a good reason. Denise-Carol-stated this and you received her answer. We have already said this is the position. Nothing more to say today. Move on to the next item. Annie-Any direction given to management to discipline staff. Carol-I have told them to instruct staff to remove as a manger directive. Annie-There was no direct order given to supervisors? Any direction given about discipline given to staff? Carol-it’s a work directive to not have in patient directive. If they do not, we will move forward with action. Kurt-If asked to remove and you remove, does that go in your file? Carol-no, that is not the directive. If that has happened, let me know.
  11. 11.  Security Services Covering Forced to cover residential when not qualified: It happened on overnight shift. AODS asked a ss staff to cover. There are many that have done the overtime checklist, but this staff did not have the checklist done. He educated the AODS, so they found another staff. Then he was asked to cover hospital and he did. If that SS staff goes to cover hospital with patient, but doesn’t have avatar access, what is our direction. They can’t do a chart note. Should that staff be doing coverage if they haven’t completed the checklist sheet? Carol-we were just looking at that policy. I don’t recall they have to do an avatar, but they do the form at hospital. Steve-This person was taken on a short trip to hospital with expectation they were going to return. Carol-I don’t have an answer, but I will check into it.
  12. 12.  Members Safety:
  13. 13.  Vaccine: We have had a lot of meetings about vaccines. We don’t know when we will get it. meeting with mmb later to talk about it. working with DOH and who would come help. More information will be shared but we don’t have a timeline. We are in the high priority distribution for that for patients and staff. There is a 1a, 1ab and 1ac. Nursing homes are higher. We are in 1A.

Add Ons

  1. Ironwood Staff Name Issue: Ryan-Staff prefers a name but was called in to office and told they cannot due to how it looks. Why can’t she? Annie-Why is she being told that. Jonathan can’t be called Jon? Carol-we got it, first we have heard about it.
  2. COVID discrepancies with Positive COVID cases: Ryan-numbers differ from what we get from DCT. Where is that coming from? Carol-I agree, I don’t know. Scott-The numbers I get from Tanya. I don’t know why but if I had to bet. I would bet on our prevention person on campus. It’s probably a system issue when you have people counting different things. Delay in calculations. Carol-thank you, we all noticed as well.
  3. RN position filled with LPN: Portner-We didn’t have an RN to cover one that had left. There was nothing needed that shift for nursing needs. There was a voluntary LPN assigned. Steve-oak and maple covering pine. If LPN from oak and pine could cover it, why couldn’t LPN from day/evening staff cover it? Portner-RN inversed for the overtime shift. They left, we had no one. We used the resources to fill emergent need. We inversed the RN who had later left.
  4. Ryan-f staff is injured slipping at screening are they covered by workers comp? Carol-yes, fill out first report of injury. Ryan-not in building or on duty so just curious. Carol-Mel answered this, we are asking for the screening process so that is part of your work. Start with first report of injury.
  5. Kurt-We used to have staffing subcommittee. AFSCME is willing to do this again. Is that an option? Scott-we will continue to have the meetings we are having. My concern is the pandemic, but I will keep that in mind.

Meeting Adjourned at 205pm