December 2021 General Membership Meeting Minutes

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

December 16, 2021



Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Eric Hesse, Kurt Crosby, Jamie Schwartz, Steve Wilking, Annie Jakacki, Marvin Sullivan, Eric Manriquez, Nick Weerts, Jake Schoeneker, Lisa Nordby, Antonino Guerrero, Rick Pitts, Jessica Baler, Rachel Ruiz, Annie Jakacki

1.Secretary Report:

Motion to approve November meeting minutes by Adam Castle. 2nd by Steve. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:






SAVINGS: $ 150796.99

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept upon audit by Marvin. 2nd by Jake. Motion Passes

3. Correspondence: FMHPMeetingMinutes:

MSOP Meeting Minutes:

CBHH/CARE Meeting Minutes:

4. New Business:  Nominations sent to Annie via email. Elections on January 20th. Locations to be determined. We will send via email. Cates nominated in person for president. Between Hans Paulson and Ryan Cates. VP Administration nominations are Matt Stenger, Steve Wilking. VP Steward Coordinator nomination Eric Hesse. Automatically receives position due to uncontested. Recording Secretary nomination Adam Castle accepts and receives due to uncontested. Treasurer nominations: Antonino Guerrero and receives due to uncontested. Chief Steward nominations Nick Weerts, Cory Moon, Jake Schoeneker, Eric Manriquez, Kurt Crosby, Marvin Sullivan. Executive Board: Mike Hohenstein, Rick Pitts, Jamie Schwartz, Judy Ehrman, Ben Zarn. 3 Trustee Positions: 1 year, 2 year, 3 year: Kelsey Vogel Alore-3, Lisa Nordby-2, Steaed Doehring-1. 3 uncontested. All are appointed.

Charity Donations: 5, 200 donations. Echo Food Shelf, St peter heartland, Sharing tree, toys for tots, and BENCHS

Motion to approve by Hesse, 2nd by Jake. Motion Passes.

We need folks to sit ballot boxes. Must have day off or work another shift. Pay per diem. Send email to Eric Hesse if interested. Steve makes motion to provide food for those staff. 2nd by Kurt. Motion Passes. There will be someone sitting between shift changes in Rochester.

Vacation donation program is for terminal illnesses or other things that keep them away from work. Please donate by contacting HR.

5. Old Business: Sweatshirts have been an item of contention. Eboard voted to overturn the previous vote to approve. Nick Weerts makes a motion to overturn buying sweatshirts. 2nd by Jamie. Motion Passes.

Holiday Party: Resurgence in COVID has caused delay to spring or summer, etc.

Elections: January 20th

6. Items from the membership: Eye Protection was discussed at FMHP Meet and Confer. Management said there were complaints to the DOH that nursing home wasn’t using proper PPE. DOH went to nursing home and saw staff not wearing any eye protection which resulted in the mandate to St. Peter. Union presented safety issues and they are looking at many options for eye wear. When the rate goes below 10 percent, we will no longer need to wear it. Personal choice was brought up. They said it’s not their choice and it has to get below 10 percent. Nicollet county is at 14 percent currently. Fawn Kenyon is part of the board for FMHP, Nikki Boder for MSOP. Contact her if desired. If goggles or face shields fall off during incident, no need to worry if being safe and can communicate that. People with eyeglasses are not exempt from wearing eye protection. MSOP is getting different goggles that also fit over your glasses.

They will only test unvaccinated and people unwilling to disclose status. This will not test vaccinated people. They say prevalence tested isn’t needed but according to MDH policy it says it should be done anytime there is a case.

There is an OSHA complaint right regarding all of the lag time from testing to results.

Jamie-Significant amounts of money being spent should be placed in minutes that a vote will take place should be communicated. The Eboard plan is to do this in the future with non-common expenditures. Sometimes things cannot wait but for things like sweatshirts, badge reels, etc. can be communicated.

Strike funds start with the employee. The union cannot support 900 members if a strike were to occur. Members need to save their own money. If members have ideas for what they would like to see the union’s money go to. Please send ideas to any eboard member.

Tom Keck suggested paying active stewards who sit investigations. This would maybe help engage more members. Nick-There are many things stewards to behind the scenes besides investigations. How would you monetize that?

Kurt proposed to the eboard that with 7 eboard positions, one should be for communications. If you are at work, you are getting paid for it. A lot of stewards come in on their days off, etc. Eric-Do we really want people only doing things for money or to do what’s good for the union.

A committee has been formed to formulate a way to incentivize stewards to participate more.

If there is a vacancy for any position, there will be a call to the membership for interest. There will then be a vote by the executive board. This will occur after the elections have concluded on January 20th.

There is a good turnout for the meeting this week. There are a lot of things that happen at the meetings. Coming once a year doesn’t give a clear picture of what the members do. Please attend and have a say. We need to keep the union strong and active.

Staff are not responsible for clearing snow on north campus. The landlord is responsible for it. Administration is aware of it.

Jamie-I wasn’t here last month when my motion was brought up and an amendment was made. Proposal was for increase of a payment for spouse or child death. Someone made an amendment for parents. All work areas can pass the hat for a parent. If you lose a spouse or child, you don’t plan for that. I think it should be for spouse and child only. You have foster, step-parents, aunts, uncles, etc. I track it all and it is a lot to keep track of. Cory-Do you think people will lie about it? we pay our dues. Jamie-Someone also said I don’t have a spouse or child. Cory-Why not include parents? Some parents could die way before their time. Kurt-Someone said when you lose a spouse or child is not significant. It’s the idea, not the amount. It’s saying we are sorry it happened. It’s not Jamie’s job to track. Jamie-It is my job to follow through on it. If someone brings it up later, I have to bring it to the meeting. Kurt-You don’t need to scour the internet for it. People can see it in the minutes. Everyone doesn’t have a spouse or child. If that is all you have, that is all you have. If you don’t have a child but you have a dog, your dog is your child. Cory-It’s sad this is a big deal. Nick-The people that voted no, don’t have a problem with the idea. You just need to draw the line somewhere. Its tacky that someone has to track down Jamie to tell her a parent died. What about the staff that just started that doesn’t have family? There needs to be a line somewhere. It’s a token of respect from the union to the member. No one is against based on amount, it’s based on logistics. That’s what pass the hats and GoFundMe is for. Along with your work area and friends. Kurt-Its tacky to reach out if you lost a child as well. Nick-You don’t have to reach out if someone loses a spouse or child, you know. Kurt-We won’t agree but we can’t say someone is more important than another. We will discuss this again on January 20th meeting.

Shannon-The MOU for bonus pay for CARE transfers is in SEPC and after that it will go to the membership to vote.

7. Good and Welfare:

8. Officer Reports:

President: Ryan Cates- This past month I have…

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

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

 Filed multiple grievances and sat investigations.

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

 Presented and argued grievances.

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

 Chaired the Executive Board Meeting.

 Chaired the General Membership Meeting at Jakes in Mankato.

Attended meetings with management about the covid-19 situation in our workplaces.

Sat in meetings with management to persuade them that there is not enough vacation offered and something has to change. More meetings are scheduled and there will be changes to the current vacation situation.

Elections for Union Officers are on January 20th .  I encourage all members to vote. Our Union is strongest when all voices are heard and when all members have a say in who represents them.

  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.


Ryan Cates

Security Counselor Lead

Utility Pool

AFSCME Local 404 President



VP: Steve Wilking-

VP: Eric Hesse- This month I attended the Labor Management meeting for MSOP, went to New Member Orientation for those starting NEO, and answering calls and emails from members. We’ve been hard at work on trying to get more money in the hands of our members. We’ve inquired about getting retention and recruitment incentives going again, getting new incentives for those that didn’t qualify before, and adding different classifications to the weekend and day off overtime bonus, amongst others. This is going to be a work in progress, so please be patient while we try to get this moved forward and hope to get these approved. If you have any ideas on incentives or bonuses, please let us know and we can certainly bring them forth.


We will be having our Local 404 officer elections on Thursday, January 20th. Please make your voice heard and go vote. We are looking for volunteers to sit the ballot boxes so we ensure we have enough voting locations and times to get as many people the ability to vote as possible. If you care to volunteer to sit a ballot box, please let me know and what times you are available to sit. You will be compensated for your time.


I just want to personally thank everyone for sticking it out through these tumultuous and uncertain times. Your work here is greatly appreciated by us. We’ve seen some hard times and bumpy roads, and I’m sure we’ll see more ahead of us, but if we stand united and don’t let our differences or the employer divide us, we will persevere through this and be better for it on the other end.


As always, if you have any issues, concerns, or questions, please feel free to reach out. If we are unaware there is a problem, we can’t try and do anything about it.


In solidarity,


Eric Hesse

Vice President – Administrative

AFSCME Local 404


Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Eric Manriquez- Attended Forensic Meet & Confer, E-Board meeting and the General membership meeting.

GMW’s had brought to my attention that they are not being provided radios while working in Grove A due to lack of radios and were asked to have a staff member from those areas to follow them while on the floor. It was mentioned to bring up to their respective supervisor and will follow up if we are able to get a couple radios in those work areas for them to use.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Alex Flores-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- Happy New Year! 2021 went by so fast and we were definitely kept busy on the E-board and at MSOP. This month, I attended our monthly Labor Management meeting and our E-board & General Membership meetings. This month’s general membership meeting included nominations for Officers for the upcoming election on 1/20/22, as well as several other issues & concerns from the membership—from the “sweatshirt debate” to COVID protocol concerns. As with most months, I also helped facilitate our New Employee Orientation. This month we had 10 new members placed in a variety of work areas across the St Peter campus, so be sure to welcome them as they begin filtering through!


I filed a couple of OT/Inverse violation grievances, but otherwise I currently have a clear docket of pending grievances. I did sit a couple of investigations, which had positive outcomes.


We continue to field a lot of questions/concerns related to COVID and the ever-changing guidelines in our workplaces. It is important to remember that these guidelines/rules/expectations are DCT & MN Dept of Health dictated and MSOP Admin has little, to no, input on current policy. Continue to make your best good faith efforts!


I continue to try and make monthly rounds across the MSOP work areas. It’s impossible to catch everyone, so if you have issues/concerns, you’re welcome [and encouraged!] to reach out anytime.


Reminder the contact for HR is [email protected]

Leave Management requests (FMLA) should go to [email protected]


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.


Have a Happy, Healthy & Safe 2022!


Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard- This month I attended MSOP Meet and Confer, E-board meeting and the General Membership Meeting. I also harassed stewards to send me their files to get grievances updated, fielded questions, talked to some members about suggestions on what they would like to see instead of a holiday party. I helped overturn the vote of spending $40k on sweatshirts. I sent out a card to a member who lost her son in September and another one for retirement. It was nice to see more people show up to the general membership meeting. Thank you for coming and please come again!


In Solidarity,


Jamie Schwartz, E-Board


CS Facility Support: Judy Ehrman- I do not have anything new to report.

The HUC position has been filled. The position was posted, and a new employee were hired into it.

Chief Steward MSH: Kurt Crosby- I have not been a part of any investigations this past month. I have files several grievances as well as attended Meet and Confer as well as the Eboard and Gen Membership meetings. This past month has been challenging with the new eyewear protection policy. I have been asked by members how being required to wear the goggles makes sense when the patients that we serve are not required to wear even a mask. The response is that it was determined that the facility would not force patients to wear masks or eye protection, they would suggest it for the patients but not require it. When pressed as to how staff wearing goggles would help protect the patients from getting covid, the response again was that this was a directive from above them, and they are to enforce it. When asked why the visitors are not required to wear masks or eye protection, they stated covid policy. It is not our direct leadership that came up with this new directive, it was above them. I suggest to all members that we reach out to DCT leadership to ask what the rationale is behind the eyewear policy. Please be respectful when doing do, as they must have a good reason for doing this, and I would hesitate to think that it is a blind directive without reasoning. Just simply ask the leaders at DCT for the rationale, and respectfully offer your input as to why this does or doesn’t make sense. 

Our leader is Marshall Smith, and has always been good about returning Emails, and is always open to listening to staff. Again, please be respectful, and be heard


Don’t forget to Vote!! You have a voice…..Be heard!!


Annie Jakacki-

Motion to adjourn by Cory, 2nd by Eric. Motion Passes

Meeting Adjourned at PM