Emergency OSHA Meeting

Emergency Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

February 1, 2020



Adam Castle, Emilio Florez, Ryan Cates, Steve Wilking, Alex Flores, Jacob Dougherty, Eric Hesse, Jeff Brand, Rick Pitts, Erin Grandberg, Stacy Mueller, Mike Sutherland, Ben Willie, Hans Paulson, Brue Erkel, Ashley Templin, Amber Hernandez, Justin Jones, Annie Jukacki, Marvin Sullivan


Tools we had when we started. Mobiles and PI back. Don’t want to accept legislative reasons. Joint commission is an accreditation thing. My opinion is they can change their opinion at snap of a finger. Doesn’t apply today. Licensing-there to govern state laws and policies and procedures. Not buying that they are saying we can’t use the tools. They are saying that licensing is saying we can’t use the tools. We looked into it and they are not saying we can’t use the tools. Management is choosing to not use these tools based on the current model.

Hans-my challenge is the guy who attacked me. We have placated him. We let him do what he wants because he has been aggressive. He attacked on many occasions. Tracy didn’t know any of it. There is charting to know these things. He forced staff to bring a plumber to pull of urinal to make sure it’s clean. He’s ramping up, which I shared. I had to force the 2 o clock meeting so I could bring this up. It’s in writing, we should have a procedure for this. He went off three hours later.

Jake D-when Rachael was assaulted by a patient and sent to a hospital, they didn’t come by or check on her at all. They have shown they don’t care.

Stacy-if they aren’t competent to stand trial, how are they competent to say no to medications? We are told we are over the national average for psychotropics being used. Doctors get their hands slapped for trying to change/add meds. Mandatory 24 hours on unit or 48 hours restriction to units after assault for evaluation, not punishment. The days of beating up someone and going to PI and saying oh I’m good, is ridiculous. No reason to be up and creating more havoc.  Jake-they made a rule that at the end of the day, everything resets. They act unsafe as long as they want as long as it’s before unit. That’s the policy in the new patient handbook.

Bruce-95 percent has been in system since kids. We get them because they don’t take meds on outside. Court ordered when they come to us. They still don’t need to take meds. We cannot force meds on patient. Now they don’t have to go to groups or activities. Lie we cannot use mobiles. Comes from lawsuit in Cambridge. They made decision we can’t use mobiles. I take them to hospital and a nurse can, there are only 9 people that cannot. PSR. They have to earn the right to progress. A patient had assaulted to 2 staff. We took him down and it was in his plan that we had to give him his present. Then he assaulted again. This happens every single day. Has gotten worse. Any business that has 600 employees and loss 1500 days of work due to injuries? How long would it be in business? We have more injuries than law enforcement. Stillwater had 16 in a year. We have that in a week. Rick-we have the facility to handle this correctly. They aren’t using it correctly. 70 psychologists work out here. They are never around, they are in their offices doing paperwork. Hans-it causes safety issues due to construction. Stacy-we lost 46 beds due to construction. We are not able to house them. They set up for phase 3 to be able to house more but we are down beds at this point. If they are busy doing stuff and learning life skills, it may help to keep them from being violent. If they had industry in there to pay minimum wage, they could pay cost of care. BREAK

Ideas for changes to be made at table for management.

Hans-Back to handbook. No representation from union on these things. If on committee, there isn’t a lot of respect and don’t listen. Could be backlash. More representation at decision making level.  More representation. The fact our president wasn’t at the meeting to create these is not acceptable.

Bruce-They have meetings without counselors involved. Print the handbook or policy and make it. A week before, they will call us in for a Team Meeting and ask what we think. It’s already done. Funding and everything is done.

Jake-law that gives president equal power at decision making level. Hans-stronger partnership. They make decisions without our input and have a record of it. Jake-ability to have own digital documentation. They make a promise and do it another way. Emilio-if they choose to use a recorder, they log it and we have access to it. Bruce-they run around and come up with no seclusion, mobiles. Ordering out food and going to canteen. Same patients that don’t do treatment. Patient advocate-why are they giving us policy and procedures? She is there for the patients, no control over policy. That’s it. Make sure they are followed.

Hans-Weight is pushed on to nurses to make evaluations after 5pm. Evenings, when does professionals leave? Left with lowers supervisors. Not just on call, 24 hours on site psychiatrist to make evaluations. Not just nurses. On site, not just on call. Jake-Some on calls will not actually take calls. Sometimes don’t even respect the opinions of nursing or counselors.  Bruce-look at the records and find out how much is spent for people on call and compare to having on site. Go back to beginning of the project and look at original plans. Same amount to add 12 beds for 50 million dollars. Rest was for office space. This was started 20 years ago. We had 2 directors. A GS. Unit directors AGS. Took turns being OD. Right now there are about 40 directors to 60. GS is nothing. Many positions over directors. Starting at top of pay grade. It took 18 people to replace a GS who retired to be replaced. No band for the buck.

Emilio-6 months ago OSHA received complaint and investigated. When they showed up we went through interviews and staff who were assaulted. Focused on Aspen and hickory. They extended to FMH program. We had formal conference with management. We sent formal letter to OSHA to be part of the process. We forced management’s hand. Meeting in sat Paul. A lot of people were thinking they would drop the citation. We called emergency eboard meeting. Went through the abatement plan they were going to give to OSHA. Many areas we could define failure to provide staff with equipment. Management tried to put it on staff. Management thought we would work with them to drop the citation. We were going all in. we will do whatever we can to get the tools and keep us safe. Management was playing it off and minimizing. They brought up aspen situation. Staff bit by patient with communicable diseases. Unacceptable. Management tried to minimize it. OSHA agreed with us. OSHA offer was to reduce citation by 40 percent but will go to abatement process and give the union a say it what happens. We agreed to that. They said we had 10 days to meet with management. We met on Wednesday. Steve-at tail end. Carol said we want to use our check ins for mnosha meetings. Carol was very unhappy. We want a document that says what we want. They point to training. Their training sucks. Skills fair sucks too. They think it’s great. Jake-got refresher how to fill out supplementals. Another for opening mail for patients. None has to do with safety. There is a culture of fear for using tools on patients. Should not be patient movement during shift change.

Emilio-up until OSHA conference, management thought citation was for aspen unit. First thing out of their mouths was it was a unit that doesn’t exist. We have backlogs of all of the Aspen bullshit. Stacy-skewed injury reports to where they don’t even count for OSHA reportable. Bruce-if running to an incident and get injured, they were saying it wasn’t an OSHA injury. When you drive in, you are covered, except for IOD. Hans-staff didn’t get it because they aren’t at an incident.  Mike-work comp will make their own determination anyway. Bruce-we do through this door on the way to an incident, a chair is left out and we trip, we aren’t covered.

Steve-we want topics and wish lists.

Ineffective trainings: MANDT-great for empathy but as far as safety it becomes patient comfort as far as resetting boundaries. Forget about what happened and move on. Reset.

Violence preventive training-nothing to do with patients.

TSS-Depends who is training it. There should be follow up training. Many staff don’t know how to use the chair, for example. The fairs are scheduled at strange times that don’t work for everyone. Some trainers appointed without proper training. Quarterly would be better for those who don’t use it. One trainer is dropping out because they are taking away techniques because they don’t want to hurt the patient. No pressure points etc. Skimming down is an issue. There are things I want refreshed that I know we can do like wrist locks etc. they won’t teach for certain situations.

I can’t tell walking in the hallway who should be out in the hallway and who shouldn’t. Create hall monitors……?

Carry Blanket-different facility someone suffocated is why it was taken away.

ICS: Ineffective radio console in Master Control. Radios will be on and miss random transmissions. 2 years and still not working.  People don’t know how to use the radios. Haven’t had training since I started. Going to be similar to how they do CPR for non-essential employees. Just a CBT. Should be annual training. Perhaps should be offered monthly and someone can drop in.

HSSS have wanted to do ICS and was a nurse who didn’t want to do ICS because she didn’t know how to. Not our decision to initiate an ICS. We have to go to a wing to use a radio. All ICS need to go through RNs? Kind of. Will check into this. Supervisor says they want it handled in facility. Someone did it and RN freaked out on them. We get backlash in emails from supervisors.

Rounding-we can do it better than previously done.

Certain responsibilities. Protection and safety of community, staff, and 3rd was patients. Creating safe atmosphere for treatment. These were primary. When I left, every psychologist or grove leader said these patients should be in the community and this facility shouldn’t be here. 20 percent should be in Anoka and St. Cloud. Goal was to close every facility in Minnesota, we are paying the price. In California, they closed them and are now building them back because they are on the street.

De-escalation Techniques: Get back into verbal de-escalation techniques. Verbal judo, etc.

Why can’t we go to the media? We as union leadership cannot.

We need to be careful with mobiles. We have gotten injured taking on and off. More PI or willow type. The tools we have aren’t being used correctly. Never 1 to 1s on tamarak and willow.  More training.

Reves Stretcher and Velcros. Mobiles are good because they can be out and around.

More professional interaction with patients’ suffering- Put in mobiles and then meet with them if they have 55 retirement without the qualifying percentage. Some clients cannot use restraints, we need more than our hands. Steve-yes you can use restraints. Email me and I will send you the information.

Trying to minimize trauma informed restraints is why they don’t want to use leather restraints. They want to discontinue restraints as soon as possible.  More trauma being held. Bruce-this has been going on for 10 years. Why hasn’t the union filed a lawsuit? They have put everyone in jeopardy. Not a law or statute. They are responsible for every injury. Why is the union not suing them? Stacy-they are lying to us too. I asked licensing why they took it away and they said it wasn’t us, it was your administration.

Annie-we put request for the documents from admin. They didn’t send anything from licensing. Nothing they sent us that says anything about seclusion or mobile restraints. I said you need to identify what you are using to restrict the rules. Send the language you are quoting as well. By us putting it through and why these worked in the past, it needs to be put back into place.

Stacy-even if we had isolation for short term would be really good. Bruce-this same discussion has been going on forever. Union has to take them to court for the endangerment of staff and patients. Annie-osha is involved and charged with serious offense right now.  Steve-you have aggressive board members that aren’t going to take and shit. Annie-before an OSHA charge, if you are getting assaulted and radios aren’t working, file a complaint on everything. When it builds, it goes above the management. Problem is when shit happens, no one speaks up. Timeframe runs out and has to start over again. Emilio-we are here because people decided to speak up. Steve-any time a fine is for workplace safety, the fine goes up. They don’t care about the fine, they care about the citation. Carol has a lot of stuff on her right now. When you file, it will find her.

Copy of Transcript of incidents to the union

Clients programs need to be evaluated and held accountable. Lose perks, canteen, movies, etc. for bad behavior.

Ineffective Treatment Plans

Contraband Issues: Things coming onto units form outings and visits. Glass perfume bottles, canned goods, etc. Contraband should be black and white. Not unit specific.

Management needs to follow policy as well. Minimize the Gray Area. Property limits aren’t followed.

Nursing-no medical provider will put their name on an order. Cannot otherwise PI or isolation. Make it clear that a provider will sign off on it. If afscme says we want pi and mobile. Which provider will write an order? Steve-if we have a tool and we have a good reason to use it, we can go back and say was it used? No, OSHA says you have ineffective policies.

Have a place that professionals can observe the client for a shift.

Hans-like to have had as a direct care staff. When I said this person is going to assault that night, suggestion would be that I can initiate some type of evaluation so when something happens, I can say I let you know what was going on. We can go to OSHA and tell them the course of events and how it was ignored. Steve-there was a system where we had this and we could plan, if he does this, we will do this, etc.

Annie-their response to the situation is the reason they got this citation. Their response was “nothing”. They are going to go to time of complaint and see nothing was done. This is the piece we need to show.

Union only oversees the contract. Within the contract we indemnify the employer for everything inside the contract…worker safety. OSHA, commissioner is where union can go. Staff can bring personal suit but we cannot take part in that as a union organization.

-Misappropriation of funds

-Crisis Response Team-psychologist evaluation

-Back up Windows for Breaks

-AFSCME member included in incident reviews

-Training in all acceptable forms of self-defense and manipulation

-Appropriate units for clients in crisis (crisis unit)

-Counselors need to be part of the “Meeting of the Minds” meetings after an incident has occurred.

-Staff reprimanded for incidents between patients.

-If staff involved in incident, staff can request to see video so he/she may use to improve upon for future performance.

Motion to adjourn by Cates, 2nd by Alex. Passes

Meeting adjourned at 554pm