February 2021 General Membership Minutes

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

February 18, 2021

430 PM Video Conference


Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Annie Jakacki, Nick Weerts, Antonino Guerrero, Steve Wilking, Breanna Drummer, Lisa Schilling, Jake Schoeneker, Alex Flores, Eric Hesse

1.Secretary Report:

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

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:






SAVINGS: $ 125392.82

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept subject to audit by Steve Wilking, 2nd by Adam Castle. Motion Passes.

3. Correspondence: Day On the Hill is March 9th. This will be virtual. If you are interested in attending, let Eric Hesse know. Steve motions for perdiem, 2nd by Adam Castle. Motion Passes.

We will be holding Steward Trainings Monday May 17th from 10am to 2 pm.  Also, we will be holding trainings on June 21 which is a Monday.  Please contact Steve Wilking or any elected officer if you wish to attend.

4. New Business:  Last February, we put in changes to the local constitution. We were unable to go forward due to not meeting in person. We will be reading the changes at this meeting and then again at next month’s meeting. There will be opportunities for members to voice their concerns and vote at the general membership meeting. After that, if it passes, it will move to council 5 and then to AFSCME international for approval. Here are the proposed language changes: Article 5 Section 3 shall now read “The quorum for meeting of this Local shall be set by the International Constitution.”


Article 6 section 1 shall now read “The officers of this local shall be a president, a vice-president administration, a vice-president steward coordinator, a secretary-treasurer, a recording secretary, seven chief stewards and three executive board members and these fifteen shall constitute the local union executive board”.

Article 7, section 6 shall now read “ a. The chief stewards shall coordinate grievance activities and report to the vice-president. b. perform such other duties as the executive board may require.”

These changes will be read at the meeting on March 18th and then voted on. 

We will be doing lobby week this year on March 22nd to March 25th. Let Eric Hesse know if you are interested. You must have the days off to attend. Adam Castle motions for perdiems, 2nd from Alex Flores. Motion Passes.

Office supplies are needed for up to $50 dollars. Motion to approve by Steve Wilking, 2nd by Alex Flores. Motion Passes.

The local needs money for postage to send afscme masks to our members in Rochester and for grievance mailings. Alex Flores makes motion to allocate up to $50 for any postage or mailing needs the union may need. 2nd by Jake Schoenecker. Motion Passes.

MSOP Meet and Confer Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/february-2021-msop-meet-and-confer

FMHP Meet and Confer Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/february-2021-fmhp-meet-and-confer

5. Old Business: Last month, we got 3 volunteers for the communications committee. One has since resigned. We are looking for 1 more member to join the committee. Steve Wilking has now volunteered. Hans Paulson and Najib Jamac are the other two. Antonino has now volunteered to be the fourth.

Second round of vaccines were yesterday. Staff has been feeling the side effects.

6. Items from the membership:

7. Good and Welfare:

8. Officer Reports:

President: Ryan Cates- Attended Forensic Meet and Confer- Notes are attached to the meeting minutes.


Attended Weekly covid-19 updates.


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.


Attempted to work with Human Resources to get management to respect out contract and recognize our voice in the workplace.


Talked to Legislators about the staffing reductions occurring at MSH.


Wrote an email to political leadership in St. Paul, expressing our grievances with management and their unfair treatment of our members.


Argued with management in Forensics about the changes in hours of work for night staff and the new schedules for all Security counselors. Management refuses to understand our opposition to these changes and they continue to ignore any input or objections from Labor. We will continue to oppose these changes.


  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- This last month has been very busy for me.  As always…. I’ve attended the Weekly Check-ins, Safety Meetings, Interest Based Problem solving workgroup, Meet and Confer, E-board and the General Membership meetings.  I continue to file grievances, send cases to arbitration, sit investigations, coordinate investigations and trainings and field many emails and phone calls regarding union questions.  Please feel free to contact me via phone, email or skype if you need that instant question answered.



      I can’t believe the pandemic is still holding us down.  We continue to work through many issues.  Most notably people are being told to use Sick, Vacation or take unpaid leave for side effects of the 2nd dose of the vaccine.  We have sent an email to HR/ management to communicate with our members regarding the 2nd dose.  Contract negotiations are up and coming as your executive board is working hard to get a good contract for us all.  An email was sent out looking for a vacated e-board position vacated by Stacey Mueller.  Stacey we wish you well and good health.  Thank you for your service. 

     Also, we will be holding Steward Trainings Monday May 17th from 10am to 2 pm.  Also, we will be holding one on June 21 which is a Monday.  Please contact me or any elected officer if you wish to attend.  Thank you,


VP: Eric Hesse- We are still dealing with ongoing standing issues within the FMHP and MSOP. Some times these things take a while to sort out, so please be patient with us. We are doing our best and trying to represent all of us to the best of our abilities. Some times management will hold their ground and refuse to move, but we also need to stick together through this and show them that we are still united.


Negotiations for the 2021-2023 State of Minnesota contract will start in early April. The state’s budget forecast is significantly better than it was at the start of 2021, which is good, but I fully expect the State to play hardball and cry poverty, but we will hold firm that we deserve a fair contract that will treat us with dignity and respect that we deserve. Please go to MemberLink at members.afscmemn.org to get updates on bargaining as there will be updates posted there after each round of bargaining.


AFSCME’s Day on the Hill is Tuesday, March 9th. If you wish to attend this virtual event, please let me know.


AFSCME Local 404 currently has an Executive Board member vacancy. If you wish to step up and get involved within our union, please let me know your interest in filling the vacancy by March 7th.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or another union officer. If we don’t hear from you, generally we don’t know if there is an issue going on within your worksite. Also, we are always open to suggestions from the members on how to approach different issues and we are happy to hear your point of view, as you may have an idea that we may not have thought of.


Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Over the past month I have taken part in NEO, sat member investigations and attended monthly union meetings.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Emilio Florez- I sat a couple investigations and filed many grievances. Most of them pertain to contractual overtime language. I attended most of the meetings labor had. I met with staff about contractual language. The e-board had voted to send multiple step 3 grievance denials to submit for arbitration approval and presented some more step 3 grievances this month.

Please see minutes on updates and constitutional updates we would like to make in order to be able to move forward and keep up with these rapidly changing times. Our membership stands strong at above 94% with over 800 members in our local this is something to be proud of.


We are moving to do things swiftly and differently. We are Labor and Labor will always aim to protect our contractual rights.

Please feel free to reach out if you are looking to file a grievance or have questions.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Alex Flores- Filed a few grievances this month.  Sat several investigations.  Attended MSH meet and confer.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- We continue to stay busy in MSOP. I’ve attended our monthly Labor Management & Union meetings, as well as our New Member Orientations. There continue to be joint monthly meetings, with MNA, relating to Health Services and their ongoing staff issues, as well as the transition to Atlas Scheduling and a new Scheduler. The department continues to have challenges, that we’re addressing & hoping to find solutions for. I’m sitting investigations as needed and any other issues/concerns that may come up.


All Members are encouraged to stay informed of any COVID leave policy changes, as well as the process for obtaining COVID vaccinations if you missed the on-site clinics that were offered. All members are encouraged to reach out with any concerns & questions or their own. Soon we’ll be looking forward to contract negotiations. Communication continues to be key to our success & strength, so Members are encouraged to reach out with concerns/observations. Please see www.union404.com for all meeting minutes.


Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard- I am trying to play catch up from being gone. This will take me a long time, but please continue to send me a copy of all steps and outcomes. I also attended MSOP Meet and Confer. Seems like nothing has changed. We are still following up on items from before I left 10 months ago!

CS Facility Support: Stacey Mueller- Resigned

Chief Steward MSH / CRP / Nursing Nights: Kurt Crosby- Sat 3 investigations this month and filled out several grievances. I have spent a lot of time requesting documentation from HR for different grievances and investigations. They are behind and the process is slow, I apologize for anyone whom is waiting for answers. Please continue to send me emails and concerns and I will do the best I can. Continue to come to meetings and be active.


Annie Jakacki- 826 members our of 877. 94.2 percent membership. March 12 is the next negotiations assembly.


Motion to adjourn by Adam Castle. 2nd   Steve Wilking. Motion Passes.

Adjourned at 511pm