February 2022 FMHP Meeting Minutes

AFSCME Labor/FMHP Management

February 17, 2022 1230PM

Administration Building


Attendance: Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Antonino Guerrero, Matt Stenger, Marvin Sullivan, Jake Schoeneker, Eric Manriquez, Rick Pitts, Ryan Cates, Kurt Crosby, Scott Melby, Becky Robinson, Heather Staff, Ashley Shanley, Carol Olsen, Denise Considine, Laraine Mickelson



-           Retention Incentives, Unfilled Shift Incentives and Bonuses.

o          Was there going to be another check for this?  Matt will send Denise a list of folks that potentially have been missed. 

-           Reduced mandated overtime, for direct care and in dietary. 

o          Do we know how long the incentives and bonuses will last? 

It is being monitored: Staffing out of work due to covid-related needs. This will be determined based on staffing needs.

o          Can MOU be reactivated if discontinued, and needs rise again?

Potentially, with discretionary language.  There is no end date on the MOU at this time.  The negotiated MOU does not have an end date. If the current unfilled shift bonus opportunities are discontinued, DCT has the discretion to start them again if the need arises.

-           Restraint & Seclusion:  January all-time LOW with 8.4 total hours of R/S.  Typically, this is a month that has significantly higher rates.  Overall, there are downward trend for use of R/S  and significantly lower than previous two years.  Many elements have contributed to this. 

-           Management of COVID Isolation Units!  Staff worked so collaboratively to help ensure needs were met. 

-           Significant gratitude to WTAs that assisted with direct care coverage to help alleviate forced OT.

-           Refusal of assigned shifts have significantly decreased!  Thank you! This has helped to ensure program needs are organized as best possible for subsequent shifts. 

-           Retention and hiring:

o          Morale,

o          Free nursing assistance programs via state for CNAs and additional bonus if one goes into work in the field,

o          SPARK Hire for FSSs. 

-           New MOU proposing monetary retention incentive for those NOT at the top of salary range.  Currently in review by DCT.  

-           Discussion re: trying to distribute incentives equitably





WTA- Return to WTA role March 2.

Security Services return to prior scheduling and assignments?  Demobilization.  Will assess weekly into the future. 

A, B, C- March 1 IF we remain COVID free.

LPN- Grievances open. Once closed, may revisit next month.

GMW radios- Assessment of radios has been done and verified that there should be enough at front of building.  Asking that check out of all radios be at the same location to verify who is in the building, as this is a safety need. 


New Business:

1-         FNH has a lot of PT staff.  Are piloting only scheduling staff according to their budgeted FTE, and then posting vacancies for people to sign up for as it works for them.  Will monitor and assess responses and input from staff. 



1-         Completed via introductions.  Welcome new officers!!

2-         Request to have AODS (when able) to offer out OT prior to 30 before the end of the shift.  Also request to send out least senior (top 5) at beginning of shifts.  AODS strives to start the call-out process as soon as able.  Please provide dates or additional information to Scott Melby. 

3- With the covid positive rates that we were experiencing for staff, while also monitoring rates of inversing; a crisis staffing plan was instituted.  Staff were tired.  When we determined which work classes would be adjusted to offer support, it took us a few days to structure a process for offering out OT (with expanded classifications), and then assign out.  As of yesterday, supervisors were informed that they could resume their typical schedules and responsibilities.  There may be instances where a supervisor is able to help cover a shift, at the point of inverse. 


Supervisors Working SC Shifts: Matt-When the need isn’t needed anymore, they are sending the counselors home and not the sups. Becky-I was aware of that on an occasion, I have talked to them about that. There were a couple of instances outside of that, but it won’t be an issue. Matt-If a supervisor is used, we would like to see them leave first before a counselor. Carol-Unless its an inverse matt.  Matt-there won’t be inversing for a while I bet. Kurt-What is the need and how are they filled? Becky-They do call outs known in advance to AFSCME and then others in a pool based on who signs up first. Jodi sends info on how we are looking. We are flush usually, it’s mostly sick calls subsequent that aods are going through. Offer using known in advance. Carol-In period of inversing, there were evals being made if we can run short ot not inverse. When there was so much. Becky-And we also review the events summary to do that. Carol-If someone goes home mid shift. There is no one to inverse. If it’s quiet, we won’t call someone in. Kurt-we had building extras. Becky-Nocs may have both sups scheduled. In event only one needs to focus on operations. I would like them to provide coverage if able to. That has been practice with nocs for a while now. It was favorable during inverses but with incentives, I don’t want it spun differently. We have resumed that practice. Mat-at point of increase but isn’t supposed to be used for overtime. Only after everything is exhausted, its taking overtime. Becky-We have a lot of extra A Team on nocs also. We are looking at reducing. We have flex. Do we need the additional a team or supervisors instead? Matt-A lot of pushback. Cory-There will be a lot of pushback on nocs. I disagree with that. We have incidents. Matt-If they are one down, she will put down a supervisor. It’s taking OT we could have had. Only using outside of classification as it happens, not prior to. Carol-We want to operate as before, the incentive doesn’t change that because of the money. Matt- We wouldn’t put a supervisor in a counselor position before. Carol-we would. Becky-We did do that. Kurt-What happens if incidents go up. If we need staff, put where they need to be. Jake-Then something happens, and we are short. Becky-We need to be careful but that hasn’t happened. Ryan-If we have so many sups on nocs to fill roles, do we have too many? Becky-No, we had such bare bones sups at night. We need to provide leadership also. A supervisor may be someone who can swing in to help instead of just walking around with a clip board to find something wrong, we don’t want that to be the feeling. We functioned without allocations for a long time. We have cut for nocs in particular.

  1. Paid Covid Leave: Matt-With new bill, are we allowing to go back for retro pay of work comp? Denise-My understanding is we are going back and looking to January first to complete claims. Staff don’t need to do anything. They are very behind right now. They will look at it. If there are specifics I can send to Barb. Retro to January 1st. Two weeks ago, there were 5 staff at forensics that claims were filed for. Annie-If they had a claim in the gap, do they have to submit? Denise-No, but if there are specifics, let me know. I heard from barb January 1st. Annie-Can we get an email for the notification? Denise-yes. Kurt-Corrections officers got covid last year and were approved but what about our staff? Why did they and not us? What changed? Denise-I don’t know and I am not a work comp person. I can ask barb. Rick-We had to prove it and DOC had a bunch of it. 80 percent had covid so that is my guess. Denise-it was more prevalent in DOC. Kurt-No one from January 31st 21 to January 31st of 22 won’t get comp? Denise-I don’t know. But the question is how they got covid. That is maybe what they were looking at. Kurt-There were a lot of incidents where staff had to leave due to working with other positive staff. It should be easy to prove. Denise-It didn’t have to do with other employees but positive patients are what I understand. Kurt-But it was a workplace exposure. Cates-Email if used all of sick/vacation you would be paid but need to be vaccinated. Can they not use the protection? Denise-you don’t have to exhaust vacation and comp to be eligible. You have to have positive test for you. Exhaust sick leave only. Attested to being fully vaccinated. If those three are met, you get paid admin leave. Cates-so no attested don’t get leave? Denise-correct. Ryan-That sound discriminatory. Denise-that is MMB policy 1446. Kurt-Who do we talk to about that so we can address that. We can all understand this. WE want to reach out.
  2. Request For a List of Who Has Received Achievement Awards: Matt-Asking who got the awards. Not names, but classifications and how many. Denise-I have that. Becky-There are a lot in the process also. Denise-My data is what is paid out.
  3. Cameras in Break Rooms: Matt-We have been talking with Brian will. Aspen, birch and cedar have a camera that only staff can get to in the back. asking for removal. Wills says he needs it to watch the maintenance door. You can still put inside the door. Carol-It does pull up the sink and back cubicle. IT will be adjusted to just the door. That is potential egress door. If something happens, we need to have it. Ryan-There is a camera in the breakroom, there is still an angle. Carol-WE can show you the new angle. Matt-In ironwood, there is a camera in the laundry room. Carol-WE can add one if we need it. Cory-There aren’t cameras in other areas also. Carol-Let your supervisor know if there is a need for more cameras. Matt-Why can’t it be moved? Kurt-When cameras were negotiated, it would be in staff only area with legislators. Carol-We have them in summit 2nd floor by my office as well. We have them IF something occurs. Any facility in the state, people use them. Matt-Why not put It on other side fi the concern is the door. Ryan-You are putting them in breakrooms. People don’t put them in breakrooms. We can’t let it go. Matt-We are supposed to negotiate that too. Carol-We can talk to Brian about it. We have had patients get into these areas. We have professional hallways that patients can access as well. We have shift population and we took down some areas already. Matt-Only catching something after the fact, not before. Scott-WE would watch live feed if we lost a unit and would need it as emergency entrance, it would be nice to see the other side of the door. Matt-There is a camera in the ramp. Scott-Its located in the breakroom but it is pointing out. We can show you the angle. Matt-Either way I won’t agree, it was discussed at the capitol. Kurt-We are supposed to work together and we fought for the cameras. If these areas are accessible to only staff, why are we talking about this. Carol-It wont even capture any part of the breakroom. Where is the point of interest? We will adjust it and show you. Matt-I will talk to the legislators. Rick-I think there is room passed the hallway. If you move it further in, it might solve both issues. It could still be looking at the door.
  4. Utility Pool: Matt-When will they start placing staff back to utility pool. Becky-We have meetings set up to look at it. We want to make sure we have appropriate PCNs. We should have some coming. Ryan-With not filling spots, it reduces the weekends spots is why they are upset. Becky-WE will continue to assess as we build back in. We are trying to manage the inversing and that was an element to revisit to make sure we cover the vacancies which mostly fall on weekends. We will be looking at it again. Marvin-There was no communication to the utility post for adjusting their days off. It doesn’t talk about the review period. This is what caused the frustration. Becky-The why helps a lot.
  5. Food Service Workers Reduction: Matt-Supposed to have 7 to 8 scheduled. That hasn’t been happening. They are now counting coordinators. They weren’t counted before the shortage. They would ask for SNV but would say they couldn’t use the coordinators. Scott-We have been doing this for a while. Not a change recently. Food service is seen as a classification in the building. We generally have 8 ppl working the line. We had 5 vacancies in the area but haven’t made changes. Matt-They said it’s been an issue prior to the short staffing. Scott-I don’t think that is accurate. I have been supporting them for a while and we made adjustments. The operations are different. We need to make adjustments. Matt-I will reach out for specifics. Scott-We haven’t reduced base staffing. Its possible we had to run short at times based on the crisis. We have not had the resources to run the food service at 8 staff.
  6. GMWs Numbers and Workloads: Matt-Asking to reduce workload on weekends so they can complete their jobs. Rick-I think they got a new supervisor and may have been changes. Workload was expanded quite a bit. Matt-Matt asking to add staff but just reduce weekend workload and move it to the weekday. Marvin-Also being asked to use their own vehicles from top of hill to lower. Matt-Can we have a state vehicle reserved for them? Scott-Have they asked? Eric-I was told they were told no. So, if there is damage to their vehicle they need to be reimbursed. Scott-I will look into that. Carol-I am not sure if they are short staffed but will look into that as well. Scott-We had staff ill and moving areas which makes them feel short.
  7. 7.      LPN Spots/Overtime: Matt-IF they don’t have LPNs they are being filled with LPNs. But if they are short, they are filling with an RN. Asking the job classes are working in their classes and offered OT for the same class. Becky-This may be incidental.


Add Ons: Kurt-Cell phones have been checked out to staff that were covid positive. Staff found these phones also had many tabs of porn on them. Cory-It was forwarded but may not have gotten to OSI. There were also messages to a guy in California. Scott-If you know about this, make sure to get me the information. Curtains on the windows are on the inside which makes it difficult to do night checks. Becky-I will look into it. Matt-Should just be Velcro.  Scott-Did the staff talk to their supervisor? Cory-Yes, and said it was patients’ rights.

Kurt-In north campus, wellness checks are difficult. Carol-We ordered half doors with the windows with curtains but are taking longer than expected.

Jake-With the bonuses. The new leads may be hired at steps higher also? Denise-The leads also qualify for leads to get more than one step if promoted based on experience. If a counselor has been here 6 years opposed to a 2 years counselor, they may get a higher step. Kurt-For years it was based on seniority, now you are doing this. It makes more sense. Why would you be compensated? Denise-In St. Peter it might not be difficult, but across the state things are different. Because we are the same bargaining units, we have to be consistent. Sometimes these spots are hard to fill. We are going by seniority still but has an interview process. It is then filled by seniority date. People are getting compensated based on experience. We want to reward them as a bonus. We have been limited in the past and now we can offer more. Matt-Bonus for the person receiving, not for anyone not. I may be making more as the person who has been a lead for 2 years and I just begin. Denise-Policies change. This stuff is unprecedented. Kurt-Who negotiated this to be done this way. Usually, we vote on the MOU. Denise-Wages are negotiated. Comp policy is not negotiated. Contract says at least one step upon promotion but can be more than one. Cory-I have been here 15 years and got off promotion. I didn’t get the incentive bonus for being topped out. So now, someone will be getting more than me? Denise-I have been in the same boat. Any employee at the state that has been here has seen the eb and flow. It has happened to me as well. Its policy. We are trying to get staff and retain them. There are more opportunities now. Jake-what things will count? Denise-Related experience for an SC and could get more for degree in related field and hard to fill position. For lead is years of experience and if its hard to fill. Typically look at how many applied, if posted many times, but generally may not get points. Cory-Will this be disclosed? Matt-Last week you said points based on gaps of time up to a max of 4 points. Denise-For an SC; 6 months to 1 year start at 1 point. If more than 1 you get 2 points. More than 3- 3 points. Degree you get a point and hard to fill 1 point. Only up to step 4 of salary range.  For the lead. 1 to 3 years you get one more step. 3 to 6 years you get 2 steps. 6 to 9 years you get 3 steps. Over 9 you get 4 steps. Marvin-There is a lot of frustration over this. Some staff missed out last time because it was 6 months, now this time it was 1 year. So now, some staff are missing out on this as well. Denise-I have seen and lived this. I understand what you are saying. I can’t help those things change. We are trying to do the right thing. We can’t always make everyone happy. Not everyone got the bonus last time and this time we did. There is always going to be someone that isn’t happy. I understand it but we try to make most people happy with the incentives. Kurt-This could have been adjusted somehow if we had a say in it. Do we just continue doing this? Denise-Do we continue giving the minimum? I think SCs have been the last job class to get these. Its new to SCs. It’s been across the board on every bargaining unit. There has been a compensation worksheet for these. Carol-They are looked at based on the market. All other classes, this has been there. Denise-We have heard this before. We have ability to offer more money, so we should be based on experience. Matt-we don’t disagree but should also give money to the current people as well, or compensated. Marvin-I could demote to an SC and go back to the list to take a position to make more money. Denise-you could but how far back. Matt-Go back to everyone topped out. Denise-We can’t go back to look at everyone. What is the magic date? We can’t do it based on where you are at or everyone at maximum range. I will take this back to the HR group also. Maybe I can have more information next month. We can have this as a follow up item. Kurt-We don’t want to make you all feel bad, you are doing your job. If we have this much animosity over this, let’s get together and fix it. Denise-Its my job and I will take it back. We have gone through this with every other job class.

Becky-Want to make sure we focus on aspen temp assignments and they are coming to 12 months soon. We want to get together to talk about it and get recommendations to command post. There will be communications on this soon. Eric-Considering permanent reassignment? Becky-Possibly. Its unlikely to get rid of that as an isolation unit so we have to look at it.

Ryan-For GMWs are they doing real time look back at badge times to see how long it takes to get from one building to another? Scott-Not that I am aware of. Ryan-One staff talked to me about being called out about the time it takes to get from one to another. Look to see if it’s being done and it shouldn’t be happening in front of other staff. Scott-I will look into it.


Meeting Adjourned at 12pm