February 2022 General Membership Minutes

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

February 17, 2022



Adam Castle, Nick Weerts, Kurt Crosby, Matt Stenger, Jake Schoeneker, Rick Pitts, Jamie Schwartz, Antonino Guerrero, Mike Hohenstein, Jenny Blanchette, Shad Coyour, Tony Honeycutt, Thomas Pitts, Dalton Sawyer, Brady Hanson, Zach Hage, Sandra Lindquist, Hans Paulson, Eric Hesse

1.Secretary Report:

Motion to approve January meeting minutes by Adam Castle. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:






SAVINGS: $ 150894.36

Total: 287287.75

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept upon audit by Kurt. Motion Passes

3. Correspondence: The Eboard voted on the vacant chief steward spot. The executive voted for Steve Wilking to fill this spot. We are going to look at assignments and get that out to everyone, so they know who their contact is.

4. New Business:  At the FMHP meeting, COVID leave was talked about, and they are paying workers comp from January. They will file them for you but if it isn’t paid for you, reach out to HR. Only until the 1st of this year because you would have to prove you got it at work. More notes available in the FMHP meeting minutes. We asked if unvaccinated person would receive it and they said no. It’s from MMB, not local level. Only needed to exhaust sick leave only. May be able to get your vacation or comp back if you used it but would need to use sick time to take its place. Work comp pays 66 percent. Annie-There is paid administrative leave that you can use the code from Marshall. For hours missed where there is no sick time. They ended the law for proving you got it at work. They reinstated it in January. This is different from workers comp. Enter it in timecard to cover everything. They can deal with trying to change it to 66 percent. These are separate things.

WTAs will be going back to work area on March 2nd. Transport will be reevaluated next pay period based on the covid situation.

March 1st for Birch and Cedar. Still waiting on Aspen due to covid situation. Aspen staff are at the 12-month reassignment. Not sure if they will be permanent reassigned yet. No talk of using Elm. There are 2 or 3 positives right now.

LPNs working as HSSS. Open grievance so we can’t talk about it.

GMWs can pull from Grove A is what management said. Every time there is not a radio, email Matt Stenger. They are saying when birch and cedar open, they will reevaluate the need. Matt will send the info to Melby, but you must send emails to Matt as soon as you have an issue. We need to be able to show its an unsafe work practice.

If you have .8 employee, they will only schedule you 8 shifts per pay period. These will now become bonus overtime shifts. No idea what the rationale is behind this. This is a detriment.

Calling out OT: AODs are not providing adequate time to call out the next shifts overtime. They are not calling when the need is known. We asked to be more vigilant.

For more meeting minutes, please click below on the hyperlinks:

5. Old Business:

FMHP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/february-2022-fmhp-meeting-minutes

MSOP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/february-2022-msop-meeting-minutes

6. Items from the membership: Email to Ryan about Patty Koelow pulling badge times. This was brought up at the meeting. This should be done respectfully if it is an issue. This can happen to anyone on campus. Start a journal as GMWs to document all the things that are happening that could be hostile work environment. Only time union rep is allowed, is during an investigation. Start the journal now so we can build a case of it. Becky Robinsons direction has been to inform staff if they are being given a coaching session. Be sure to contact HR to have your file pulled for review by you. Your supervisor can call you in to an office for a meeting. If they call you in for coaching or anything else that sounds like investigation questions. If it could lead to you being disciplined or change in employment, you can stop the investigation and ask for a union rep. Weingarten rights apply.

Overtime incentives question. Overtime is never a guarantee. People who used to pick up overtime but cannot now be due to the incentives. Overtime is nice but don’t rely on it for income. People will burn themselves out over the incentives. Please be patient. Sign up for subsequent shift if possible. Staff are benefiting from no longer being inversed as well. The incentives bonus did take care of the original issue of people being inversed multiple times. This was the goal of members before the incentives took place. Typically, MOUs are developed at local level, but this was state level. Council 5 and MMB developed this at the state level because it affected all DCT. MSOP was not the reason this came to be. We were not at a staffing crisis. There were programs that had no staff. We are benefiting based on other people’s crises. The weather is going to get nice. People will stop taking all the overtime.

Starting pay for new employees: They are hiring at higher step. Not 26 an hour. They can do up to step 4. Anything more they have to ask commissioner of MMB. Step 4 is 23.41 for a new SC. Equivalent to a staff that has been here for 2 years. It is demoralizing and devaluing current staff. They are trying to solve a hiring crisis to compete with other companies. We understand the why, but they may have a retention issue by doing this. They are also doing it to the leads as well. This has been brought up, but we still aren’t getting the numbers of new staff coming in the door. We would have to ask for increasing the pay for others to be brought up to at least match what the new staff are getting paid but needs to be during negotiations.

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.

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

Won the election on January 20th. I want to thank every member that voted and every person that ran for an officer position in Local 404. Members making their voices heard and participating is what makes us a strong Union and enables Union leadership to represent the membership.

Worked to get bonuses paid to staff for incentives, for working overtime and for being reassigned to different job classes.

Pushed to enact changes that would reduce inversing.

Pressured management to return reassigned staff to their own work areas and responsibilities.

We continue to push for changes to the vacation process that will allow more members to take vacation when they want to.

  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: Matt Stenger- I wanted to thank everyone that voted during our local elections and everyone that sat the ballot boxes. This month I sat in on MSOP and MSH meet and confer and will be sitting CBHH/CARE next week. In MSH we are trying to get the camera removed out of Aspen, Birch and Cedar’s breakrooms. Management states they need it to watch the maintenance door that is back in the staff only area. The union’s position is if they need to watch that door so badly, they can put the camera on the inside of that door and not in the break room. We are also currently working on LPN’s being forced into HSSS roles in order to save on overtime. Our position again is that people should not be removed from their job classification in order to fill another classification.

In Solidarity,


VP: Eric Hesse- MSOP meet and confer we discussed changes in mail handout to 2-person verification. We said it seems as though they feel we are incompetent. It could be a data breach and sue the state. Clients are suing for HIPPA breaches right now. Asked if ODs would have their work checked for overtime distribution and was told that’s an inappropriate comment. In Moose Lake they go to the mail room themselves and we should develop that also. Firstly, I would like to thank everyone that helped with the Local elections in January and those that ran for office. It was great to see that many people stepping up to be more involved within our Union. I would also like to congratulate those that won and welcome those that are serving in office for the first time and those that have served previously.


We have been dealing with a lot of questions regarding the hiring of staff beyond Step 1 and the incentives as it pertains to overtime. For the hiring at a higher wage, please read the MSOP Labor Management meeting minutes as there is an in-depth explanation of how it works and their rationale behind it. Unfortunately, this is going to be a fight we will need to bring to the next round of contract negotiations to attempt to rectify this and try to bring everyone up alongside of the new hires, as they, MMB, do not have the authority to do anything or approve anything regarding wages outside of the contract. The next round of negotiations will begin in the winter of 2023. As far as the incentives go, we have heard some feedback on this, mainly surrounding more senior staff being the sole beneficiaries of this incentive. While yes, overtime is based on seniority and the more senior people that are picking up the overtime may be benefiting monetarily, the main purpose of the incentives and the acceptance of them was to attempt to solve the issue with the mass inversing of staff, in which it has for the most part. The people that do not want to work overtime and were getting forced to work it, especially those that were getting it twice a pay period, are also benefiting from this.


Reminder that we have AFSCME Council 5 Day on the Hill coming up on Tuesday, March 29th. This is a day when members from throughout the state come and talk to their state representatives about issues that are important to their worksites and to our Union. If you are interested in attending, please let me know.


As always, feel free to reach out to me or any other officer if you have any questions, concerns, or issues. We cannot attempt to try and fix something unless we know about it.


In solidarity,


Eric Hesse

Vice President – Steward Coordinator

AFSCME Local 404

Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Over the past month I have been sitting with members during investigations and helping with associated needs. I was present at the monthly meetings and New Employee Orientation.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Cory Moon- Attended meet and confer, working on getting letters sent out to a couple members who lost someone, investigated two grievance requests that were later withdrew after more discussion.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Steve Wilking-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- It’s been a quiet month in MSOP, though COVID leave policy changes and the recent Weekend & Unfilled Shift Bonuses have caused many questions/concerns/opinions among membership. I did attend our monthly Labor Management meeting, as well as our E-board & General Membership meetings. As with most months, I helped facilitate our New Employee Orientation. This month had 12 AFSCME positions beginning as new hires or transferring in from other sites. Be sure to welcome them as they begin filtering into their positions across our St. Peter Campus!


I had zero grievances to file, though did intervene on behalf of staff in a couple of situations to get a positive resolution prior to the grievance process beginning!


We continue to field questions/concerns related to both COVID policy and the recent Unfilled Shift Incentives. Continue to read postings to the Announcement page, as well as any HR emails with updates, and we are all just an email/phone call away with any questions.


I made a couple of visiting rounds into MSOP work areas this month. It’s impossible to catch everyone, so if you have issues/concerns, you’re welcome [and encouraged!] to reach out anytime.


New HR contacts were recently posted to the Home Page Announcements. Please print/save that document for future reference!

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 www.union404.com for all meeting minutes.


Nick Weerts

MSOP Chief Steward


Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard- I am going to start emailing the Eboard asking for grievances filed for the week. Good and Welfare: MSOP SC’s who are currently out on extended leave: We wanted to give a shout out to Al Aspelund, Brandy Chlebecek, Matt Jacobson, Tim Manley, Mark Menke, Angie Thomas, Brennan Shorter, Meg Walania, and Seth Yocum and let you know we are thinking of you! Also, we would like to give a shout out to Alex Palmer and Zac Thompson who are currently on military leave, we thank you for your service! And lastly, we would like to give a shout out to Nick Mertz, and Mel Blais, welcome back!  If you or someone you know who works MSOP and is an AFSCME member who is out on an extended leave, please let me know so your name can be added to the list. Please understand, I only have access to SC’s schedule.


February Report:

First, I would like to thank all of you for voting for me for E-board. Secondly, I have decided I will be sending out an email to all the E-board weekly asking how many grievances were filed for the week to make sure I have received them. I was on vacation for 2 and a half weeks, so I only attended the E-Board Meeting and the General Membership Meeting. I would also like to thank the members who have been present at the General Membership Meetings these past few months. It is great to see new faces and faces we haven’t seen in long time, please keep coming and remind your co-workers to come as well.


In solidarity,


Jamie Schwartz, E-Board

MSOP-Pexton 2 North


Executive Board: Mike Hohenstein-

Executive Board: Eric Manriquez- I have had no grievances or investigations the past month. Attended FMHP Meet and Confer.

One staff from the physical plant reached out with a question regarding retention pay. They had also spoke with Ryan about it earlier in the week and were still awaiting a response from HR.

I’ll continue to reach out/check in with other departments.

Chief Steward: Kurt Crosby- This month there has been much discussion about the new MOU’s that are going into effect and how they came about. Filled out a couple grievances. Following up with staff about other issues that have been brought up as well. Please send issues and concerns to any Eboard member. Thank you and be safe!

Annie Jakacki- 780 members out of 870. 89.7 percent.

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

Meeting Adjourned at 6pm