FMHP October 2021 Meeting Minutes

AFSCME Labor Management FMHP

October 21, 2021 1230PM

Administration Building


Attendance: Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Annie Jakacki, Kurt Crosby, Jake Schoenecker, Marvin Sullivan, Steve Wilking, Eric Manriquez, Carol Olsen, Scott Melby, Becky Robinson, Michelle Chalin, Roxanne Portner, Alli Kuhlman, Ashley Shanley, Heather Staff


Reflection and Celebration: Kurt-There have been a lot of good things with the AODS pool right now. I want to recognize them. Rob Schwisal took a hospital coverage for another staff and was appreciated. Carol-Low rate of restrain and seclusion. Lots of hard work and de-escalation. Scott-We have fewer opportunities to get hurt due to this. We have had a decrease. Physical plant staff have done a lot of work painting and readying the campus before it snows.

Standing Agenda Items:

  1. Osha Information: Handouts from Alli.
  2. 2.      Overtime Information: Handouts from Alli.
  3. 3.      Budgeted Position Review: Carol-We are down SC positions. We are hurting with LPNs and RNs also. We have a group that meets for recruitment. Launching a spark hire process soon. There has been success at other programs doing this. Staff virtually interviews, and the group comes back to look at it quickly and rates them. It hastens the process. Potential job fair also in the future. Looking at January. Possibly looking at a billboard as well. Annie-With spark hire, is it going to be reviews by multiple supervisors? Becky-Only by the hiring supervisors which we have a lot on the group. At least two will review each one. There is a limit on licenses to have access. Annie-Of the supervisors, can anyone process it? Becky-Anyone part of the pool as long as there is one from each program. Steve-Do we have numbers on how many SCs and LPNs we are down? Are we looking at retention issues? Weekend bonus of 25 dollars maybe? Newer employees have brought this up. Hiring at 21 dollars when Walmart distribution is doing 26. What can we do to retain the people that are here? Carol-I don’t know if we can do that ourselves. Allie-There would have to be discussion. It is in the supplemental and something went into contract this year. It would be an MOU. I will take it to Mel. She has access to other people that have input. There are conversations about retention and budgets for recruitment at DCT level. There is also a review of hiring wage. Kurt-Does that involve upper pay wages? They can still get more money elsewhere as well. Bring that up as well for senior staff that are topped out. Allie-There has been discussion about keeping staff that have been dedicated. If you have suggestions for recruitment, we would like to hear them as well. I will take back the discussion today. Steve-We are trying to get people in the door but if they get in the door, its tough to keep them. If we still aren’t getting staff at our current numbers, other places are offering up to 5000 hiring bonus. Annie-We do have recruiting and retention incentive in master contract. That is something we can look at as well and continue adding more to hire staff and retain what we have. Carol-We have been using the hiring incentive but I am not up to date on the new contract yet. We are open to any ideas on retention and hiring. Steve-There is a lot in overtime and inversing. Some staff are getting weekend bonuses. It’s the totality. It would be a morale booster; the private sector is caught up. We need to think about next summer as well.


FMHP Vacancies:


HSSS/LPN Positions



-          2 HSSS – within bidding period

-          2 HSSS – hiring pool positions

-          5 LPN – open to fill via external posting



-          3 HSSS (CNA) – within bidding period

-          7 HSSS (CNA) – open to fill via external posting

-          1 LPN – open to fill via external posting


FSS positions:


  • 19 dead bid positions
  • 8 positions posted for bid – bid postings come down this evening at midnight
  • 8 hiring pool positions

4 position making way to HR for posting (fill behinds for reassignments, bids, separations, etc.)

Old Business



  1. 1.      COVID Issues: Ryan-The process when staff are sent home due to positive tests. Kurt-A staff took a test and wasn’t vaccinated and were gone for weekend. Came back and notified they were positive 6 days later. Why didn’t someone notify them? How are they notified? Roxanne-We encourage staff to use an email they have regular access. It is limited to how many HR have access, so we rely on the staff to get their result. These staff must be asymptomatic otherwise they shouldn’t come to work. If they are asymptomatic, its likely they won’t spread it. Alli-We are making the calls after we get results and we contact via phone and email after results from Vault. Kurt-Notified on weekends too? If the person doesn’t get the call, it costs us sick time.  Some staff won’t even give their phone number. Carol-we are looking at how fast we are getting the tests sent in. When it leaves, we depend on vault system. The MN vault system is sending out of state due to low staffing. Some of this is out of our control. Maintain 6 feet whenever you can. Even if wearing a mask. Being conscious of 6 feet for no more than 15 minutes. Roxanne-Even in the station, maintain 6 feet for the shift. If you are relying on work email, make sure to check your email as well. Kurt-Why can’t we have rapid tests? Roxanne-12 to 24 hours is the turn around when they are received. The rapid tests don’t have a good accuracy as opposed to vault pcr tests. They actually recommend a pcr test if the non pcr test is positive. Kurt-Can we start off with those? Roxanne-They aren’t as sensitive as pcr. Carol-We would miss some positives using the rapid. Marvin-With the high-risk exposure, what is the difference at home vs here on campus? Exposure at work you have to quarantine but if you have an exposure outside, you come to work if you don’t have symptoms? Roxanne-It’s a potential gap but we can’t control outside of work, only what happens here. OSHA only relates to at work but I agree that they are higher risk outside of work. I was told to quarantine by my doctor but then I am told to come to work. So, they are contradictory. There are leave options for family members by using sick leave. Those personal decisions you have to make on your own. Sick leave accruals, leave management, FMLA, etc. It just isn’t covered under OSHA standard. Marvin-If I’m sent home from work, its my own sick time. Carol-ETS requires us to send staff home for exposures at work, they also say if staff don’t have leave, we have to pay for some of that. If your doctor says something outside of work, we can’t force you to stay home. Marvin-This is a long-term care facility. Carol-You need to make those decisions for yourself. Masking, handwashing, etc. are in place to minimize that. We have done well with our numbers over the last year due to these things. Steve-There was an email recently from transport related to hospital coverage we can talk about later when I get more specifics.
  2. 2.      Grove A Vacation Spots: Becky-Hold off until North Campus gets opened up
  3. 3.      Vacation Availability Issues: Ryan-October was red and now there are only 2 days available that no one can take. Steve-We would like to set up a meeting with HR to discuss with management.

New Business


  1. 1.      Mid-Shifts: Becky-I asked for input to talk about pros and cons. This is looking at swinging one to a mid-shift 7 to 3 or 8 to 4 and noon shift to 1 to 9 or 2 to 10. I would like to look at level A and level B units. I am going to ask Jodi to look at what staffing would look like and how many PCNs. Bring in consultation with labor and HR to look at shifting. Positions that people bid into is what I would like to do. Maybe flexibility to swing those back according to overtime and inverses if possible. Ryan-Concerns with moving into bidded positions. If they are specific to those shifts, it gets close to bidding to days off. Becky-I have asked her to pull other data as well, with inversing and overtime. Marvin-With the 5 or 7 days, we already get short on weekends. Look at busy times of the day as well. Jake-Will you have others sign up if someone is on leave too? Becky-We are looking at all of those things. Marvin-We have to look at future non-covid times as well for activities that aren’t happening right now. Becky-The mid shifts were mostly responsible for these in the past.
  2. 2.      Increase In Declined Inverses: Becky-Sharp increase in this. People just saying they don’t want to work or have something to do. Please recognize it does result in asking the next person. We may start having conversations if it becomes a pattern.
  3. 3.      Rescinded Vacation: Steve-Has anyone been disciplined? Becky-No, looking at ways to manage it. Carol-Seems to be a new thing. Its not fair to your members either. It may not need to be black and white either. Sometimes there are good reasons. Becky-We would like some flexibility but not to abuse it. Ryan-Should be expected to work the inverse unless you have a doctor’s appointment or something very important. Kurt-We will be working together to deal with this. It affects everyone. Becky-We don’t want to hop to investigation right away for this. We would like to have documented coachings on these in case-by-case basis if people don’t understand. Jake-You can still give coaching but if they are sick, fmla or childcare? Becky-I am talking about egregious reasons mostly. Asking supervisors to have conversation with staff about the expectation and it is documented to look for patterns. We are looking at the amount of sick calls on denied vacation days as well. Asking supervisors to look at these patterns. Carol-Refusing inverses and vacations. We had over 200 rescind last quarter. It impacts all members. Exercise caution when rescinding vacation because it’s a year out. I can’t predict what happens a year out. I may get sick on one of those days. Becky-We are looking at patterns. Steve-I can put in a lot of vacation time. Scott-When it comes to rescinding overtime, I like what Becky says about it. You don’t have the right to say “oh I didn’t know.” We like to have your support. Its only once I can think where a staff said I’m calling in sick if I don’t get vacation. It impacts everyone. These conversations are going to take place. Becky-What are you all thinking about as a work group? Ryan-Looking at a couple from management and HR.
  4. 4.      Breaks Between Shifts: Becky-There has been an uptick in going beyond the 15 minutes. There has been more taking at end and beginning of shift which impacts the shift change. Having adequate hand off. The breaks should be 15 minutes, not 30 or so. Ryan-The between shifts message I got, was there has been a change to no longer leave between shifts except for overtime or inverse. This is a paid break and can’t leave campus. Becky-That is not the communication that was handed off to them. We are looking at the contract too. Ryan-It doesn’t say duty free; it says rest periods. If you are working 2 hours passed, you are entitled to a break but then being told you can’t take it at the end or beginning of shift. That should be able to be taken. Carol-There is a difference as opposed to the one being forced to stay at the end. Its not duty free, its 15 minutes. Ryan-Staff are being told they cant leave the building or campus. Being asked to stay 16 hours and not leave the building. If it is being misused, talk to them. Becky-Intention had to do with staff safety and inadequate shift changes. There is not adequate attendance from staff taking breaks at the wrong time. Ryan-There is probably a problem occurring somewhere else, which results in staff not showing up. Becky-We have a staffing crisis but if only one shows up at one time, its an impediment. It was to look at how to ensure communication and staggering those breaks. Marvin-Last time, it came back to just talk to the AODS and that is what I have heard. Becky-This is process oriented but I wanted to raise it up. Please stay close to 15 minutes. I said we would look at breaks in general. Paid or unpaid. Ryan-It seemed like a total change in practice. Becky-Let me know who to follow up with. Scott- We would like collaboration. We are going to these things because we have to.  Even if you may not like it. 



  1. 1.      COVID Training Video: Steve-It says covid doesn’t spread like measles but it is just as contagious. The other slide is picking apart procedural mask and that it doesn’t protect against covid19 but we are required to wear them. May want to look at that. Kurt-There is a question for the testing that asks if you are male or female. Administered by DHS but we are supposed to be inclusive. How should they proceed? Roxanne-We don’t have ability to edit a 3M product. Please respond by biological sex. There may be some gender specific restriction but there is a question about pregnancy. I can provide that feedback to the company. Kurt-These people shouldn’t have to answer one of these. Some are born with both but there isn’t a box. How can they answer that if there isn’t a box to check? Carol-We have given feedback to 3M. If they choose not to take the clearance, we can’t test them. HR is reviewing this. Not sure what the response will be. We forwarded this on. Kurt-Will they be disciplined? Carol-I can’t respond to that right now. There will be a valuation on what the rationale is and the decision will be made. Roxanne-In our policy, the document is protected information. Sometimes birth sex is required in the medical field. I don’t know if it’s a standard. That’s how we reference it in our policy. Roxanne-I have the issues with the slides that I can bring back. I will go through it.
  2. 2.      Aspen and Cedar Staff OT Issues: Ryan-Temporary staff. What is the process when there is coverage? Scott-Staff will be assigned to a unit and utilize float process for coverage. Steve-The process from interest-based problem solving? Scott-Yes. Kurt-A person reassigned to Tamarac would be floated by order of seniority with regular staff? Scott-They are regular unit staff until the units open up. Included in float report like anyone that has been there. This isn’t overtime. Becky-We have heard of issues with staff debating who should cover. We would like the AODS to decide because of all of the shuffling. Kurt-If you are a 1 to 1 with a patient or a lead doing extra, that makes issues too. Becky-We have some floats taking 1 to 1s on some units to help. When I learned that, that made a difference. Eric-What about units that don’t and are short already. Becky-These are people that have a preferred location before the units open. We haven’t forced anyone due to vacancies. I can’t say that’s happening consistently.
  3. 3.      FNH Coverage OT and Inversing: Kurt-We agree on acceptance of overtime but not on inversing. When the need has arose for going to the hospital. That person is not in our work area. Why are just FSSS being inversed? Why not supervisors or others? Inversed to someone not in our work area to a non-work area? Why not other unions? Why always a security counselor? Becky-Fit testing requirements had to be taken care of very quickly so this was an issue when we had to use staff to cover when facing quarantine situation. Carol-I’m not sure there is language about inversing in MAPE. We can’t take a nurse because we are very short. Marvin-Short SCs too. Marvin-I have heard some say I will take an inverse but not the hospital. Ryan-They don’t like only one staff covering the hospital. Jake-A member was told to sit outside of the room because a nurse went in without N95. A nurse asked why they are here without the proper equipment. Kurt-Two people declined inverse to hospital and said they would stay but were passed up because they didn’t take it to the hospital. Becky-It’s a hard call to make when it comes to picking and choosing. Steve-HSSS who worked at nursing that bid to transition. North campus opening and had job fair to hire HSSS. They are in the same classification and some things they can do based on their description. Why can’t they assist at nursing home? Carol-They have been covering the nursing home. We pooled into nursing home. The hospital coverage for the patients. The patients really just need someone to be there. They are not a concern for placing the public at risk. They don’t have to sit for 8 hours. They can sit outside of the room. It’s about not placing anyone at risk. We need CNAs at nursing home for direct care. We need to look at other resources. For hospital coverage, we need to use our resources that make the most sense based on the need and the individual. Marvin-We send an SC to the hospital and then inverse a nurse to a unit as an SC. Carol-That shouldn’t be happening in the main building. Marvin-LPNs but not RNs. Carol-Ok for LPNs. We are always evaluating.
  4. 4.      Toy Drive: Kurt-Reaching out to human services in the area. It was well received and toys for tots is taken. They need pre-teens and teens items. A lot are foster children placed in homes. I would like to come out with a theme. Fishing, snow shoeing, etc. I will reach out to MSOP and CARE. Carol-Please reach out to me and middle management so we can be involved as well. This a joint labor and management thing. Scott-have we consulted with engagement and wellness committee? Kurt-We can look at that to include everyone.
  5. 5.      COVID Exposure at Work Leave and Pay: Ryan-Members with exposure at work are forced to be away, then have a negative test and use sick time. Its exposure at work and contract covers sick time usage. If our staff use it for non-contractual issues, they may be disciplined. This is not a contractual reason to use sick time. Alli-We had discussion about this in msop. AFSCME contract in section 9 says we can use sick leave for these instances. Ryan-Environmental hazard from the workplace and forced to use own accruals. Alli-Yes, then use MSL leave code if they don’t have the time. Kurt-It really isn’t good if someone has 0 sick leave or has 80 hours and you have to use it. Then has a child get sick or something. Who came up with this and why wasn’t this thought of to use other leave like vacation or comp? Alli-This is from OSHA for exposure. Sick leave guidance from MMB. Annie-I understand it is the directive from MMB and we have pushed back with no response from MMB. Carol-That voice from the unions is going to MMB. Marvin-Has there been push back from management to MMB? I hope you would support us in that as our employer. Walmart pays 80 hours if you get it there. Carol-There has been a message from DCT and I can bring that up. Steve-Maybe the newer employee hasn’t had years to accrue sick time. They run down to zero, now we have ETL status which will be a big problem with discipline. Becky-We can have individual conversations too. Before it reaches a discipline, sometimes people have been talked to up to 7 times in some instances. Steve-Yes, but I am talking about staff who are unable to build it up because they are playing catch up. Alli-With those staff, there are other avenues with leave management, medical, FMLA, unpaid personal leave. Work on reaching out and being proactive if this is the case for staff. Contact HR if you have questions. Kurt-Is it the employee’s discretion to use vacation or comp? Alli-It’s based on contract language. If a staff exhausts sick leave, you go into a different pay code status so they don’t have that other leave option.
  6. 6.      N95 Testing: Ryan-What happens if staff doesn’t qualify or refuses to shave? Carol-Steve Guse is going back to the testers for consistency for shaving or attempting versus saying its black and white for fit testing. He told staff that in the moment you need to wear an N95 and have 3 to 5 days of growth you may not have the protection. Steve-Let’s say you are clean shaven and pass the test but usually have facial hair, we are requiring all to be clean shaven? Scott-In order to pass fit testing, you need to be clean shaven. If you find an N95 that fits, and you decide not to shave and have a beard. Then you find yourself in a situation you need an N95. It will not provide protection. I’m not interested in talking to people into shaving but in order to pass, you have to be clean shaven. We have done our part and then if you provide a situation where you aren’t protected. I will have a conversation with you. Carol-We are adding to atlas who is fit tested so the AODS know when there are positives on a unit that needs tested staff. If staff have attempted and can’t, there are other options for masks and pappers you don’t have to be tested for. Refusals are being reviewed with HR and legal. It’s a work requirement right now. Some will fail the medical eval or the process.
  7. 7.      Union Mail Being Opened Prior To Union Receiving: Ryan-It has been going on for 6 months. It gets slid under our door and it has been slit open. Scott-I wish I would have known about this. Ryan-It says AFSCME 404 clearly. Scott-I have my mail opened too because people will send mail to a position only and then find out where it goes. I will follow up and figure this out. We don’t want yours to be opened. We can maybe even get a mailbox.


Add Ons:

  1. 1.      Scheduling Turn-Arounds: Kurt-This has been happening quite a bit lately. I understand if staffing is short. Could you put out an email to ask if staff prefer it? Marvin-A couple of years ago, scheduling did put out emails. Scott-We can look at it. We have gone through a difficult time. There is not a change in our practice but we are trying to put a puzzle together. We can try to accommodate but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean we didn’t try. I will see if there is something we can do.
  2. 2.      New Staff Desiring Overnights/Switch with Another Staff?: Kurt-Intent of the staff is to bid to nights but it so happens another staff got bumped to nights. Can we work to create an exception? Scott-We have done this in the past. We heard from AFSCME, how could you have someone do this when we don’t know if they can respond if they are going to the night shift? We can look at it, and there are ramifications to this. There is value to interacting with patients. On the night shift, you may not have any. We can look at it. Kurt-These are different times. AODS pool helps with that. If they are comfortable. Its not precedent setting. Scott-We will look at it. Becky-Can you send it to Alli? Scott-Is there consensus to consider this? Kurt-I think it’s on a case-by-case basis. Carol-As soon as we do one offs, we have concerns so it is important for you to talk about it. Scott-There will be someone that reaches out and says you didn’t do it for me. If there isn’t consensus among the board, they will find it.
  3. 3.      Overtime Offering: Steve-If a staff is called for overtime, and its not answered but leaves a message… Then later, a more senior staff calls to get overtime. If there are more senior staff that come in, you don’t have to go through the list again. Because you offered that overtime already and left a message, that person calls back, that person gets the overtime. Scheduling has been going forward to the more senior who signed up after. That is not correct. Scott-How long should I wait for the call back before I refresh the list? Ryan-Its arbitrary. It was offered in seniority. Scott-I call the next person but only one shift to fill. I wait 2 minutes and hit refresh; I find 2 more. I should offer to more senior people because the person hasn’t called back. Then they call back and I already gave it out. Ryan-Yes, but if you are called and offered OT. Between the time you call back, a more senior staff signs up, the person that the message was left for gets first crack. If the AODS calls the most senior that recently signed up before the first person returns the call, the more senior person gets it. Scott-Is scheduling aware? Steve-Just got it today.


Meeting Adjourned at 236PM