January 2020 General Membership Minutes

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

January 16, 2020

430PM Redman Club


Adam Castle, Emilio Florez, Kurt Crosby, Ryan Cates, Steve Wilking, Crystal Kreklow, Antonino Guerrero, Stacy Mueller, Alex Flores, Matt Stenger, Eric Manriquez

1. Secretary Report:

Motion to approve December meeting minutes by Adam Castle , 2nd by Wilking. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:




EXPENSES FOR THE MONTH: $9464.15  $2800 for charitable donations, $2700 for steward training.


SAVINGS: $80116.93

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to approve Treasurer Report subject to audit by Emilio. 2nd by Steve.  Motion passes.

3. Correspondence: W-4 has changed. For those who do overtime and change dependents often. Be sure to look into this and contact the IRS with questions.

We need a vote on delegates for the special convention for vice president of council 5 on February 29th at 10am. Vote was held and delegates are; Ryan Cates, Eric Hesse, Steve Wilking, Kurt Crosby, Emilio Flores

FMHP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/january-2020-fmhp-meeting-minutes

MSOP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/january-2020-msop-minutes

CBHH/CARE Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/january-2020-cbhhcare-minutes

Emergency OSHA Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/emergency-osha-meeting


4. New Business: Day on the hill is March 31st. Motion to pay for bus, per diems and for flyers by Kurt, 2nd by Steve. You need to have the day off to attend. Also, you need to ride the bus, if you can’t, please contact Ryan Cates for approval. Motion Passes.

Motion to approve money for the election boxes and lunches for members who sat ballot boxes by Emilio. 2nd by Kurt. Motion Passes

Kurt-We all have lives and can’t make every meeting. When you run for elected office, you should be here. If elected, be here.

SEPC is May 1st 2020. Get your names to Hesse by next month’s general membership meeting.

Members who sat ballot boxes who came in on day off fuel costs by Emilio. 2nd by Kurt. They came in on their day off and should be compensated. Motion Passes.

Kurt motions for treasurer to purchase more checks and ledgers. 2nd by Emilio. Motion Passes.

5. Old Business: Kurt-I would like to understand why we are not recording our meetings. There are a lot of side conversations in the meetings and without context, our members get confused about what they are reading. Cates-we will bring it up again but they typically they don’t agree to recordings.

6. Items from the membership: Stacy would like a section on the 404 website where members can place agenda items for the labor meetings.

Combined charities Silent auction at summit center in March. AFSCME will be putting together a gift basket. Items should be union made in the good ol’ USA! Motion up to 404 dollars by Alex Flores. 2nd by Steve. Motion Passes

7. Good and Welfare:

8. Officer Reports:

President: Ryan Cates- Attended Forensic Meet and Confer-

-Again brought up getting rid of the 15 minute rounds on unit that use them-Management refuse to change the practice because they believe it is beneficial and gets staff on the unit.

-Again asked about the SIP process for nursing- Nothing to tell us.

-Again brought up the dissolution of Aspen unit and asked for updates on when they are going to move the staff to their new unit- Mid February but this is tentative and could (we all know it will) change but TC has a plan.

-W-4 changes- There are new W-4s in self-service.

-We complained about 2 supervisors being used to talk to our members about issues. It is intimidating, embarrassing and unnecessary- Management will look into

-Asked about supervisors talking about employee issue with other employees- Management wants specifics but will look into.

-Brought up sending our members on med trips when management knows it is going to result in forced overtime. This should be most senior volunteer or least senior forced because it is an inverse situation- No good response

- We raised concerns over inconsistency in what is considered the last/first day of the pay period for overnight staff- Management says this issue has been fixed in Atlas.

-Addressed numerous concerns about the operation of security services- Management became defensive and argumentative.


Attended Weekly check-ins.


Attended MSOP Meet and Confer.


Filed multiple grievances and sat investigations.


               Talked with members in multiple work areas and listened to their concerns.


Presented and argued grievances.


Discussed the situation with OSHA and the citation that FMHP received with members and officers in Local 404. Decided upon a strategy to force management to make changes.


Became even more frustrated with management.


Communicated information to E-Board members about issues facing the Local.


Chaired the Executive Board Meeting


Chaired the General Membership Meeting.


Presented at New Employee Orientation.


Attended the AFSCME Local 404 Holiday Party.


Was re-elected President of Local 404.


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- In my last report, I wanted to thank the membership for allowing me to serve on the E-board in various capacities throughout my 13 years. I decided not to run for reelection for personal reasons but hope to come back to it in the next election cycle if the membership allows me to.  I’m confident with the new leadership to keep up the fight for our membership. I will help the E-board during the transition period and to help answer any questions if they need it. I will be stepping back from grievances and investigations for a little while but plan on returning to steward duties in the near future. I also wanted to thank the membership for turning out and letting their voices heard on who they want to lead them in the next two years, without a dedicated membership a lot of our accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible.


VP: Eric Hesse- I would like to take a moment to talk about the importance of maintaining membership in the Union as I’ve heard some talk from some in the past and present on how they want to drop their membership due to not agreeing with a certain decision that was made by the Union, thinking that the Union did something when it was actually management that made the decision, or just wanting to save themselves some money.


While you may not agree 100% of the time with everything the Union does, which I don’t necessarily agree 100% of the time either, it is tough to please everyone, especially when we don’t hear from you, the membership. We try and make the most informed decision we can and try to do the best by the membership. We do try to get out and talk with people as much as we can, but sometimes we get busy with our Union work, our actual work with the State, and our own personal lives. I encourage everyone to come to our membership meetings or contact us via e-mail or phone call if you have questions or concerns or some different ideas regarding something so we can bring those ideas forward or to answer any questions or concerns to the best of our ability. We need to hear from you so we can make the best decision possible. We may not be perfect all the time or anywhere close to all the time, but I’m glad we still have a Union here since if we didn’t, we would not be getting paid as much as we do, our benefits would not be as rich as they are, and management would be trampling over our rights more than they already are.


By dropping your membership, you may think you are saving yourself money now, but you are costing yourself and everyone else money in the long run. The Union is about power in numbers and when we lose membership,that effects our strength at the bargaining table. The State knows who’s a member and who’s not, so if we go into contract negotiations with a lower membership, we don’t have the strength in numbers to properly fight back lower cost of living increases and increases in our benefits, such as our health insurance. Our ultimate stop gap to prevent these things from happening is a strike, and if the State looks at our membership numbers and see that we probably don’t have enough membership to pull off a successful strike, they will low ball us with their offer on wages and will want us to pay an exorbitant amount in increases for our premiums and out of pocket expenses for our health care. So like I said, you may think you’re saving yourself money now, but you are costing yourself and others much more in the long run.


For the past month I have sat several grievances and investigations. I also served as the Election Committee Chair for Local 404 and want to thank everyone that ran for office and to all of those that took the time to vote. We had an outstanding turnout for the election. I also want to thank everyone that took time out of their day to sit a ballot box. Your effort in this was greatly appreciated.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me or any other officer of Local 404.


In solidarity,

Eric Hesse


Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Supporting members with investigations and attending meetings.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Emilio Florez- This last month was super busy. I have filed a few grievances and investigations, still working on some more. I received notification that we are in settling or winning all of my Arbitration cases from last term and many more from other officers as well. We sent a formal request to OSHA and requested “Party Status” for AFSCME to be a part of the process. We are scheduled to meet with Management and OSHA later on this month. Management has requested a pre meet prior to the OSHA conference we are looking at dates that may work.


We are scheduled to go to Rochester this month for meet and confer and we are also setting up a day to go CARE. We will be introducing new officers and create a plan moving forward for the next term. Please feel free to reach out to any of us with questions or concerns.

Executive Board: Chief Steward Steve Wilking- Aside from the election.  I’ve attending 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 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.

            On 1.28.20 we have an informal meeting with MNOSHA, management with Ryan, Emilio, myself and our field rep attending that meeting.  We will keep you posted on that. 

            With a different note…. My future reports will change slightly.  I am working with e-board member Jamie Sheppard to compile more data.  It is my intention to let the members know how many grievances we file monthly and who files them.  I unfortunately can’t tell you who they are but just how many and what topics.  We need to make sure we maintain privacy for all individuals who file grievances.  Also, I will attempt to add a section of the contract to help education the members.  I will start with article 1 and move my way through the contract.  Lastly, I will do my best to add a Communication section.  This will include topics that members have reached out to me.  I can inform them of the contractual section of why or why it isn’t a violation.  Also, this section is to help dispel or confirm rumors you may have heard.  So if anyone wants to reach out to me…. Please feel free.   


            It has been brought to my attention of a rumor control.  I reached out to Carol to confirm or deny the rumor.  The rumor was that supervisors are going to be reviewing camera footage to ensure that staff are doing their job properly and their rounds on time.  (In FMHP program)  The response to us was….. Wellness checks and staff presence is critically important for staff and patient safety.  We have an obligation to ensure these are happening. And we are talking about how to get staff to understand that and how we as management ensure this vital process occurs.  If you have suggestions for us, let me know.  Carol

            In conclusion, please let us know if you have any suggestions as to how to improve this.  Also, please complete your job duties on time and to the best of your ability. 


In Solidarity,

Steve Wilking 

Vice President - Steward Coordinator

AFSCME Local 404


Executive Board: Chief Steward Molly Kennedy-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard- Answering a lot of questions about temporary reassignments and trying to put a stop to the gossip and rumors. Otherwise nothing new to report at this time.

In Solidarity,

Jamie Sheppard, E-board

CS Facility Support: Stacey Mueller- Greetings from the NOC shift.  We have had no investigations, nor grievances this month!!  Hurray for NOC shift.

 I was at the WOW Zone Holiday Celebration. It was nice to see familiar faces and meet new people. I hope all enjoyed it.  The food was amazing!! 

We are starting out the year with a few new people and a lot of great ideas.  I am working on setting up a safe place to bring up ideas, problems you maybe are

having on your Unit, safety items, etc.  I was thinking of a closed Facebook page, or possibly on the Local 404 page.

  If you think of a great place like Facebook or a web page that everyone can get to, please forward me your ideas!!!  I want it to be easy, user friendly and accessible to every member.

This would be a place where you can leave comments about issues you would like taken to management at Meet and Confer.

Each month the E-board will meet and discuss which topics that need to be addressed to management.  I really want to hear what our members have to say!!!  I will let members know

Very soon where to find this!!  Thank you to everyone who came out and voted!! 


Chief Steward MSH / CRP / Nursing Nights: Kurt Crosby- i have been out with a broken wrist..huge thanks to the Tamarack crew and the responders on that incident..it could have been much worse...i am out until at least Feb 12th...and please if anyone needs help contact an elected officer..thank you to all that voted, and those who ran for a spot..we will be continuing to work on communication and transparency for everyone...any question please dont hesitate to reach out. Thanks

Council 5 Rep: Crystal Kreklow- Local 404 96.1%, 35 non members

Dates to Note! 

SEPC- May 1, 2020

DOTH- Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Behavioral Health Summit- 

Saturday, Jan 18, 2020, 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Council 5 building, St Paul Mn 

Regional Meeting-

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Jake’s Stadium Pizza

330 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001

Julie Bleyhl appointed to Executive Director at the last C5 Executive Board meeting.



President: Ryan Cates

Vice President Steward Coordinator: Steve Wilking

Secretary: Adam Castle

Chief Stewards: Kurt Crosby, Alex Flores, Emilio Florez, Marvin Sullivan, Nick Weerts

Executive Board: Stacy Mueller, Jake Schoenecker, Jamie Sheppard



Motion to Adjourn by Hesse, 2nd by Guerrero. Motion Passes

Meeting adjourned at 730pm