January 2021 General Membership Meeting

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

January 21, 2021

430 PM Video Conference


Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Annie Jakacki, Tom Keck, Stacey Mueller, Alexander Flores, Steve Wilking, Breanna, Emilio Florez, Hans Paulson, Jake Schoenecker, Kurt Crosby, Lisa, Marlowe Grau, Sammy, Tom Farinacci, Patricia, Mallory Thomas, Aaron Norgren

1.Secretary Report:

Motion to approve November meeting minutes by Adam Castle. 2nd by Stacey Mueller. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:






SAVINGS: $ 125354.97

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept upon audit by Kurt Crosby, 2nd by Steve Wilking. Motion Passes.

3. Correspondence: Staff may join these meetings while at work if you can use your personal cell phone. You can request time off from your employer to join the meeting while at work from a work computer. There is contract language related to this.

MSOP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/january-2021-msop-meeting-minutes

FMHP Meeting Minutes: https://www.union404.com/news/january-2021-fmhp-meeting-minutes


4. New Business:  Vaccines were rolled out yesterday in St. Peter. There were some issues. In Rochester, it hasn’t started yet. An email said Hunt Drug would be distributing. There were issues with the doses not being thawed out. Half of the people that showed up had no record of appointments. Half of those came in without scheduling appointment which resulted in a shortage. This was not only distributed to direct care staff as what was previously stated. It ended up being a free for all because it was “too much to manage.” There were 3000 doses for all of DHS intended to go to front line staff. People going on to the website were supposed to register for both doses. Some of the information was also not being saved as it was supposed to. The site also did not ask if you were front line staff. Reported 2000 additional doses coming but not guaranteed. DCT command post will be dealing with this. Being that it is a contracted company, we don’t have much control over it. 2 more days of vaccines this month. January 26th and February 1st 730am to 5pm. If you schedule for when you are at work, you will be paid for the time you are there over. If you schedule on day off, you won’t get compensated. For night staff who were sent away, Carol said they will “run it up the pole.”

Night staff losing 10-hour shift and day shifts are going 6 to 2 and 2 to 10. They want to roll it out next week. More details are in the FMHP labor/management minutes.

Aspen unit movement details can be seen in the meeting minutes as well. The method management is proposing to use, does follow the contract because they are asking for volunteers.

5. Old Business: Negotiations assembly is this Friday. Probably 9 or 10am start time. Money was approved for gift cards. We are still waiting on Hy-Vee management to get back to us if it is possible due to the high dollar amount.

Any steward training or visits to Rochester? Still not allowing us for site visits. We can look at organizing a Zoom meeting for the locations. There have been a lot of issues in Rochester, so we are looking at connecting. Can do grievance training through zoom as well for all sites.

If anyone hasn’t received a mask, ask Emilio if you see him at the screening area. He will have AFSCME masks with him.

Anything talked about in membership meetings does not get shared with management or anyone outside of AFSCME.

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.


Attended Forensic safety Committee- We brought up the reduction in staffing on weekends and holidays and expounded on the decrease in safety these changes bring. Management does not care and they stated that nurses can help Security Counselors if we need extra staff.


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.


Worked on putting together work actions to increase solidarity and to attempt to compel management to remedy our grievances.


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.


Put together a communications committee which will look at getting our concerns, about safety and the incompetent management of FMHP, to people who can make changes.


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-

VP: Eric Hesse- We have been working diligently to try and take on a lot of issues that are arising recently within the Forensic Mental Health Program. There has been a steady stream of changes being made and not much time to focus on one before another change is announced that negatively effects those that work there. Please have patience in this and do not falter as this is what management is looking for, to further divide us. These things do not get changed back overnight and will take some time to fix, whether it be by putting pressure on them ourselves, or utilizing outside resources. We are doing our best with what we have and we are always welcome to recommendations, advice, and assistance from the membership, as you may think of something that we may not and we are consistently being pulled in various directions. So again, please have patience and stay united. United, we hold the power. United we stand, divided we fall. We may disagree at times on how to accomplish things or how to go about things, which is certainly okay, but at the end of the day, we need to agree to disagree and move forward together.


AFSCME has begun the negotiations process for the next State of Minnesota contract by holding it’s Negotiations Assembly on January 29th. A lot of good proposals were talked about and a lot of good discussion was had. Stay tuned for more information regarding the negotiations process for the 2021-2023 contract. You can also see updates if you log into Memberlink, which is at members.afscmeme.org. There may not be any updates until March when we officially sit down at the table with the State of Minnesota. This contract may not be the best in terms of finances with the projected budget for Minnesota due to COVID, but I believe there is still room for a decent, but fair, contract. I just don’t want anybody to expect anything along the lines of a 5% cost of living adjustment each year of the contract, as that is a pretty lofty expectation.


As always, if you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out to either myself or any other Local officer. If we do not hear from you, we may not know that there is something going on and we need to hear from you.


In solidarity,


Eric Hesse

Vice President – Administrative

AFSCME Local 404


Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Over the past month I have supported members in investigations, meetings and new employee orientation.


Executive Board: Chief Steward Emilio Florez- Hello all,

We had approximately 376 individual grievances filed for the month of December 2020, 1 Class action grievance, and a few investigations for the FMHP program. I attended the forensic safety meeting, our interest-based problem-solving group was cancelled this month, I also attended part of Forensic Labor management meeting. Please see meeting notes. We have 3 class actions needed to present to management, and 13 step3’s prior to this month’s labor meeting.

We have been getting many emails and are having good conversations with staff. We are doing our best to adjust to the many changes happening all around our work areas. We do understand the need and want to help. Our local does not get notified when things happen and many issues with staff go unresolved. Please speak up and reach out- we are listening!

Taking a proactive approach: With new changes coming our way it would not make sense to continue operating the same old way so we must adjust in order to have a better outcome. We are seeing immediate proactive results with grievance filing.

We want to hear your ideas. No idea is a bad idea. I have found that in order to find new ways and ideas to help solve issues it is good to introduce more minds with different backgrounds to help solve problems. A great idea can come from anyone regardless of education and experience. If you feel like you have something that can aid, then bring it forward.

Documentation: it is critical to make sure you document everything that you believe may be or cause and issue at work, on your way to you unit, during ICS etc. Having documentation to fall back on and having more details about situations is a very important part of protecting yourself and “painting the full picture.”

Self-Care: Learning to decompress after a long day, A self-evaluation may help. When working in high intense settings sometimes it is important to remember it is easier to leave work at work. A transition into your home life is something that helps. Utilize your resources whether it is listening to music or spending some lone time to reset your mind. Anything can help.

Another resource we have is HR. They play an important neutral role between Labor and management and they are on campus as well. Many issues we receive may not be contractual, but we work with our partners to help resolve those issues.

Do you Know what’s in your file? Did you know you may request your supervisory and personnel files at your own request. If you are curious or just want to see if you have anything on your file you can request it to HR. I have had many cases where one of our members did not know they had disciplinary actions on file. You can also have them removed by your supervisor.

We are on track for a new record-breaking month for individual grievances filed at FMHP.

That’s all I have to report.



Emilio Florez

Chief Steward

AFSCME Local 404


Our contractual agreement:

“This Agreement is made and entered into this 24th day of September, 2019, by and between the State of Minnesota, hereinafter referred to as the EMPLOYER, and the Minnesota AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO, and its affiliated Local Unions, and unless otherwise noted in this Agreement, "UNION" hereinafter refers to the Minnesota AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO. This Agreement has as its purpose the promotion of harmonious relations between the parties; the establishment of an equitable and peaceful procedure for the resolution of differences; and the establishment of rates of pay, hours of work, and other conditions of employment; and to express the full and complete understanding of the parties pertaining to all terms and conditions of employment. If the parties mutually agree during the term of this Agreement, this Agreement may be supplemented by such additional provisions relating to departmental issues as the parties to this Agreement deem appropriate. Failure of the parties to reach such supplemental agreement shall not be subject to the impasse procedures as set out in the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act. Any agreement which is to be included as a part of this Agreement must so indicate, must be reduced to writing, and must be signed by the parties to this Agreement.”

Executive Board: Chief Steward Alex Flores- I helped answer contract questions from membership.  Sat an investigation.  Attended MSH meet and confer.  In the process of mailing out masks to our Rochester members.  Setting a time this month to meet with members from CBHH Rochester over Zoom.  A few dates were suggested, if membership has any other dates to recommend for this meeting feel free to email me at [email protected].

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- The first month of the year was a busy one. I continue to attend our monthly Labor Management and Union meetings, in addition to any others that come up. Health Services has nearly completed the transition to the Atlas Scheduler, which has been a long tedious journey. There have been numerous changes & upheavals throughout the process, which has been challenging to keep on top of. The department continues to have staffing challenges, which we are staying involved with. Regular meetings will continue to happen as we strive for an equitable & contractually bound work area. I’m also sitting investigations as needed and tending to other concerns as they arise.


All Members are encouraged to stay informed of any COVID leave policy changes, especially as we get into the Winter and influenza season. We continue to stay on top of budget concerns as well as any staffing changes during these uncertain times. All members are encouraged to reach out with any concerns & questions or their own. 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.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nick Weerts

MSOP Chief Steward



Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Sheppard- I’m back! I got nothing at this time.

CS Facility Support: Stacey Mueller- I have been out on Medical Leave.  I did attend the Assembly for the new Contracts.  It’s going to be a rough year with all of the money being spent on COVID related issues, but we hope to be able to negotiate some good stuff!!  Stay tuned!


Chief Steward MSH / CRP / Nursing Nights: Kurt Crosby- This past month has been very busy with work on grievances and step 3’s. Please remember that we need to stand together and defend the contract that we all pay for.


Labor has been working very hard to try and understand how leadership has ripped 16 positions, and the staff that occupy them, from the NOCs crew, while understanding with 100% certainty the effect that it will cause their staff. I say this with certainty because I was part of a staffing subcommittee, who had multiple labor disciplines as well as Scott Melby..working on staffing solutions and the issues that arise with changing schedules and disrupting staff home/work balance. That group was disbanded, and the offer was put forth by labor to try and address the pending budgetary issues, but we were told they were not interested due to the pandemic. Our response was simply, we are her every day, so if they changed their minds, we were available.  


As you all know, we have not received a call.


Give us a chance to utilize all the tools you pay for and the contract assures us, and together we can get thru this stronger and more formidable.


Leadership has given us a preliminary plan for the new unit Aspen as well as their vision for the 10 to 8 hour transition. We are looking at it now, as we were not afforded the chance until Thursday.


Traffic was brought up as a valid concern my AFSCME, leadership feels like the entire campus coming thru the gates and thru admin for screening will not be an issue. Please monitor the results and if issues arise, we will be sure to forward them on.


Annie Jakacki- Membership numbers: 880 total in unit. 832 are members. 94.5 percent membership.


Motion to adjourn by Hesse. 2nd by Stacey. Motion Passes.

Adjourned at 643pm