November 2021 General Membership Meeting

General Membership Meeting-AFSCME 404

November 18, 2021

1030 PM Zoom


Adam Castle, Ryan Cates, Eric Hesse, Kurt Crosby, Alex Flores, Steve Wilking, Annie Jakacki, Marvin Sullivan, Eric Manriquez, Nick Weerts, Hans Paulson, Ben, Amy Weber, Thea Lillo, Sherry, Nik Proehl, Jenny, Tanner, Lauren, Toby, Nicole, Shannon Timm, Dan J, Antonino Guerrero, Chris Splett, Logan, Jessica Butler, Jake Schoeneker, Cory,

Eric makes motion to adopt rules for the meeting. Rules to raise hand, called by chair, limited to 2 minutes each, given warning with 30 seconds left, Chair will call on all members before calling on a same member on same motion. 2nd by Adam. Motion Passes.

1.Secretary Report:

Motion to approve October meeting minutes by Adam Castle. 2nd by Kurt. Motion passes.

2. Treasurer-Antonino Guerrero:






SAVINGS: $ 125,749.65

SUBMITTED BY: Antonino Guerrero

Motion to accept upon audit by Eric. 2nd by Jake. Motion Passes

3. Correspondence: FMHP Meeting Minutes:


MSOP Meeting Minutes:

4. New Business:  Nominations for officers will be made at December membership meeting on December 16th. 15 positions and 3 trustee positions up for election. If someone is nominated, they should attend to accept or decline. If they are not there to turn down the nomination, they will accept the position unless they inform the union otherwise. Ben-is there an open spot on the eboard? Ryan-there are two. The eboard discussed it and will not appoint for a month. They will be open for the election. Nominate yourself or someone else can nominate at the December meeting.

Election will be held on January 20th. Ballot boxes will be available to vote. We will let you know of the locations. Vote while at work or in the community. Every dues paying member gets a vote.


5. Old Business: Last month there were votes for sweatshirts. We will discuss again at the December meeting further due to unhappy members. Attend the meeting to get your voice heard. If you would like a t-shirt, talk to a steward and they can get you one. They are in the union office.

6. Items from the membership: Cory-Admin is in talks of adding different shifts. Are we looking at going back to the old shifts? They are using money as the reason. Kurt-It was brought up at meet and confer today. It’s in the notes. We brought up 10 hour shifts. They said it saved 1.6 million to do away with those shifts. I brought up how they are adding clinical and there are other options for shifts. Becky didn’t say they are off the table but basically did due to the cost. The eboard has talked about it and we want to include nocs staff in the conversations going forward. It needs to be known by everyone about what it would mean for staff to feel respected.

Sherry-Please don’t leave the LPNs out of the 10 hour shift debate

Ben-Was the point made that direct care appreciates money not being more important than safety? Kurt-Yes, They are defensive but they have an agenda and they get to make the decision. Becky heard us but those things have to be communicated. Shifts are important to us. The more pressure we can place on them as a union, the more power we have. Alex-It was also pressed that numbers are going up and admin hasn’t done enough. Steve-Scheduling pattern that came out, management came to us with 7 to 3 and 12 to 8. Some of it came from OSHA citations. There was supposed to be an overlap and they came to us with some of those options. They are driving the scheduling choices and trying to make operation decisions. We have more meetings scheduled. Kurt-Management reserves the right to change schedules with a 28 day notice. The fact they are talking about it with us says something. They can do it either way. Cory-We understand that but if feels like management knows they messed up.

Ben-Steve brought up the link that OSHA won’t enforce the vaccine mandate. What about the mandate for Medicaid and Medicare. Does that apply? How is the state going to get around the mandate not being enforced and using loopholes to force us? Ryan-We brought up mandates and Scott said they don’t support mandates. Annie-I am sitting in with meetings dealing with this. As of now the presidential mandate doesn’t effect st peter. Only the MSATS umbrella. Has nothing to do with Medicare or Medicaid. That is different BMS funding. Anoka will fall under that as well as CBHH. 8 or 9 facilities and vets homes. Those are the only programs required via a presidential order. This is separate from OSHA. The 100 staff for private is an OSHA things. There is no mandate coming right now. DHS doesn’t want this mandate outside of what they have to do. They don’t want to enforce it. We have a lot of members on both sides. DHS is trying to push it out as far as possible. Shannon-How does care fall into that? Annie-We were told from DHS that it’s Anoka and cbhh. We have been told it is not CARE. Only under MSATS umbrella. Depends on type of funding the program is getting. Kurt-Postal workers and teachers were exempt for the mandate. What is being at the international level to combat the mandates? Other union jobs are being affected even though it doesn’t affect us right now. Annie-when it comes to this. AFSCME doesn’t push for mandates at all. We have no say if it is the president. We support locals in private sector who have mandates. We don’t have any jurisdiction until it comes in to affect someone’s job. We are pushing they need to have a testing option if they force vaccines. We have been pushing back with our locals to have a testing option. We can request it with Anoka but it is a federal order, we can’t do anything with those. Privately, we push back to ensure it’s not a vaccine only. Ben-Since OSHA isn’t enforcing, we have the right to not go to work if we believe it’s not safe. I assume this doesn’t apply to hostile work environment issues? Annie-The language you are talking about is OSHA guideline and right to employees. They can refuse if it’s an unsafe environment. You can’t just say I’m not working, you have to tell them due to the safety issue I can’t work here but I am willing to work somewhere else. If they don’t, they need to pay you. If there is an issue with it, we take it up with management and OSHA. Go to and be aware of what it says if you refuse to work. Hans-Since safety is a mandatory bargaining issue, this isn’t making it more safe. Would we bargain on this? Annie-It’s a federal mandate and we can’t bargain over that. For employers placing mandates, if it isn’t being pushed by the government, then we are pushing for testing. Nick-This doesn’t apply to our local, but can we put in place information for those who are concerned and have the information ready and available as a resource? Annie-There might be some information on our website or memberlink. If it isn’t, I can check to get it on there. Nick-If the info is there, it’s there for the members. Let’s do it and move on. Annie-There has been a lot of information from council 5. When we get info, we try to get it available. Kurt-Local 404 can’t change the federal level. But we have international AFSCME, what are they doing? We have entity In DC that is AFSCME. They have the resources and we don’t. Annie-I understand they are doing what council 5 is doing. There are lobbyists all over the country. They bring forward our concerns. AFSCME is very diverse on both sides. There needs to be a testing option if there is a mandate. It supports both sides. Kurt-Do you know if we can look into notes about what is being done up there? Annie-Look at They have information on there, along with Facebook afscme. Shannon-Where are we at with shaving of beards with N95? Ryan-As of now, they still don’t know what they will do. There are no consequences right now. Annie-Why isn’t everyone tested then? We have been requesting that for a year now. We have pushed back on point prevalence testing as well. That is coming from DHS IT group and are refusing. We have talked to the commissioner and they are not doing that. We will continue to push. Alex-I brought it up to Scott and he didn’t seem to agree the testing is a major concern. He doesn’t seem to support testing of all staff. Annie-The upper levels are sick of hearing it as well. We have not had anyone disciplined for not being vaccinated. We have had unpaid leaves for not following testing policy mandate or vaccine. DHS wide is 10 people disciplined. Marvin-I just scrolled through the websites and don’t see anything from Washington. Annie-look at press releases and under lobby or legislative. Marvin-I did and nothing pops up. Annie-I can reach out to our communication and legislative directors for additional information. Eric-If people want to find out what the international is doing, there is a link to contact them. There are also meeting minutes you can request.

OSHA was on site today due to covid issues. There were 5 complaints on there. They will be in the membership link.

Steve-I found on under covid link for resources. Marvin-It doesn’t answer anything. Kurt-I know 5 can’t change anything, we shouldn’t have to look this hard from international. Who can we reach out to find more information? Contacts. Annie-I will reach out to our communications director.

7. Good and Welfare: Proposal is for the local to gift members who lose child or spouse get 250 form local. Member who dies gets 404 dollars. Retirees get 100 for 10-19 years. 150 for 20 – 29. 200 for 30 and above. Motion to approve by Hesse, 2nd by Marvin. Cory would like for something to be given for losing parents. Concerns are difficulties for tracking parents. It was voted down. Cory-I feel the union should be in support if someone brings it to the union if it is available. Cory would like to make a friendly amendment. Eric accepts. Cory proposes 50 dollars for parent death. Ben-I would like a flat rate for all members. Eric accepts the benefit if passes probation but not the flat rate. Marvin-What is a flat rate for and what is it? Ben-If the top is 250, we can have 250 for everyone. Making point that any life lost is the same. Ryan-404 for members. 250 for spouse or child. Retirement amounts are the different amounts. Hans-If you are paying dues, you are part of the union so there shouldn’t be a cutoff for probation. Kurt-The reason for 404 for members is symbolic due to the local 404. Everyone that pay dues are a member, however we have plenty of people who quit or get fired. The local only gets 10 dollars for every member. Motion is to add 50 for parent and people don’t have to be off probation to receive benefit. Motion passes unanimously.

Constitutional changes in March were approved. Main change is increase from 5 to 7 chief steward. The new constitution will be placed on the 404 website soon. Kurt-With the addition of the chief stewards, I recommend one is a communications steward. Eric-Per constitution, all chief stewards are the same, so the coordinator would need to assign that. Kurt-We are adding two positions so the main concern is communications so one should be designated by the eboard.

Ben-People have been paying dues and decide not to pay dues and are getting kicked out of the 404 page. Another complaint about the bidding and no initial days off anymore. Is that something that can be put back in or wait for next contract? Ryan-That bid language was taken out because management weren’t offering the weekends out to more senior staff. So days off go by seniority strictly now. For non-members, we offer fair representation. The social meeting pages are something we do on the side. Ben-If afscme is legally required to represent them regardless, we should let them stay on. Annie-Even if not a member we have to represent them for grievance and contract representation. That stays. To be a member, gives you a voice. A lot of stuff on those sites are discussions on union business. If you don’t pay dues, you don’t have that voice. We have to represent all things contract related but input on union affairs, they don’t have the right. Just because they are a part of the bargaining unit, if they don’t pay dues, they don’t have input on anything local related and no say in negotiations. Nick-Motion to get rid of afscme 404 Facebook pages altogether. It’s a cancer. Motion to get rid of it. Steve 2nds. Steve-Before Facebook, we had a call list and was moved to inverse page. Annie did a great job explaining the Facebook page. It isn’t the right or entity. It was meant to be professional and has changed. If people aren’t respectful, this is why it will get removed. If you can’t be respectful, the motion is to remove it. Hans-Was it started by the union? Ryan-It was a union member who started it. Eric-While I understand the point behind it, I am opposed. We have discussion about lack of communication and it is a good resource. Kurt-The inverse page is not for opinions. Joe-I made a comment that was deleted because you didn’t know who I was. It was deleted and makes me question things. Ryan-There are many people that can add on there. I don’t know the settings. When you made your comment, someone reported you and I looked into it and added you back. Shawn-I don’t feel like the page is worth it if we can’t have an opinion. Ryan-When we found out who you were, you were added. This was for all afscme social pages. Lauren-Get rid of the 404 page but keep inverse page. Joe-why were the comments turned off? Ryan-There were personal insults and comments because they weren’t helpful. They were attacking people. Nick-The motion is to get rid of 404 chat page and keep the inverse page. Steve-this is a good tool to give the new staff. Using the inverse page is a great thing. If we abuse it, it won’t be there. Alex-call to question.

Joe-I would like to ask about Ben Zarns comments. If they are dues paying members, why are their comments being deleted? I would like to hear their opinion. Ryan-I deleted the comments that were rude and disruptive. It wasn’t to alienate anyone. Steve-I respectfully disagree. It is necessary. The 404 member chat was available for members to voice concerns. A media is great from the eboard to the membership and not have commentary. You can call us with your opinions. Annie-Comment of what Joe was saying. I want to remind everyone it is a local website and represents people from all backgrounds and we don’t support members attacking members. It is represented by the local and that needs to be stopped. Nicole-For the inverse page, look at the members. There are some MNA members that shouldn’t be on there. Ryan-They were added when they were going to overtime, we will go through it again and get them out of there. Lauren-Suggest we go through all pages. Eric M-I went through them a week ago and I did delete those who are not employed or moved locations. I believe I got most of them. Let me know if you see anyone else. Nick-Amendment motion to add social media promoter to executive board. Annie-we can’t have stuff like that added to the board because it would have to be constitutional amendment. The eboard positions are all the same, so to put a task to the name would be through the constitution amendment process. If you have suggestion, get that to the executive board to put it together. Motion Passes.

Hans-Make a motion to create a fund to be allocated an amount out of every months dues to it and place in an investment account. Steve-I make a motion to decline the motion open for discussion. Eric-Has there been a 2nd to the motion. Shelly 2nds the motion. Eric-I make a motion to refer to committee to talk about this more. 2nd by Alex. Discussion by Steve-Earmarking funds to a specific task is a bad idea because it limits our money. Keeping it into a saving account allows us to have free flow of money at any time. If we allocate, it’s for that only. Changes have happened with arbitrations lately but I imagine if we go back to putting arbitrations to locals. There is a chance we may have to split it with council 5 and we will need the money. If arbitration costs 20k, we have to put 10k in. We file 100 cases, we deplete our funds quickly. Eric-This is hypothetical right now. Arbitration is going to the local but the exec board has put something through that if they don’t think it has merit, it would all go to the local. It’s not in place right now but it is out there. Ryan-The committee would be me, if interested contact me. Hans-When I say contingency fund, you are telling your members it has to be a long term thing. Most likely we won’t use it but it does give you strength in bargaining when you need to. We need to look into attorneys as well for workers comp or fighting covid. Steve-People need to look at Toby’s comment, if you make a fund at 25k and 900 members, you get peanuts. You want to keep fluidity with your money. Lauren-A fund is a good idea. Annie-We have locals with a fund but they have a lot more money than you guys do. The problem with letting it grow at different rates, it affects the dues and has to be done constitutionally. Eric-Our treasury is only 280k. The Hans motion is to set 25k among 900 is 27 dollars per person. If we are off for a months and you want to set aside enough money, it would be 900k. The fund isn’t the answer. It starts with the person to save their own money as well. It won’t pay your bills. Ryan-The motion is to send this to a committee and to discuss next month. Hans-None of the funds are huge but they never start big. It could be anything. It could be a long term piece, maybe 30 years. Looking at sweatshirts, I’m not sure people are excited about a sweatshirt. What could membership get behind? It was a good faith motion and I didn’t appreciate a comment by an officer. Motion Passes.

Ben-Did you guys asks about taking HSS shifts for overtime? Nurses and LPNs can take SC shifts, can we go to a grove a shift if there is inversing. Ryan-We can bring it up.

Nicole-Any discussion on top out higher LPN? Is there anything LPNs can do to top out higher? We need degrees and other requirements. Leads need 2 years’ experience and GED. Annie-It falls under wage inequity and that goes to negotiations and submit wage inequity proposal. Ryan-Eric has had experience with wage inequities.

Ben-Have you talked about weekend bonus for SCs? Ryan-Yes it was and they are telling us they need to talk to other people and it’s not their decision. We will keep pushing on it.

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.

 Chaired the Executive Board Meeting.

 Chaired the General Membership Meeting. It was virtual on Zoom.

Sat in meetings with management to persuade them that there is not enough vacation offered and something has to change. More meetings are scheduled and there will be changes to the current vacation situation.

Nominations for Union officers are in December and elections are on January 20th.  I encourage anybody who is interested, to run for one of the Union officer positions. I ask that all members vote on January 20th and have a voice in the leadership of AFSCME 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: Steve Wilking-

VP: Eric Hesse-

Executive Board: Jake Schoenecker- Over the past month I have been attending union meetings and sitting in investigations with members.

Executive Board: Judith Ehrman- The investigation was completed. There was not a waiver signed for grieving the Investigation. The Staff resigned and declined to file a grievance or a waiver.

Concerns expressed by members

  1. Being scheduled 7 days in a row without overtime.
    1. Question: Can a person voluntarily pick up shifts that then put them 7 days in a row without overtime? The changes were short notice. One was 5 days and the other 1 day. It is to cover needs on the night shift that is short staffed.
  2. The overtime was not called out and offered by seniority.
  3. The use of the HUC has created an issue with floor coverage. Forcing inversing and overtime.
    1. The AFSCME staff have requested to have the HUC position stopped and the working out of class end, to cover the needs on the floor.
  4. Request for agenda on the next Meet and Confer is to address the language change in the contract that allows a request for vacation more than six months out. There is also a need to explain that the vacation requests need to be posted for staff to see. To be fair and the vacation be granted by seniority. The requests are not showing up in Atlas until they are approved.  I have spoken to Heather on more than one occasion about this and it has not been addressed.
  5. Open shifts for overtime are not being posted at the time of the schedule being posted.
  6. Which pay period is the raise going into effect?
  7. There has not been HST’s or LPN’s interviewed yet. They are now interviewing for MHPAs


Executive Board: Chief Steward Alex Flores-

Executive Board: Chief Steward Nick Weerts- I kept busy the last month in MSOP! I attended the monthly Labor Management meeting, as well as our monthly e-board & general membership meetings. As with most months, I assisted with New Employee Orientation where we had some new employees as well as inter-departmental transfers. Be welcoming to any new folks as they filter through your work areas!


It was a rather quiet month for me with investigations & grievances. I did file and present a 3rd Step Grievance related to a Voluntary Resignation, as well as file a couple of OT contract violation grievances which have yet to be resolved. I continue to field many questions & concerns from the Membership, and assist as I’m able.


I continue to follow the transition of MSOP Health Services as it evolves into 2 separate sites. Vacant positions continue to be filled as the department gets toward a full staffing compliment. They are finally finding some stability after a long time in flux.


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 for all meeting minutes.


Respectfully Submitted,

Nick Weerts

MSOP Chief Steward


Security Counselor | MSOP Community Prep Services

AFSCME MSOP Chief Steward


Executive Board: Chief Steward Marvin Sullivan-

Executive Board: Jamie Schwartz- Please send me your grievances and responses if you haven’t done so already! I don’t care how old they are. There are several stewards that I never or rarely hear from and I know are filing grievances. We need to do better than this! I really need Chief Stewards to help with this process to ensure I’m getting what I need. I would like to put some stats together for the year, but it’s hard when I don’t receive responses.

I’m sorry but I do not agree that parents should be included for death of a family member for several reasons. You anticipate losing your parents at some point, but you do not expect to become a widow before 55 or to ever have to bury your child. Are step-parents, foster parents, grandparents who raised them included? I don’t like it, its messy and too hard to track. Since I was not present at the November meeting and this was not my original proposal, I think this needs to be discussed again at the December meeting and have a revote, if that is even possible.


Also, when it comes to spending over x amount of dollars (specific amount needs to be discussed) on something that is not urgent, for example sweatshirts, the topic should be proposed and discussed at the meeting, notes on discussion in the minutes, and voted on the following month to allow members to know what is up for vote, so they can have input. I am 100% against spending $30,000 on sweatshirts, I voted no, but it’s not in the minutes and I want members to know that I am against this.


I have been answering a lot of questions about holidays, overtime, new lead process, and not having nursing at CPS after 5pm and leaving it up to the A-team to make the call.  More to come on that. Seems like there has been a lot of investigations lately and management choosing the steward for our members. You have the right to choose your own steward!



In Solidarity,


Jamie Schwartz-E-Board


Executive Board: Eric Manriquez-

Attended Forensic Meet & Confer, E-Board meeting and the General membership meeting.


One grievance filed regarding OT distribution.


Spoke/met with several GMW’s regarding overtime sign-up/distribution outside of their work area, with a follow-up that they are now able to pick up overtime in work areas outside of their own.



Chief Steward Kurt Crosby- Attended Meet and confer, as well as Gen Membership. Also sat several investigations. Thank all the members who attended the meeting. The sweatshirts will be decided next meeting, and the officer nominations are next month as well. Please be sure to come and see who is running, or to throw your own hat in the mix!!


Please remember to try and help with the gift drive, a small gift means a lot to any kid that doesn’t have any!!!


Also, at Gen Membership, the members voted in new union death benefit donations, please be sure that you reach out to any officer for more information. The union officers cannot possibly track members family losses, but we would like to know if you suffer a loss so the union can get you the small benefit that was voted in.


Holiday party idea, members have suggested that we rent out the event center in St Peter(the old Armory) and possibly have a Vegas themed Christmas party. Let me know your thoughts please, ideas, or any other suggestions. We want to get something together before the next meeting so we can have a vote on it. Thanks!!


There have been several suggestions on the mandated vaccine mandate, and the stance that the union has is that while we feel it is everyone’s right to vaccinate, and we would hope everyone takes all precautions to keep co workers safe, we are not supporting a mandate of any kind.


Speak up and be heard!!




Annie Jakacki-

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

Meeting Adjourned at 1233PM