12/10/15 MSOP Meeting Minutes

Present: Mike Homer, Amanda Mathiowetz, Matt Stenger, Eric Hesse, Tim Headlee, Jason Anderson, Mark Kuhlman, Jen Montgomery, Justin Wright, Shelby Richardson, Liz Barbo, Bonnie Wold, Chris St. Germaine, Cindy Jungers, Melissa Gresczyk, Kevin Moser, Terry Kneisel, Cory Vargason, Ann Linkert


1. Post order about transporting clients with oxygen – ST. PETER    a. This was talked about last month in St. Peter. AFSCME asked if there will be a post order for this. Pete Sexe and Tim Lokensgard are working on updating that. The policy will go in the Transport Post Order.

2.   Running all AFSCME departments short – ST. PETER    a. There has been 1 Security Counselor to a unit for up to 4 hours. Last week a unit ran short for 6 hours. AFSCME said that this is happening more frequent and becoming normal. Two meetings ago the kitchen post going away was discussed. Management stated “absolutely not” when AFSCME asked if this would affect staffing numbers. That is not the case. AFSCME said that this is dangerous. Troy Sherwood said that in the last couple of months he has not seen a single incident report on being short staffed. Staffing numbers are reviewed with the Admin on Call prior to the shift and it seems that what is needed is always there. AFSCME said that they have discussed this problem for the past few months with no solution. Melissa Gresczyk said that part of the issue that she is hearing from administration is that they aren’t seeing the shortage and not seeing it with the schedule. Melissa said that yes, the way we are being staffed will be the norm short of understanding specific concerns. Management needs specific concerns and times and need reports on this. Management would like Security Counselors to work with them when it is happening. Tim Headlee said that universally through forensics and MSOP the general consensus is that 1 staff is not safe. He said that he would rather address it that way instead of separate incidents and that we should not wait for something to happen to make a common sense decision. Matt Stenger said that the hole is constantly coming from the kitchen. Liz Barbo said that they look at staffing patters for where the clients are at. Inside or outside the fence, this would not characterize as unsafe for the tone. Liz said that outside the perimeter 1 staff is used frequently.    b. AFSCME said that a lot of members are going to them about this and feel it is dangerous. Also, without a 2nd staff present clients can make false accusations. This takes away from staff having a unit presence.     c. Eric Hesse presented a petition that was signed by numerous members asking for safe staffing. Eric stated that this is affecting staff safety and the clients because staff are now stuck in the unit station when they could be out interacting. It was said at a Lead Meeting that the Kitchen Post was eliminated to create an AGS position. This is affecting staff morale. It sends the message that we would rather risk your safety to hire more management. Eric asked management to reconsider this. Also, Eric stated that he received word from an OD that they were given the directive to not give short notice vacation until 8pm due to this petition. This is retaliatory. Bonnie Wold said that they did not know much about the petition and that nothing like that was done; it was a rumor. Bonnie said that she would like to schedule a time to get together with Matt Stenger and Eric Hesse to discuss this going forward.     d. Cindy Jungers will have a conversation about this with Matt Stenger and management to get a better idea of what management’s position is around staffing.

3. Citing contract language for grievances – ST. PETER    a. We have a contract that is in play but a hard copy will not be published for some time. The contract is on the MMB site. AFSCME stated that some grievances may not contain correct contract language. Human Resources said that they can be flexible with this.

4.   Outside calls for clients when it is time sensitive information – ST. PETER    a. Molly Kennedy asked how Control Center should handle calls for clients because we cannot confirm or deny that they are at the facility. We would like a directive on how to handle time sensitive issues, i.e. death in the family. Liz Barbo replied that the staff answering should let the caller know that they will let the supervisor know. The call should not be transferred. The staff will then let the SOD know the information and complete and incident report. Shelby Richardson asked the management team to revise the policy for this.

5.   Modules – ST. PETER    a. Last month this was talked about at the meeting and AFSCME stated they were told employees would not need to perform the module. Employees are now being required to perform the module and have it signed by a job coach. AFSCME stated that this has turned into a fiasco and is limiting staffing. This month’s module is CPS count. It is very difficult to get staff over there. AFSCME said that the way they understood it was that the staff would need to visualize how the module should look and that there is no thesible way to get everyone to CPS. Eric Hesse asked what if an employee’s peer does not feel comfortable signing off on the module. Troy Sherwood said that he met with John Haller and Marie Hartman about this. We cannot have anyone sign on a refresher that isn’t a job coach. Troy advised that employees work with the OD to get them over to CPS and to do so on heavily staffed days.    b. AFSCME received reports that the 1st watch OD’s informed staff that there would be no short notice vacation the month of December due to the modules. AFSCME said that the whole watch should not be held hostage. If an employee has his/her modules completed, they should be eligible for SNV.     c. At the previous month’s meeting management stated that this would not be a performance issue. AFSCME expressed concern that it will be. Troy Sherwood said that that is not the case and was not the direction given. This is simply a refresher of modules deemed crucial. Troy said that this is nothing that management will use as a disciplinary thing. Troy Sherwood and Eric Hesse will work on the procedure to complete the modules and talk to Marie to clear up confusion.

6.   Dialysis – ST. PETER    a. AFSCME received notification that instead of staffing two MSOP employees for dialysis that there would be possibly 1 MSOP staff and 1 MSH. This is because there is also an MSH patient who goes to dialysis as frequent. This means that we would cover each other’s breaks. AFSCME stated that there is a problem with this because we have very different clientele and different policies and procedures. AFSCME also pointed out that we are not allowed to cross cover programs. Molly Kennedy asked if there was any truth to this. Bonnie Wold said that there is some truth to it and that they are exploring some options of what that might look like. Management on both ends are looking at licensing and training. Nothing has been decided. Melissa Gresczyk said that it would require some work with labor because there is a distinct difference. Management said that they are just exploring resources and options would go to AFSCME before moving forward. AFSCME asked if it would be beneficial to have AFSCME present before a decision is made because it is generally more effective working together in the beginning. Bonnie stated that she has had 1 meeting between MSH and MSOP to see if it is possible because of licensing. They are waiting to get that information back before it can even be discussed further.

7.   Expectant Mother Parking – ST. PETER    a. Moose Lake currently has this and Molly Kennedy has had members in St. Peter inquire about having one. This was staff initiated in Moose Lake by employees that have restrictions but not to the point of a handicap permit and is for winter months only. Conversations had been ongoing for a few years about this in ML. Staff there are required to walk a good distance and it is an uphill grade. Management were getting medical documentation on this restricting staff to walk it.

8.   Update on 5/2 rotation – MOOSE LAKE   a. This was brought up a few months ago. They are continuing to work on this.

9.   Removal of corrective conversations received prior to mail distribution process   a. Moose Lake AFSCME asked that Human Resources look back at a years’ worth of employees files and remove any sort of coaching conversations on mail distribution. There are no guidelines to follow when it comes to mail. AFSCME said that it started with the OD’s talking verbally then staff found out this got put in their file. AFSCME stated that there is too much room for error and that the Post Office is not held accountable when mail is delivered to the wrong person. Melissa Gresczyk said that she understands the question and that the facility did get fined. Clients have gotten money for the wrong mail being delivered. She stated that they too are held accountable across the system. Management said that they think they have corrected the process. AFSCME stated that if staff hand the mail out to the client it is ensured it is correct at hand out.    b. Cindy Jungers said that there is no contractual language. At the one year mark, with the staff’s request, a supervisor can look at the corrective conversation and if they feel the staff has improved it can be removed. That is the general practice. It is at the supervisor’s discretion when it comes to the supervisory file. Human Resources stated that they are very willing to remove a coaching conversation when it has been in the file for 1 year or more. That is not in the contract; that is HR being flexible. HR stated that they cannot take ownership of going through everyone’s files. If there are members that would like to bring it forward to HR they would be happy to work with them and the supervisor.    c. Tim Headlee asked if having the mail out on the unit violates HIPPA. Ann Linkert stated that clients report to staff when they have wrong mail and it is looked into from there. There are set expectations. There is data privacy expectations and we have some expectations too that we have done some sort of follow up conversation. This is not a discipline.

10. Joint Meet and Confer     a. The recommendation that came back from last month’s meeting was that Moose Lake was indifferent on continuing Joint Meet & Confer and St. Peter had the recommendation to keep the meeting at least twice a year. Management stated that the bigger issue is the resources lost of sending everyone to St. Paul. Management said that they are not saying that the meeting is not entirely useful but that we spend a lot of time addressing site specific issues. They said that when there are joint issues we can come together to discuss and can pull together a meeting. Management is interested in meeting twice a year by Vidyo only. This is a resource issue having people out of the facility for the day. Management stated that there is DCT Statewide Meeting to discuss the issues that are program wide. It was suggested by management to use Vidyo only and review at the end of 2016. AFSCME said that meeting face to face is a great opportunity for them and they can bring documentation forward. Management stated that we all have email. Melissa Grescyk said that she will make Vidyo available for just labor to pre-meet.    b. For 2016 Joint meetings will be March 10th and August 11th

MOOSE LAKE 11. 3 Bid Lid positions – MOOSE LAKE    a. How are we tracking this? In St. Peter the scheduler and a 404 member, Jamie Sheppard, track bids. AFSCME asked if there was any way they could get a weekly or monthly report of where we are at for each bid. There have been two 2nd watch spots that went to new hires. HR said that there has been a request from several locals to get access to bid rounds data that they are working on. The personnel tracking system with the codes used requires a lot of manual work. HR is working on a response so that labor can get some of that information. They are providing that in Central Office on a monthly basis. There is a meeting scheduled next week and this will be discussed. They will be looking at how easy it is to pull this data. HR would like there to be a system across the board but it will not tell you what round the bid is at because that is a manual process. It is not thesible to give that information for each bid because it changes all of the time. HR said that they would prefer we stick to discussing particular positions and then research that one position.     b. Molly Kennedy suggested putting the previous incumbent at the bottom of the posting. This had been done previously. HR said that they could put it in the notes section of the posting. Cindy Jungers said that she will take this suggestion back.     c. St. Peter shared that with their 2nd watch dead bids they have recently tried to open it up for reassignment in an attempt to get someone from 3rd or 1st watch to 2nd. This has not worked well in St. Peter because fellow 2nd watch employees did take the reassignments. AFSCME stated that with Moose Lake having so many staff they could attempt this for 1 round as long as it is not slowing up the hiring process. Moose Lake talked about looking at this case by case. In the Memorandum of Agreement it could be worded that the position cannot go to a staff currently on 2nd watch. Management stated that they are open to discussion if both parties agree. Also, those who feel stuck can ask if there are any dead bids they can move into. This will be taken case by case. Management encourages staff to bring unique situations forward.

12. Utility staff badge access to work areas – MOOSE LAKE     a. Asking for Utility Pool to have prox access to all areas they may cover. This would cut down on radio traffic and button pushing to Control Center. It would make for a smoother day. Access was taken away a couple years ago. Management stated that when they opened up the Support Building they looked at the huge increase of prox access and because of the amount decided to limit it to work area. Management said that there are pro’s and con’s to opening it up to all Utility Pool. The badge is essentially a key and this would increase the number of keys. This becomes a safety issue if the badge is lost.    b. All Utility Pool staff that are A-Team trained should have A-Team prox card access.

13. Being pulled from training to cover transports – MOOSE LAKE    a. There have been numerous staff pulled from their training to cover. Sometimes this happens on heavy days when others are capable and qualified to cover. One example is that there is a 1st watch staff scheduled for CPR training 3 times but got pulled for a transport every time. That staff then had to do their training on days shift. Understand that sometimes there are unforeseen emergencies causing this but AFSCME asked that management exhaust all options before pulling from training. If there are examples of options not being exhausted please let management know.

14. Safety Conference on January 20, 2016 – JOINT     a. There is an AFSCME Safety Conference and we would like to get as many members as possible to this. Moose Lake AFSCME said that they would get a list of those interested to management. It is a heavily staffed day.       b. Moose Lake AFSCME would also like to attend a Training Conference on the 19th. They will get that list to management as well. It is also a heavily staffed day. c. St. Peter AFSCME will work with John Haller for the AFSCME Safety Conference.

15. New Scheduling Program Update – JOINT      a. St. Peter is currently training the OD’s on this right now. 5 Security Counselor names have been submitted to the vendor to get permissions to start testing.     b. Moose Lake – has been shown to 1 OD so far. There is a little more work to do before training the OD’s can begin. Also, it was shown to 1 SC but did not get permissions in time for him because the vendor was doing work to the program. They plan to do the same as St. Peter and initially give 5 people permissions.     c. The program will look a lot different but will be much better for everyone. This should ease up overtime issues.  Until we have the opportunity to test the program, a roll out date cannot be given. The sooner the better.

16. Hiring Update – JOINT      a. St. Peter hired 1 AFSCME employee this month. Moose Lake has 5 for January. St. Peter has two dead bids on 2nd watch.

17. Lawsuit Update – JOINT     a. State of MN is appealing a court order that was put out by the judge. The state asked the appeal court to stay (halting further legal process in a trial) the court order until the appeals court makes their appeal decision. The appeals court said to grant a temporary stay until they make a decision on the stay. The court order is stayed until we hear a final decision if the stay will stay in place. There may be word on this any day. Shelby Richardson said that as soon as they get word they will put it out on the homepage. Timelines reset with every decision. Management is planning on following timelines to be proactive. The legislative house has hired a firm to examine the court order and the situation. There is a high level of interest.

18. Permanent Re-assignments and Placeholder positions – JOINT     a. Moose Lake has placeholder positions for new SC’s. Would this be something St. Peter could do as far as new hires? When someone resigns this would allow us to use internal bidding and putting the new hire to fill that spot as a placeholder. A new hire would be hired into placeholder, goes to Utility Pool, we still go through internal bidding, and if no one takes it it will go to the placeholder pool. This would allow us to get people in the door faster and through New Employee Orientation faster. There is a lot of frustration around the length of time it takes to get new hires as coverage. To do this it would take an MOU. There would be an MOU for hiring someone into a position that has never been posted. The intention is that they will go into a position that has been posted when a dead bid comes up. Historically temps were hired to get around posting requirements. The problem with that is that temps can only be used for a year and you get undesirable employees due to no benefits. Also, in St. Peter not every bid goes dead after reassignment because we can get someone from MSH.

19. Food Service workers in CERP – JOINT    a. AFSCME stated that they know this is legislative but are asking for support from management. This doesn’t stop at food service. It is any group that has 75% client interaction. There is a DHS policy around CERP. It is not up to an individual supervisor to support, it is up to the program as a whole. This is a legislative process. CERP committee’s get together and it goes to the Commissioner who makes the final recommendation that will go forward. Last year the joint decision was to not move forward due to the political climate. This year may be different. Cindy Jungers said she would keep AFSCME up to date.

19. Advanced OT sign up. When is it open/closed? – JOINT     a. Moose Lake is only able to sign up for 2 weeks in advance. Management stated that they just haven’t had the ability to populate the MSH 2-19-16dates. They are manually entered.

20. Additional vacation slots for Christmas – JOINT    a. Moose Lake AFSCME asked that management look at staffing levels for the upcoming holidays. Management stated that holiday language in the contract addresses this. The scheduler evaluates staffing for that day and go down to minimal. Who gets off and who works goes by seniority. Holiday language already gives that flexibility. b. Moose Lake AFSCME stated that there on Veterans Day there were a lot of inverses. Management said that they are not prepared to give the specifics but some unforeseen circumstances happened. That holiday was cut too close.


1. 3 bid lid positions

2. Follow up on Maintenance Department OT    a. Cindy Jungers stated that they had just learned this week that there is a need for an MOU in regards to snow plowing. Would like to pull together a small group to get specifics outside of this meeting. The contract language used should be the previous contract’s METO language. This has become confusing for Moose Lake members. There was an email sent to the maintenance supervisor asking to meet with those people to get a list of what is going on but have not received a response. AFSCME was told to then send the email to Kevin Moser and that there was no need to bring it to this venue. AFSCME said that they would still like to meet with those people. We can’t discuss an MOU until we know what they are asking. On the 17th they are having an all staff meeting. AFSCME asked to meet after that with them without the supervisor. AFSCME said they would need about 30 minutes. Contact person is Cory Vargasson to get this set up.

3. A-Team dress code    a. The Safety Officer has expressed concern in Moose Lake with facial hair. Management stated that they do not want this to be policed at a supervisory level where facial hair needs to be examined. Ann Linkert said that they are getting a lot of push from the Safety Officer on this issue. Management said that they are looking for ideas. Should there be something put in writing to hold staff accountable? Staff do not need to be clean shaven but a seal needs to form with the mask.

4. Communications log    a. There will be some new software tied to Phoenix that can make our communication log electronic. Management stated that as a facility we spend a lot of time documenting negative behavior and there is little effort for positive things. We can use this as a platform for clients who engage in appropriate behavior. This is being done per licensing requirements that all staff have a venue for providing input on client’s progress in treatment. This can talk about interventions they have used. Primaries would be required to take this information for progress notes and to annual reviews. This is an added avenue for SC’s to let everyone know what is going on with the client. There will be training on this for staff.