7/16/15 MSH Meeting Minutes

Molly Kennedy, Mike Homer, Chuck Hottinger, Stacey Mueller, Matt Stenger, Ryan Cates, Amanda Mathiowetz, Shannon Pech, Meghan Goodrich, Michelle Chalin, Rochelle Fischer, Cindy Jungers, Carol Olson, Scott Melby, Colleen Ryan, Tom Christensen, Melissa Gresczyk

1. Organizational Communication Plan
a. The policy update was posted on the SharePoint site. This will be discussed in upcoming performance reviews as well.
b. There was a work group put together to discuss the engagement survey and this is a result of information DHS pulled together from that. The information was pulled from areas we have the most opportunity for improvement.
c. Communication was a big piece and as a result the language has been strengthened in the code of conduct policy. Management stated that they will continue to share tips on the SharePoint site on how to strengthen communication.
d. The engagement survey will be repeated early winter of next year to see if there are improvements
2. New Audit Abuse Reporting Center
a. This was posted on the SharePoint site. Please review.
3. Hold for Posting Vacation process
a. Tom Christensen has previously had some conversation with the union about posting the held for posting vacations online so everyone had access to it. Since that time, it is unknown why, posted vacations have gone back to paper form. TC stated that he would like to come to an agreement to go back to Schedule Anywhere. AFSCME did agree to this. There will no longer be any paper postings. Management will be working on a communication announcement regarding the held for posting vacations and training for using Schedule Anywhere. Please watch for these announcements.
b. TC stated that this would give everyone 24/7 access and would benefit the members. This is being addressed right away because it is what is giving everyone the most angst. This will provide more consistency.
c. There was a mix up on the NOCS shift. Some people were being granted vacation without being the most senior. TC stated that he cannot speak to it because this was the first he had heard of it. There is some confusion. Some employees are looking for the paper 101’s still so people did not know that certain days were opened up.
d. Contract language stated that vacation requests of 40 hours or more have to be posted. This can be in electronic form. AFSCME said that this procedure will have to be thoroughly explained in a SharePoint posting.
e. AFSCME asked about the previous system of having the GS approve vacation. Management stated that this leaves a lot of room for mistakes and discussed the importance of consistency across the campus. One of the purposes of the scheduling office was to provide consistent scheduling practices on the campus.
f. AFSCME mentioned that by having the scheduling office do the schedule sometimes staff are put on a unit without having the proper knowledge of that unit. This can and has led to assaults. If a staff knows they are being targeted they should let a supervisor know and the OD to make a scheduling adjustment. Scott Melby said that he encourages staff to bring things forward.
1. Forensic Investigations and Discipline determinations
a. What is the threshold is for what is getting investigated and how long is it taking? There was a recent situation where a staff was found not guilty by licensing but was disciplined by the facility. Management said that licensing and employment misconduct investigations are two separate processes and look at different things. Licensing investigations look at actions that may go against licensing regulations. The facility investigates employee misconduct and those allegations can be brought forward by an individual. The facility determination is generally based off of policy and procedure. The thresholds are very different. Licensing’s determination is not taken into consideration as part of the misconduct investigation. There have been times that the facility strongly disagrees with the outcome licensing has reached. Licensing’s determination can be mentioned in a grievance done by AFSCME.
2. Sick Leave Policy
a. There is a major difference between the current campus sick policy and MMB’s policy. AFSCME asked if there is an effort to line up. Management stated that the new MMB policy is the policy in effect. The campus did not have their own sick leave policy. The MMB policy replaces the previous Statewide Sick Leave Policy. The major change is that a sick use for a family member (parameters are outlined in the policy http://mn.gov/mmb/images/1337-sick-leave.pdf ) will not count towards the 6 sick usages given in a year.
b. This policy was issued in April. Management stated that they did not know about the update right away. Human Resources said that they are working on an agency approach to this. They said that they are going to continue to monitor suspected sick abuse and leave beyond accruals. AFSCME asked what the threshold is for abuse. If someone asked for vacation a year ago and then calls in, is that abuse? HR stated that they look at all of the details and would not include a situation as mentioned by AFSCME. If someone stated, “I need vacation or I’m calling in sick” it would be suspected as abuse. As always, determination of steps will be on a case by case basis.
c. If any employees have received discipline for a sick occurrence that was for another individual that falls under the updated policy they should contact a union steward.
3. Forensic VAC/ IOD/ Military Leave/ Etc.
a. If an employee takes off, for example, 3 weeks their 6 days scheduled off are being held on the vacation calendar. Also if an employee is out on medical leave their vacation days are being held on the calendar. TC said that when scheduling receives a notice of an employee being on leave they honor the date on the paperwork. The employee will only be on the vacation calendar after the date of return. As far as days off are concerned there is no way to tell if someone’s days off will change. Melissa Gresczyk said that the issue can be revisited after the 6 month vacation request language comes to fruition. It may help the issue.
b. Shannon Pech mentioned that this is a huge issue in his work area, CRP, because they are .8. 7 days are being held instead of 4 so this extremely limits vacation availability. TC acknowledged the concern and said that he understands it makes it worse for that group but he feels that it is even worse for the scheduler. Shannon said that he disagrees with that statement because, “we are the ones not getting vacation.”
4. Forensic Hiring
a. There are 12 employees, 2 are going to CRP, starting in the current class. There are interviews scheduled for next week.
b. The position control number (PCN) has the new employees going to the positions that are dead bids. AFSCME mentioned that those areas are not where there is a need. Management will need an agreement with Labor to place new staff in areas outside of the dead bid. There will be a meeting on this to follow within the next couple of weeks.
c. Stacey Mueller said that she thought it worked out very well when people were put in a pool that got to experience different units. Management said that they had had conversations already about doing that. It will give new employees a chance to experience different units and see where they feel they best fit. This could also cut down non-certifications.
d. Having the least senior bumped to NOCS shift instead of hiring for the NOCS shift was discussed. This will be added to the meeting about placing new staff where the need is.
e. AFSCME stated that there is a need for mentorship for new employees. Management said that they have been discussing this and came to the conclusion that a new employee will be assigned a Security Counselor Lead as a mentor. When the SCL is away for a day off it will be their responsibility to find someone to take their place. The supervisor will be checking in with the new employee to see how things are going.
5. Felony Assault Law
a. This will be effective August 1st, 2015
6. Notification for staff safety – i.e. Infectious Diseases
a. When employees are spit on or bit, can they be made aware if the patient has an infectious disease? Management replied that they can. The employee can ask the nurse who can review the chart. If the nurse is unsure if they can give this information, Carol Olson said that there is an admin on call who can be reached if there is any doubt.
b. Staff must complete a First Report of Injury and then the next day have the report in the chart.
c. Patients are tested for disease at admission. They can be re-tested if there is any worry. AFSCME asked about patients who refuse blood draw. Management said that this should be brought up at the patient’s quarterly and should be brought to reviews. The patient will be informed of the risk factors. This is a medical decision.
d. Any medical bills that the employee pays out of pocket are submitted to Mandy who then reimburses the staff. There is an account for DHS to cover these things.
7. FNH Radios
a. There was a meeting last week about the Forensic Nursing Home using Channel 3. It was decided that this would not work. There are some other radio concerns on campus. The Nursing Home may be getting their own radios, like a walkie talkie. Brian and Tom are working on getting bids so see if the budget will support this. In the meantime management is working on educating staff on what is appropriate to say over the radio and what isn’t to help reduce traffic. It was mentioned at this meeting that some staff have been flicking their radios to interrupt communication. Please do not do this in case there is a staff trying to call out an ICS.