5/19/16 MSH Meeting Minutes

Present: Stacey Mueller, Tom Keck, Kurt Crosby, Chris Hanson, Matt Stenger, Molly Kennedy, James Hemshrot, Amanda Castle, Colleen Ryan, Cindy Jungers, Michelle Chalin, Tom Christenson, Carol Olson, Lisa Vanderveen-Nagel, Allison Kuhlman, Scott Melby, Rachelle Fisher


1. Cleaning day for MSH was a success. An AFSCME plaque was found from Council 6 to Local 786 (before it was Local 404) from 1998. The plaque was recognizing the work done after the tornado. Scott Melby stated that everyone did a great job with the cleaning day. Night staff got a lot done before the other shifts came in.

2. Carol Olson stated that she would like to recognize the partnership that has formed between AFSCME, the other bargaining units, and management when it has come to the legislative session. Everyone got up to the capital and helped educate the politicians on the organization and the additional dollars needed for base funding. We were heard for one of the very first times. Carol stated that she is not sure that it will be a success but people heard us.

Follow up Items:

1. Private Security Company Usage a. The FNH did not have any usage last month and none so far this month. Hospitilizations are down. b. The AMV was used for 24 1 way trips. This was mostly for one patient who receives dialysis 3 times a week in Mankato. A staff member does accompany and stays at the hospital with the patient. If this were to be handled by the FNH staff only there would be a second staff who drives, drop’s off, and then drives back to pick up. AFSCME asked if this is cost saving. Management stated that they did do an analysis before deciding to go this route. AMV usage can be charged back to the patient’s MA for use of the van. This way the state hospital does not get charged the full amount. We are only paying for trips when the resident isn’t covered for MA. Management: 1. Construction a. Construction is on target and is a bit ahead of schedule with Phase 1. The projection is that they would like us, if we get Phase 2 bonding dollars, to vacate Units 600, 700, 800, and 900 by the end of October. This pushes back our timeframes a bit. Once we have the ability to accompany this Bartlett 1 North will move. B1N will be cleaned and some work will need to be done before South Unit can move there. South will be cleaned and then Unit 100 will move there. 100 will be cleaned. During that process Units 700, 800, and 900 will move to the new construction. This is quickly approaching and will be a lot of work. b. Phase 2, if bonding dollars are received, will be complicated. This work is all inside the secure perimeter. There will not be a single space untouched. The construction includes installing a sprinkler system. They will be closing off in sections for this. Because of this people will need to pay close attention to the communications page. This is where announcements will be made in regards to what is closed and when. c. There will be a staff forum speaking to construction May 24th. One will be from 7am – 8am and the other will be 2:30pm – 3:30pm. There will be opportunities for people to get engaged in different work groups. d. Matt Stenger asked if there is anyway the AFSCME E-Board can receive a tour of the new construction. Tom Christenson stated that they are planning on giving tours but would like to wait until the construction is further along. Right now the residential areas are still pretty rough and unrecognizable. They are beginning to install door frames and windows. It is still mostly concrete and block work. Management has been holding off on giving tours until you can see what you are looking at. The areas that are unfinished are tough to grasp. TC stated that they certainly plan on scheduling a tour for E-Board. He stated that it is a very impressive facility and an impressive amount of work has been completed in 1 year.

2. Legislative Update a. Carol Olson stated that AFSCME knows as much as they do when it comes to the legislative session. They are addressing the bonding in the conference meeting today. No further update has been received on how that went. From what she can tell there is not a lot of appetite to do additional funding. There is not a lot of appetite for any of the DCT package which is disheartening to say the least. The Govenor is still committed so there is still a chance. Carol stated that people have done heroic work in trying to get people to listen to us. Representatives Johnson, Sheran, and Consadine have spoken very eloquently and strongly in support of us.

3. MSH Vacation Audit a. There was a SharePoint announcement made announcing that there will be a 2nd vacation audit 2 weeks ago. Scott Melby stated that he has not heard back from all of the Unit Directors yet (each UD does their Unit’s audit). So far each Unit has had employees who need to rescind some vacation to be in compliance. The audit is done to make sure vacation spots are not being tied up by people who do not have the time to cover it. b. There is supplemental contract language speaking to this. c. The audit is going better this time most likely because it is the 2nd time. AFSCME stated that they have not heard any complaints from the members. Now there are guidelines in place to follow. The negotiation piece, which did not work, has been taken out. Scott stated that management does not feel a need to change the process for the next time if this continues to go well. d. There was a small gliche with the audit for the night staff with the spreadsheet. There was maybe a mistake with the floating holiday but that has now been fixed. If there are any issues please let Scott Melby or Tom Christenson know. e. Carol Olson asked if all programs are doing this or just MSH. This audit is only for MSH SC’s. The audit should be done across the board. It has been done before in CRP but they probably need to revisit an audit. TC stated that they would like to make sure all standards are the same with all programs. He will be working with Eric Hesse on making Transition consistent with MSH as far as vacation goes. f. Molly Kennedy stated that MSOP’s new scheduling system will not allow employees to go over their accruals. Carol Olson stated that the problem with that program is that it is expensive.


1. Current MSH vacancies a. MSH has 15 Security Counselor vacancies. 10 of them are in the Utility Pool. 5 are coming into the Utility Pool and are starting June 15th. The total amount on campus is 16, 10 in Utility Pool. b. MSH has 6 LPN vacancies. There are 18 on campus. 6 in the FNH, 5 Transition, 1 CRP, 6 in MSH. There are some LPN’s starting in June but management was unsure if they are LPN’s or CAN’s. There were 2 interviewed yesterday.

2. MSH Vacation a. Kurt Crosby stated that he looked at the numbers and would like to know why vacation slots have not increased. Kurt stated that he started in 2013 and there were 2 slots per unit. There are now approximately 70 more SC’s hired and the number of patients have remained the same. Kurt stated that members can not get vacation and are unable to use their accruals. Management stated that overtime is down which was their goal. This is contributed to adding more staff and they were able to get a handle on vacation. b. Vacation was being granted at a higher rate than they could sustain. Management stated that they would like to get through summer before they take a long, hard look at vacation numbers. We need to have one summer where we don’t exhaust staff. We have to get a good year under our new practice and then some to accurately evaluate. That will probably take us into fall.  We also have to get through this legislative session to find out where we are at for funding. Scott Melby stated that he continues to monitor vacation. Management stated that they did not pay close enough attention to vacation and what would happen when people move to other units. c. The process that started in 2013 was to grant 1 vacation spot per 10 staff. This number was also rounded up if there were 12 staff. Scott stated that one thing that makes it difficult is the unused vacation. This is often the middle of the week.

3. LPN Pay Inequity a. AFSCME stated that they have heard there are LPN’s being hired at a higher pay scale than some nurses who have been working here for 4-5 years. b. There was specifically 1 individual who was hired at a step 10. Management stated that it was justifiable. They use a scale and that specific person met the standards. This is not a typical hire. This individual had experience in other areas. Matt Stenger asked if it was true this individual came directly from college. Management stated that that is correct. Matt Stenger stated that AFSCME would like to know the credentials this person has. Colleen Ryan stated that she could certainly get that information to him. Management stated that they will share the pay equity scale with Matt Stenger. c. AFSCME stated that this does not help with morale and is not good for retention. LPN’s can go anywhere else and typically make $4 more per hour. AFSCME asked why they can not receive a raise. Cindy Jungers stated that once in the state system there is not a lot of ability to move people outside of their step or negotiated incentive. There is a comp approval form that people can fill out and then that would go through the approval process. Cindy stated that they hear what AFSCME is saying. There is nothing we can do right now other than bring this forward as a group. Cindy stated that she can facilitate some conversation about this with DHS. Everyone is aware that there is an issue. Only MMB can negotiate money issues like changing a job classification salary range. d. Carol stated that they want it to be equitable. They realize that we are no longer offering a competitive wage. To be competitive we can not hire someone at a step 1. Typically now it is a step 3. The challenge we face now is with being able to make an offer and actually hire LPN’s. Colleen stated that they are desperate for hires and that is part of why a person was hired at a Step 10. Carol Olsen disagreed that it was a desperate action and pointed out that the individual did meet the criteria on their list of standards for a step 10. Colleen stated that it is correct that LPN’s can go anywhere. e. New LPN staff are also being put in the MSH building while those with seniority are being told to cover Bartlett. They are getting forced out of their work area. Management stated that they were trying to even out the vacancies. There was no intention on the hiring supervisor’s part to irritate people or put a new hire in a place where they would not be floated. f. AFSCME asked if SC’s are being hired at a higher step. Cindy Jungers stated that she does not have the information in front of her. She stated that SC’s are not at the same level as LPN’s when it comes to finding people to hire. She stated that she believes for many AFSCME positions there is some discretion. Possibly up to a step 3. LPN’s have a different comp sheet. Cindy stated not to quote her on this. g. AFSCME asked if a SC or LPN severed from SPRTC if there is a time frame before they can reapply. There is not. There is a 30 day rule for retirees only.

4. FNH Radios, Vacation Requests, Advance OT a. FNH switched to a small walkie talkie so eliminate some MSH radio traffic. These walkie talkies are used within the FNH facility. If there is an ICS the radio is used to get additional resources. The Charge RN has a radio and there is one down each wing in the cabinet that is turned on to monitor what is going on on campus. If something happens a staff can tell the Charge RN to call an ICS over the walkie talkie. b. AFSCME asked about the quality of the walkie talkie because they have heard good things and bad. Michelle Chalin stated that it depends on how it is utilized. If you speak too close it sounds muffled. If you are in a room with background noise (i.e. a tub filling) that is all that is heard. Michelle stated that they dealt with those things in the beginning. They looked to see if there was a better quality walkie talkie. They also worked with Tom Roessler to get a repeater or router but there wasn’t anything. They have been working on educating staff better on how to use the walkie talkie. They have not heard anything for a few months. c. AFSCME asked if there is any reason why another channel can’t be used. TC stated that this was explored but when they switched to a narrow banding channel 3 was essentially eliminated. Channel 3 now works in the way a training radio would work. Not everyone will hear it. Staff were also struggling with the size of the radio. d. Posting Vacation: FNH didn’t have access to posted vacation spots and Stacey Mueller had thought there was going to be a separate electronic calendar.  Stacey stated that she has not been able to find this calendar. TC stated that the information is available via the 1 electronic calendar. It may be possible staff need some further training and that can certainly be provided. Could this be put on the homepage for a week? e. Matt Stenger stated that training for new employees does not include how to ask for vacation or look it up. TC stated that he will check with Staff Development because that does need to be part of new employee training. f. Advanced OT: FNH met with Eric Hesse a few weeks ago and his concern was that OT is being offered out too early. Management stated that they replied that it wasn’t an issue because it is a posted schedule when they do the call out for OT. This is put in Schedule Anywhere so staff can see what is available and who picked it up. They have more success with this and it avoids an inverse.

5. Transition Program a. In the past the overnight and day shifts were considered two different work areas so they could not pick up OT. AFSCME stated that OT should go strictly by seniority. Nothing is unique to Transition per the supplemental. The Scheduling Office will be sitting down with Eric Hesse to get consistency.

6. LPN’s Floating/Coverage a. AFSCME has been hearing complaints from LPN’s in Transition that they are getting floated to high control. Colleen and TC will look at the balance.

7. Light Duty a. On page 85 of the contract there are some things that talk about work accomodations and notifying the union to meet on the physical capabilities and what light duty could be assigned. AFSCME asked that instead of scheduling a separate meeting if this could be added to the monthly Labor Management meeting. Management agreed that that would be a good idea. This will be done within HIPPA. The nature of their injury would not be discussed but what that person is capable of doing would be. Cindy Jungers will be looking into what type of information can be released. b. AFSCME stated that they would like a list of those working light duty who were injured on duty vs those who were injured outside. Cindy Jungers stated that they will need a Data Request in writing to provide this information. Chris Hanson will submit this.

8. OSHA Updates a. There were 2 citations. One was Failure to Abate and the other was the number of instances people were getting hurt. Both fines have been contested. Carol Olsen stated that they were not contested because we don’t think we have to continue to work on these things. They were contested because they need more time to be in compliance. If they were to not contest they could be fined again in the meantime. There was a pre-conference yesterday, which is the first step. Here both issues were looked at since they are both tied together so closely. The inspector came to look at the abatement plan and pulled out 9 of the things that management planned to do. He made an assessment on those 9. They spent time talking about things we do in recognition of those we serve and what works best for them. Carol stated that they will submit what they would like out of this in terms of a settlement agreement by the first part of June. OSHA can counter offer that. This can go back and forth for 7 days after the 1st initial offer. If there is not an ability to settle it goes before a law judge. If there are fines they can be reduced. The citations do not go away. An option could be to put the amount the fines are for towards tools to train staff or equipment. OSHA is very open to that. AFSCME stated that they think it should go towards the ASAP program. Carol stated that OSHA told them they do not have to be specific with what the money is going towards.

9. Definition of Emergency a. AFSCME stated that they would like a clear definition of emergency since this is not in the contract. Several grievances have been replied with the reason of emergency.  Molly Kennedy stated that the definition given by the State of Minnesota is an unforeseen combination of circumstances that calls for immediate action to prevent a disaster from developing or occurring (MN Stat. 12.03, subd. 3). Matt Stenger stated that if it is an emergency supervisors should be filling the vacancy. A sick call is not an emergency. Cindy Jungers stated that there are time depending on what is going on with the patients that we might have an emergency and will have to unfortunately ask someone to stay. Cindy stated that the contract states they can inverse when there is an emergency. Cindy stated that this might be something for the DCT meeting. Matt Stenger will put this on the DCT agenda.

10. Working 3 shifts in a row a. Some OD’s are denying staff to work 3 shifts in a row when volunteered. Some are getting approved. It is possible to volunteer to work 3 shifts. You can not be inversed to this. OD’s are able to use their discretion when it comes to capable and qualified so if a staff appears too tired to work the 3rd shift the OD can deny the volunteer OT. AFSCME stated that they would like consistency because it seems that some OD’s think that this is against contract. Scott Melby will clarify this with the OD’s.

11. CRP Inversing a. Members have brought forward that if RN’s are short then if the RN doesn’t feel like inversing themselves that they will inverse a SC in replace of an RN spot. Molly Kennedy will forward Lisa Vanderveen-Nagel the details of the situation she is aware of.