Article 6 -- Employee Rights 2017-19 contract

Section 1. Job Classification Specifications. Class specifications, as prepared by Minnesota Management & Budget, shall be made available to an employee upon request. If a current position description for an employee exists, it too shall be made available to the employee. When new classifications/class options are established in State service and in the bargaining unit, employees within the new classification and within the bargaining unit shall be provided with a position description by the Appointing Authority within fifteen (15) calendar days after appointment to the classification.

If new classifications and/or class options are created during the life of this Agreement, the Association shall be advised in advance of the final establishment of the classification and/or class option, and upon request, may discuss the new classification and/or class option. Matters relating to classification of individual positions are covered in Article 16, Section 5.

Section 2. Position Descriptions. Upon request, an employee shall be provided with a copy of their position description that accurately describes the duties, responsibilities, and if applicable performance indicators for the position at the time of signature. Such position descriptions shall not be grievable under any provision of this Agreement.

Each Appointing Authority shall have an internal departmental appeal procedure to review disputes regarding the accuracy of position descriptions. Each Appointing Authority shall meet and confer with the Association prior to implementing or changing its procedure.

Section 3. Performance Appraisal. Performance appraisal shall include as a minimum, one (1) annual performance appraisal between the employee and the person(s) designated by the Appointing Authority to review the performance.

Work plans, coaching sessions and letters of expectation are not substitutions for annual performance appraisals.

Each performance appraisal shall indicate the employee's overall level of performance. All performance appraisals shall be signed by the rater, who shall not be a member of the bargaining unit. Employees shall be given the opportunity to sign the performance appraisal but such signing does not indicate acceptance or rejection of the appraisal. The employee shall receive a copy of the appraisal at the time he/she signs it. If the Appointing Authority adds comments to the performance appraisal after the appraisal has been signed by the employee, the Appointing Authority shall notify the employee of the change. The employee shall have thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the receipt of the finalized appraisal to file a written response in the employee's personnel file.

The substantive judgment of the supervisor regarding the employee's performance is not grievable/arbitrable under Article 9. Pursuant to the Minnesota Management & Budget Administrative Procedure 20, an employee may appeal his/her performance rating to the Appointing Authority within thirty (30) days of the official date of rating. The decision of the Appointing Authority is final. At the employee's request, an Association Representative may be present during the appeal meeting(s).

The Appointing Authority shall not reference the Employee Assistance Program, ADA or FMLA on the employee appraisal form.

Section 4. Appointing Authority Initiated Education. It is recognized that Appointing Authority initiated education and training may become necessary in order to meet the goals of the state's agencies. Consequently, employees who may be required to participate in Appointing Authority initiated programs and who are released from their work assignments to attend special training courses shall lose no basic straight time pay for such normal work hours and shall be allowed compensatory time off for actual attendance at such sessions or programs that exceed the length of the normal work day, if approved in advance by the Appointing Authority. Expenses incurred by the employee shall be reimbursed in accordance with Article 18, Expense Allowances.

For informational purposes only, pertinent excerpts of Administrative Procedure 21 (Employee Training and Development) are listed in Section 6 below. These excerpts are included to emphasize the parties’ mutual concern for and interest in the continuing development of professional employees.

Section 5. Employee Initiated Training. The employee shall, upon request, be released without loss of pay for forty (40) hours per year of employee initiated training for professional development provided the Appointing Authority determines the training will better prepare the employee to perform his/her current or projected responsibilities, funding is available, and staffing needs can be met. At the discretion of the Appointing Authority, more than forty (40) hours per year may be granted.

Formats for employee initiated training may include, but are not limited to:

  • College courses
  • Professional workshops
  • Seminars
  • Bargaining unit sponsored training approved in advance by MMB
  • Continuing education courses (e.g. eligible CEU or CLE courses).

In accordance with Administrative Procedure 21 (Employee Training and Development), the Appointing Authority may provide reimbursement or direct vendor payment for up to one hundred percent (100%) of the tuition or workshop/seminar registration fee It is understood that employees must successfully complete the college course, workshop or seminar to be reimbursed. At the discretion of the Appointing Authority, employees may also be reimbursed for expenses pursuant to Article 18. When practicable, the Appointing Authority will attempt to adjust the employee's hours if the approved training is scheduled during the employee's normal work hours.

For informational purposes only, pertinent excerpts of Administrative Procedure 21 (Employee Training and Development) are listed in Section 6 below. These excerpts are included to emphasize the parties’ mutual concern for and interest in the continuing development of professional employees.

Section 6. Responsibilities for Training and Development (excerpts from Administrative Procedure 21).

A. Agency Responsibilities. State agencies have the responsibility to create and maintain a climate which encourages training and development as an ongoing part of the performance management process which supports the accomplishment of the agency’s mission, including but not limited to:

  • developing a plan and budget for training based upon needs analysis, promoting access to training for all employees,
  • ensuring that training and development plans are prepared, updated and discussed by management, supervisor, and employee as part of the employee performance communication process at three (3) organizational levels: 1) agency, 2) work unit, and 3) individual employee development, and
  • ensuring that the individual employee development plan is developed jointly by the individual employee and the supervisor, is based upon needs analysis, and is consistent with the mission and needs of the agency.

B. Management and Supervisory Responsibilities. Managers and supervisors have the primary responsibility for initiating communication about work unit training and individual development, including but not limited to:

  • working in partnership with individual employees to assess training needs and coordinate agency, work unit, and individual employee development plans,
  • ensuring implementation of employee development plans,
  • incorporating training and development into the performance management process, and
  • seeking to improve management/supervisory skills in employee development.

C. Employees’ Responsibilities. State employees have responsibility for initiating discussion to identify and assess their own specific training needs, including but not limited to:

  • working in partnership with supervisors and managers to meet the agency, work unit, and their own training and development needs, and
  • actively searching for training opportunities within State service and elsewhere.

Section 7. Joint Labor-Management Meetings on Training and Development. Upon request of the Association, an Appointing Authority shall meet and confer with the Association members regarding training and development issues in accordance with Article 7 (Association Rights), Section 1 (Association/Appointing Authority Meetings).

Section 8. Membership in Professional Organizations. In each fiscal year, the Appointing Authority may provide direct payment to the vendor or reimburse each employee in the bargaining unit for membership dues paid to professional organization(s) related to the employee's job, up to a maximum of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350.00), provided the Appointing Authority determines that such funds are available. Employees shall request the direct vendor payment or reimbursement in writing, and the Appointing Authority shall respond in writing within a reasonable period of time. However, the Appointing Authority will not pay for or reimburse membership dues to an employee for payment to an organization, one of whose purposes is to negotiate terms and conditions of employment of employees with the Employer.

Section 9. Certification and Licensure. The Appointing Authority shall, upon request of the Association, meet and confer regarding implementation of any new certification and/or licensure requirements for existing employees. If the Appointing Authority/Employer adds new requirements for licensure or certification of current employees, the parties agree to meet and negotiate on the subject of the reimbursement of necessary expenses incurred by those employees in order to obtain such licensure or certification.