DEED meet and confer minutes Nov 15, 2018

Publish Date

DEED Meet and Confer Minutes

Nov. 15, 2018

Present for MAPE:   Andy Given (Chair), Kirsten Peterson (Vice-Chair,  Tim Qualley, Maureen Dunaway, Ted Sitz, Caitlin Reid (MAPE Business Agent).

Present for the employer:   Renea Bourassa, Ann O’Brien, Marc Majors, Jim Hegman, Heidi Hartwig, Rick Caligiuri, Brenda Tuma.


  1.  Follow up on Bam Positions
    Management previously reported that BAM positions would be classified, then reversed course to keep them unclassified.  MAPE expressed concern about the decision.  Management reported that the unclassified BAM positons are a two-year training opportunity for staff to gain experience, and may be useful when applying for promotions in the future.  Reportedly, the unclassified positions were audited by MMB.  MAPE remains concerned about the high number of unclassified positions agency-wide in DEED.
  2. Snow day/severe weather policies in Greater MN
    MAPE questioned a 24-hour notice vacation use rule for members in some Greater MN offices; the rule requires employees to give advance notice if they intend to use vacation leave during severe winter events.  MAPE expressed particular concern that this rule violates article 28, Work Rules, of the collective bargaining agreement.  Management was not aware, and criticized the 24-hour rule, then noted that only MMB can declare weather emergencies.  Non-essential employees in DEED may use vacation time, comp time, or work from home during severe weather events if they view road conditions as too hazardous to report to work. Both Management and HR agreed to email out inclement weather directives DEED-wide, including both individual time off requests and the process for closing work sites.
  3. Reallocation/sick leave use/FMLA
    MAPE asked for guidance on the reallocation process. Management reported that when an employee and their supervisor agree that the employee’s positon has changed, and the duties are far beyond the PD, they should contact their HR generalist and request reallocation.  MAPE questioned the conflicting demands of good attendance and HR’s recommendation that people with contagious illnesses (the flu) not report to work.  Management again stressed that ill employees should not report to work, if possible.  Management referenced the State-wide policy on sick leave and recommended that employees apply for FMLA when they have qualifying events/conditions.
  4. Air Quality in DEED central office
    MAPE expressed concern about air quality in certain areas on the fifth floor of the FNB.  Diesel fumes are sometime present, even though the air circulation system likely removes most of the diesel particulates.  Management reported that the building owner monitors cameras around the building to make sure that trucks are not idling near the building for prolonged periods.  Buses on Minnesota St were asked to move further south on the street and not idle.  The air was tested by OSHA in 2018, and exceeded safety standards. Management added that some adverse reactions to odors in the workplace are from perfume, pet dander, and scents employees bring into the building.  MAPE also was concerned about the volume of dust created by the recent move of staff. Management was aware of dust created by the move, and reported that the carpet will soon be steam cleaned; air vents will be cleaned in the near future.   MAPE inquired about cleaning chemicals and pesticides used to control cockroaches.  Management reported that the building owner uses environmentally friendly cleaning products; the safety data information regarding the cockroach pesticide is available upon request.   MAPE stated that there is considerable concern about the impending apartment construction in the east tower; the project will generate sawdust, sheetrock dust, fine concrete dust, industrial-level cleaning agent and paint fumes.  Management reported that the building owner will go to considerable lengths to seal the construction zone with negative pressure air locks.  MAPE asked management to test air quality throughout the construction phase, and added that MAPE reserves the right to conduct independent air quality testing if employees encounter poor air quality.
  5. Respectful Workplace Policy training
    MAPE inquired about the compliance rate of training on the Respectful Workplace Policy (HR/LR # 1432).  Management reported that, according to MMB, 96% of DEED staff have completed the training, to date.  Additional training may be available as MMB deems necessary.
  6. Schedule the four quarterly meetings for 2019

MAPE and management agreed to months for 2019 quarterly meetings: Feb., May, Aug., and Nov.  MAPE members are encouraged to bring issues to members of the meet and confer team prior to these months if they would like the team to address them.