DEED Meet and Confer team gears up to meet with agency management

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Meet and Confer teams have been formed in nearly every agency and are preparing for upcoming meetings with management. The team from the Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently met at the MAPE office to continue planning for next month’s meeting.

DEED Meet and Confer planning meeting

Photo at right: DEED Meet and Confer team develops plan for Feb. 20 meeting with agency management.

The DEED team, which met via video teleconference to include a member from Greater Minnesota, discussed the importance of concentrating on issues most important to members at the Feb. 20 meeting with DEED management.

“A member will speak about the need for a more robust telecommuting and flexible scheduling policy. We’ll also be highlighting the challenges – and possible solutions – within the Disability Determination Services division and other issues,” said DEED Meet and Confer Chair Kirsten Peterson.

DEED Meet and Confer Vice Chair and Region 5 Negotiations Representative Maureen Dunaway led several listening sessions with members as part of the contract negotiations process. “I did a lot of listening sessions and shared information members gave me with the DEED Meet and Confer Committee. We want to be an agency that attracts and retains the best employees, so we need to know what issues matter to people,” Dunaway said.

“The listening sessions increased interest in our Meet and Confer Committee. Before this last round of contract negotiations, I don’t think a lot of people knew what the DEED Meet and Confer team did,” she added.

Peterson said the information gathered at the listening sessions has also helped with other activities at the agency. “The information helped us determine a strategy to engage in an active and concerted organizing effort. We wanted to know where urgent action was needed and develop short-, medium- and long-term goals of the people we represent. We have DEED offices all across the state and we want to engage everyone,” Peterson added.