DOE- Meet and Confer Agenda Notes Sept 12, 2019

Publish Date

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Meet and Confer Agenda Notes

September 12, 2019

Members Present:  Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker, Sally Reynolds, Michael Diedrich, Tammy Funk, Jackie Blagsvedt, Luchelle Stevens, Maurice Wilson, Dan Engelhart


  1. Grounding in Gratitude – “grace and patience”
  2. Vacation hold for mainframe project

Matthew Porett, Chief Business Technology Officer of MN.IT at Education presented a proposal to temporarily limit vacation use during the mainframe systems changes at MDE. MAPE staff in IT (approximately 15 people) and MDE staff from primarily school finance (15 people) will be asked to limit the use of vacation to three consecutive days for a seven week period, January 2-February 17, 2020.  Pre-approved use of vacation time during this same period would not be impacted. Medical leave would also not apply. Impacted MAPE members will soon receive communications regarding this temporary change.

  1. Implementation of the June 2019 Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs)

MAPE shared questions around communication and implementation of the 2019 MOAs. Commissioner and the Meet and Confer Chair agreed to craft joint communications of the new expectations and practices around flexible work options, as well as the configurations and governance of the Profession Development plan and One MDE Council.

    1. Flexible Work Options

Questions raised about the communication of the flexible work options and related policies and procedures now that the MOA is in place. MAPE shared that members are waiting for a notification that they can now submit telework and flex schedule requests, even if they were previously discouraged or denied. It was pointed out that telework request are functionally different from other flexible work options and the supporting policies and forms are available on inside MDE.  Tammy, and Meet and Confer Team members will collaborate on a joint-communication via the staff lounge and possible other channels.

    1. Professional Development opportunities

Michael and Tammy have begun the process to collaborate. Michael noted that there are nine MAPE volunteers ready to begin the work together. The process will take as one of its starting points the landscape assessment developed by the previous training and development specialist. Focus on staff conversations and collaboration this year and into the next to identify content, mechanisms, resources, and governance for consistent professional development opportunities. All parties have expressed interest in finding ways to offer opportunities with MDE’s “in-house” experts, given the large number of staff with professional backgrounds in areas relevant to other staff’s development interests.

    1. One MDE Council

The first One MDE Council meeting occurred today. Meetings will be the second Tuesday of every month, and last 90 minutes. MAPE expressed concern that requested data wasn’t provided and made it difficult to select MAPE designees. MAPE representatives named, after some confusion related to the process through HR to recruit MDE staff to the council. MAPE also noted the need for a collaborative agenda setting process, improved facilitation of future council meetings, and to elect a co-chair. With over thirty members on the council and three documents (the 2019 MOA, the 2019 Affirmative Action plan, and the 2018 Values and Behaviors work) informing the vision and mission of the One MDE council, structure is needed. MAPE designees (Jackie Blagsvedt, Norrita Rech, and Maira Rosas-Lee) and Tammy Funk will co-create the October agenda and joint-communication of the agenda and intent and steps to elect a co-chair.

  1. MAPE Represented Employee Survey – preliminary data

Preliminary data summary highlighted, as the survey closed at noon.  Net promoter scores were explained, with frequent themes related to detractors and promoters.  More detailed information will be forthcoming.



Next M&C set for January 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.