Education Meet and Confer minutes Feb 19, 2019

Publish Date


Meet & Confer Meeting Summary

Meeting Date:  February 19, 2019

Members Present: Charlene Briner, Michael Diedrich – vice chair, Sally Reynolds - chair, Vicki Anderson, Maurice Wilson, Tammy Funk, Jackie Blagsvedt, Deb Rose, Dan Engelhart

Executive team updates

  • New chief of staff is Luchelle Stevens, Charlene and Daron have been asked to stay on, stay tuned…
  • Human Resources is in the process of hiring for a position to provide and coordinate professional development for MDE employees.
  • Resolution of the partial federal government shutdown and the broader federal budget situation, filling positions at MDE has resumed its standard pace.
  • The governor's proposed budget includes several robust provisions aimed at supporting students, teachers, and families.
  • The governor's proposed budget also would generally maintain MDE's current staffing level, with a handful of new FTEs required, including new staff in Data Analytics and the Regional Centers of Excellence as well as dedicated positions for supporting Second Chance work and improving recruitment and diversity in the teaching corps.

Standardization of flexible work options

  • MAPE Meet and Confer members shared results of a member survey highlighting department wide variability in accessing telework and flexible work schedules. Membership expressed the need to prioritize building a community of trust between employees and management, through standard practices and consistent communication and implementation across divisions.
  • Executive team members acknowledged that individual cases of inconsistency are problematic. It was noted that the commissioner is interested in the recruitment and retention of a quality workforce and that flexible workplace options are a part of that plan.

Commitment to excellence

  • MAPE Meet and Confer members shared member interest to work for a more systematic, consistent approach to professional development across the agency.
  • Executive team members noted that an HR position will be filled later this spring with an express focus on coordinating and providing professional development for MDE staff. Both MAPE and executive team members agreed that information MAPE can collect about its members' needs and preferences can help that person as they carry out their role.
  • Executive team members shared that a broader conversation has been happening across agencies to give provide employees with access to online learning options, likely through LinkedIn learning. Individual MAPE members at other agencies have been involved in this process because their positions involve training; MAPE members at Education expressed interest in participating in future conversations.

Diversity and inclusion

  • MAPE members reiterated their desire to pursue a more diverse workforce at every level of MDE, noting in particular the lack of representation of people of color and American Indians in supervisor and director roles. There is member support around embracing the “One Minnesota Council” initiative put forth by the governor and the creation of a “One MDE Council” charged with ensuring the MDE workforce, including management, is representative of Minnesota's diverse student body.
  • Executive team members expressed a shared commitment to diversifying MDE and noted the success that has been achieved increasing the diversity of rank-and-file positions at MDE. Executive team members recommended MAPE members review MDE's affirmative action plan, the most recent version of which was developed under Commissioner Cassellius’s leadership. MAPE members expressed a stated interest to participate in future planning.

Supplemental Bargaining-

MAPE indicated that we plan to address the themes brought forward in the meet and confer with contract language in the Supplemental portion of the contract. MAPE indicated appreciation for getting four dates scheduled to supplemental bargain and that these themes are important to the members we represent based off many one to one conversations, larger meetings, smaller listening group sessions and surveys. Management indicated the desire to talk about language in more detail and MAPE agreed.