March 14, 2018
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Wednesday March 14, 2018 (Pi day)
Team Present: Bryan Kotta (Temp. Chair), Joan Triecel, 2nd Vice President (Temp 1st VP), Carol Logan (2), Bill Dunn (3), Joe Sullivan subbing for Lee Sullivan (4), Ted Sitz (5), Tom Ruby (6), Julie O’ Connor (7), Teresa Chapman (8), Jim Rutger (9), Kent Barnard subbing for Todd Maki (10), Cindy Kolodziejski (11), Jenni Yamada (12), Doreen Hernesman (14), Bryan Kotta (15), Kevin Martini (16), Gretchen Scharmer (18), Valerie LaPorte (19), Kay Pedretti (20), Shawnet Healy (21) Absent: Jennifer Johnson (17), Jed Becher (1)
8:30 Housekeeping: Kay Pedretti volunteered to take notes. Chief Stewards introduced themselves around the table. Today is Kevin Martini’s last meeting—thank you Kevin for approximately 10 years of service as Chief Steward.
Approved tentative agenda.
Reviewed minutes from the last meeting in November. No corrections suggested.
9:00 Financial reimbursement form discussion. Discussed the reimbursement of stewards/chief stewards and getting full reimbursement for grievances, investigation, and performance appeals. There is at least one recent occurrence where a steward had the 50 miles subtracted and should not have. All contract enforcement activities should be reimbursed.
M/S/P: ERC supports outstate stewards and chief steward being reimbursed fully by MAPE for time and travel not covered in the contract language. (Unanimous vote).
Paul Schweizer and Julie Lee explained the new 2018 forms for stewards. The 50 mile subtraction for lost time and mileage is new and pertains to MAPE central activity. Scanned, mailed, faxed, or hand delivered forms are acceptable to MAPE central.
a) Lost time—use for ERC and extra travel time in greater MN (over 1.5 hours)
b) Committee expense report—used for ERC mileage, meals, parking expenses
c) Local expense form—used for quarterly steward meeting with region—(i.e.: food)
9:30 Stewards Role: What should a steward’s role be? Are we asking our stewards to do too much or too little?
There has been an uptick in grievances for majority of chief stewards. Kathy Fodness explained her idea of Enforcer/Chief Steward partnership. Stewards should lead in investigations and appeals. Grievances and terminations should be a steward/BA team approach.
Grievances -2 stewards are allowed-we should make sure we have two each time at step 1. At step 2 we can have three. Work to make sure we have that number there.
Investigations—Sometimes only one steward allowed with certain agencies. It is best practice to have two stewards. You can ask for a meeting to be rescheduled—hold firm on you cannot provide a steward at that time and suggest a reschedule time or times.
10:00-10:17 Break at this time to honor of the 17 students killed at Parkland last month
Is there a conflict/competition between organizing and representation? It shouldn’t be there, but it appears sometimes conflicts unintentionally pop up due to a lack of communication.
Thoughts on recording—Remind member you are being recorded as well.
Should we ask for stewards to recommit? In May ask for stewards to recommit.
Half of our Chief Stewards will be elected again this May. Timeline will need to go out soon.
10:30 Lina Jamoul updates
1- Janus vs. AFSCME legal update. February 26th oral arguments were heard at the Supreme Court. If this case prevails, we will lose fee payer money.
A Right to work attorney argued for Janus:
a) Court made a mistake in 1977: i.e.: there is no distinction between bargaining and lobbying
b) Incorrect standard applied upon free speech—fair share have had their free speech violated
c) The 2012 and 2014 cases decisions can no longer be reconciled with precedent in 1977 case
d) It is unworkable for unions to figure out the money for negotiations vs political
Neil Gorsuch took no interviews, made no statements. The Supreme Court could wait until end of June to rule, but likely will rule prior to that. We are getting some attacks from the MN state legislature side also. The state will immediately stop taking fair share dues out when this ruling comes down (assuming it is not in our favor).
Economic Policy Institute put out good reading on this topic. Lina will send to Bryan Kotta to distribute to everyone on ERC.
2- MAPE survey results: 5,982 members responded of 14,000 MAPE represented employees participated. 83% approval rating now, in 2013 it was 60%. 73% satisfied with contract. Job satisfaction is now 79%. Dept. of Corrections has the lowest job satisfaction. MAPE has 10,126 members; we are up 3% from last year.
3- Contract update—MAPE filled the capital steps on Feb 20. The Legislature paid attention to our action and they are more positive on our contract now. Gazelka on senate side will support a clean contract. Day on the Hill is March 21.
4- Updates on key strategic priorities:
- membership growth
- contract action
- election work
- steward and chief steward development
5- Evaluation: Kelly Ahern introduced the split in duties of Business Agents: MAPE started the split of duties in August and Lina and Kelly want to know how it is going. Feedback:
More regional steward basic trainings
More steward meetings—sometimes good, sometimes bad
Some distancing between two groups
Communication needs to be improved
Outstate locals not getting attention needed
Enforcers are possibly spread too thin-do we need more
HR is pushing back on investigations
Two more questions we didn’t get to get back to Lina on
1) Work area split—Are we missing anything on these lists (handout)?
2) Should any of the items be switched to the opposite BA
1:00 Kelly Ahern, BA talked about Grievance form changes. We will soon have one available on the web. It is a simple form. Stewards must be in contact with Chief Steward before filing. We need to make sure we are not filing frivolous grievances. Kelly has a half sheet she will distribute to Chief Stewards to give to stewards.
Grievance tracking-spreadsheet? Must protect member privacy.
Basic Steward Trainings:
Friday May 4th
Friday August 3rd
Friday November 2nd
Advanced Steward Trainings:
Friday June 22nd and Saturday June 23rd
Friday October 5th and Saturday October 6th
1:45 Kathy Fodness talked about Respectful Workplace Policy. There is a new video out and there will be a new video on retaliation coming out soon.
When complaint is filed, keep in contact with HR. Make sure not to file a complaint on bad discipline…file on behaviors. Send member to the toolkit to see video.
Chief Stewards, ask your stewards if they have any outstanding Respectful Workplace Complaints. MAPE is going to push Ed Hudson from MMB on training for the policy. The policy has been out since 2015--but still no training for supervisors or employees.
DNR—Culture of Respect came out in 2015. Task force sent survey to DNR folks to ask about
Sample responses: 99% knew about Culture of Respect –far fewer knew about Statewide Respectful Workplace policy. Statewide DNR Meet and Confer is assisting the main committee with this work.
Some agencies are saying bullying complaint must be brought within the year?? Kathy says no, there is nothing in the policy about that. However, older behaviors lose validity if there aren’t current behaviors.
Follow-up? What to do when HR won’t tell you if complaint was valid. Person filing complaint should get results of complaint.
The state’s C700 program has some issues because training isn’t happening with supervisors or co-workers. Bullying and discrimination is going on with supervisors.
2:30—Arb team statistics—ERC asked for this data last November.
Kathy discussed three cases that moved on to arbitration and one that did not.
Reminder it may cost costs us about $6000 every time we arbitrate. Loser pays for the arbitration and we lose most of the time.
Kathy will bring outcomes on arbitrations to the next meeting.
3:15 Function of the ERC and how to proceed.
1) Assign steward to new case—ask if they can work with the person you assign. In theory, that steward would stick with that person throughout any pending grievance and all the way through arbitration should it be needed.
2) Planning for after Janus—don’t change what we do as stewards—keep representing/keep enforcing contract
3) # of meetings-6
3:20 Arbitration, Chief Steward duties, Steward duties in policy and procedure is really, really old
Kathy will bring ideas for updates to next meeting to discuss
Thursday, May 17th is next meeting
Agenda: 1- Adhoc training sessions (concern for consistency)
2- Steward assessment
3- Diversity training
4- Possible hearing
Next meeting after May--Monday, July 16th
3:30 M/S/P to adjourn
Kay Pedretti, Region 20 Chief Steward