Human Rights Meet and Confer minutes Jun 11, 2019

Publish Date


June 11, 2019



For the Union:           Heidi Hovis, Brianne Lucio, Audel Shokohzadeh, Shawn Swinson-Stafford (chair), Lenora White, and Manuel Zuniga


For Management:      Commissioner Rebecca Lucero and Deputy Commissioner Irina Vaynerman



1  Procedural topics

Management and MAPE discussed the following procedural topics:

  • MAPE employee Jonathan Wong was unable to attend, due to having left for the day.


2 Hay process / range reassignment

Management and MAPE discussed the following Hay / range-reassignment topics:

  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford acknowledged MAPE’s receipt of positon descriptions that Management recently drafted for the positions of Case Processing EO1 and Case Processing EO2.  Shawn Swinson-Stafford thanked Management for treating this matter with a sense of urgency.
  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford informed Management that MDHR’s Equity & Inclusion Officers are concerned about when Management will draft new position descriptions for them.
    • Rebecca Lucero and Irina Vaynerman noted that Management is working on a strategic compliance plan this summer.
    • Rebecca Lucero noted that Management will complete the plan this coming fall and that Management is working on it in partnership with DOLI.
    • Rebecca Lucero noted that Equity & Inclusion Officer Sara Mendoza recently attended a DOLI presentation and shared information with other officers from Equity & Inclusion.  Brianne Lucio pointed out that acting Equity & Inclusion Supervisor Salima Khakoo shared a related one-page article.
  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford asked Management whether MDHR Management has a stance as to what pay range any of the EO positions should have.  Rebecca Lucero replied that MDHR Management has no such stance, that MDHR Management has no control over pay ranges, and that MDHR Management merely compares positions to similar positions in the State of MN Enterprise.  Rebecca Lucero then gave the example that for the paralegal position that MDHR recently posted, MDHR Management has no control over the corresponding pay range.


3 Management plans for staffing of MAPE positions

Management and MAPE discussed the following staffing topics:

  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford informed Management that the departure of former MAPE employee Mong Vang has many MAPE employees worried about whether Management plans on reducing the number of MAPE positions at MDHR.
    • Rebecca Lucero replied that MDHR has no need for a FT Videographer and that Management worked with Mong Vang to find Mong Vang another positon, and that Management gave severance pay to Mong Vang.


4 Information gathered by organizational development consultant Mariann Johnson

Management and MAPE discussed the following topics concerning the work of organizational development consultant Mariann Johnson:

  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford informed Management that MAPE would like to know how Management will use this information.
    • Rebecca Lucero and Irina Vaynerman replied that nothing has changed since Management discussed this topic at the last all-staff meeting.
    • Rebecca Lucero asserted that topics such as this should not be on MAPE’s MAC agenda, as such topics affect all MDHR employees, not just MDHR MAPE employees.
    • Rebecca Lucero noted that “everyone” will get a copy of Mariann Johnson’s report, but that only Rebecca Lucero and Irina Vaynerman would receive recommendations related to the report.
    • Rebecca Lucero and Irina Vaynerman noted that a lot of changes are happening at MDHR and that Management wants to be smart about making these changes.
  • Manuel Zuniga asked Management what the impetus was for making brining in Mariann Johnson.
    • Rebecca Lucero reiterated that brining in Mariann Johnson was about making changes.
    • Irina Vaynerman reiterated that brining in Mariann Johnson was about making changes and pointed out that MDHR has new staff members and a new supervisor.
    • Rebecca Lucero noted that Management is changing MDHR’s organizational culture.  Rebecca Lucero further noted that there was not a “big problem” to address, just a need to address MDHR’s organizational culture.
    • Irina Vaynerman noted that bringing in Mariann Johnson was about having an outside person who was from a space other than MDHR.
  • Audel Shokohzadeh asked Management if it was a coincidence that Management was bringing in Mariann Johnson at the same time that MDHR is the subject of an OLA audit.
    • Rebecca Lucero replied that this was an annoying coincidence.
    • Manuel Zuniga noted that because Rebecca Lucero discussed the OLA audit and Mariann Johnson’s visit during a bifurcated meeting on June 4, 2019, some employees were wondering if there was a connection between the audit and Mariann Johnson’s visit.  Irina Vaynerman replied that the audit and Mariann Johnson’s visit were not at all related.


5  Carry over of comp time

Management and MAPE discussed the following comp-time topics:

  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford reiterated MAPE’s desire that Management allow MAPE employees to choose individually, instead of collectively, whether to carry over comp time to next fiscal year, as opposed to having Management it cash it out this fiscal year.  Rebecca Lucero replied that individual choice is not available to MAPE employees.
  • Rebecca Lucero asked if MAPE could let Management know by June 19, 2019 whether MAPE wants to carry over comp time or have it cashed out.  Shawn Swinson-Stafford replied that MAPE will inform Management by that deadline.


6 Training and development

Management and MAPE discussed the following training / development topics:

  • Shawn Swinson-Stafford noted that although there is no need to go into the topic at depth right now, MAPE employees have continued to express interest in the Emerging Leaders Institute (“ELI”) and similar trainings.
  • Rebecca Lucero stated that this topic is not appropriate for discussion during Meet and Confer, as it is outside of the MAPE contract and is a topic that affects all employees, not just MAPE employees.  Shawn Swinson-Stafford replied that Shawn Swinson-Stafford believed that the MAPE contract addresses training.


7 Miscellaneous

Management and MAPE discussed the following miscellaneous topics:

  • Irina Vaynerman asked if MAPE had any feedback on the position descriptions that Irina Vaynerman shared with the enforcement officers of Case Processing on June 7, 2019.  Manuel Zuniga replied that Manuel Zuniga still needs to take a deeper dive into the position descriptions, but that at this time, Manuel Zuniga is concerned about position-description language stating that enforcement officers “facilitate” investigations, instead of stating that enforcement officers “investigate.”
  • Rebecca Lucero stated that Management looked at the gamut of similar position descriptions from other agencies.
  • Rebecca Lucero stated that Management is intentional about the culture at MDHR.
  • Manuel Zuniga stated that Manuel Zuniga’s concern about position-description language such as the word “facilitate” is based on not knowing how MMB will look at the position descriptions, given that MMB puts a premium on a position’s independence and latitude when looking at a positon description.
  • Irina Vaynerman noted that the position description that MAPE shared with Irina Vaynerman for the position of Senior Maltreatment Investigator-a 17L position at MDE-calls for supervisory approval.  Irina Vaynerman continued that concerning the ALJs at DEED, every document they create is reviewed and signed by a supervisor.
  • Lenora White noted that having supervisors review all of the enforcement officers’ investigative memos instead of just the PC memos might give the impression that enforcement officers are not doing their jobs.
  • Rebecca Lucero noted that in reviewing the work of the enforcement officers, supervisors can identify patterns and collaborate accordingly.
  • Irina Vaynerman stated that there is an “expertise piece” at play and that having everyone cross-trained is “really unique.”
  • Rebecca Lucero discussed the legislative process.
  • In response to Rebecca Lucero’s points about which items should not be on the agenda for Meet and Confer, Heidi Hovis noted that Article 32 of the MAPE contract provides that the purpose of Meet and Confer is to support a collaborative relationship.  Heidi Hovis also pointed out that Article 6 of the MAPE contract addresses the topic of training.
  • Brianne Lucio asked Rebecca Lucero and Irina Vaynerman if Management wants an employee committee that would discuss topics that pertain to all MDHR employees.  Also, Brianne Lucio noted that MAPE is the only union that engages in Meet and Confer with Management, unlike AFSCME or any other union.  Rebecca Lucero replied that AFSCME is not allowed to engage in Meet and Confer.
  • On the issue of feedback concerning position descriptions, Brianne Lucio noted that from an outside point of view, there could be confusion about what an EO1 does vs. what an EO2 does.  Rebecca Lucero replied that MDHR needs to hone the fact that these are two different positons.
  • Lenora White and Brianne Lucio mentioned that MDHR’s August 2018 EO Hay study resulted in a finding of “inconclusive,” apparently because the Hay reviewers did not understand the differences between the work EO’s in Case Processing do vs. the work that EO’s in Equity & Inclusion (f/k/a Contract Compliance) do.  Rebecca Lucero replied that MMB has assured that there should be different positions for Case Processing vs. Equity and Inclusion.
  • Brianne Lucio noted that there has been a two-year delay in moving the Hay process forward.  Irina Vaynerman replied that Irina Vaynerman will “do more digging.”
  • Rebecca Lucero noted that MDHR has received a legislative allotment that will cover cost-of-living increases, but that would not cover pay increases that might result from a Hay study.
  • Various members of MAPE and Management discussed that EO’s have learned that even if EO’s receive higher pay ranges, they won’t see large raises all at once, that newer EO’s might not be aware of this fact, and that Audel Shokohzadeh will address this matter in get-togethers that Audel Shokohzadeh is planning for MDHR’s MAPE employees.


8 Tentative scheduling of next meeting

  • Management and MAPE tentatively agreed to meet from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.