MAPE opens contract negotiations with MMB, much work ahead

Publish Date

MAPE’s Negotiations Committee met virtually with Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) contract negotiators to trade proposals for the first time on April 6. More than 100 MAPE members attended the open negotiations sessions and participated in MAPE briefings. View a video of the MAPE Team’s remarks.

“MAPE members been central to Minnesota’s quality of life and the care and relief of its residents throughout the pandemic. Minnesota. Our proposals present a vision of where we need to go in order to move the state forward from COVID-19 relief and recovery into what we need to do to reimagine Minnesota,” MAPE President Megan Dayton said.

MAPE’s Proposals
Thousands of MAPE members provided 2021-2023 contract ideas to the Negotiations Team. A record 7,029 participated in the union’s contract negotiations survey, and others attended listening sessions across the state and sent their ideas electronically to MAPE. Negotiators spent months researching and discussing the proposals.

Dayton and Negotiations Committee Co-Chairs Adam Novotny and Carolyn Murphy presented the union’s 30 proposals, grouped in five themes: equity, healthy workplace, mental health and wellbeing, attraction and retention and wages and healthcare. Read proposals here: 

MAPE’s proposals for the 2021-2023 contract pertain not only to MAPE’s more than 15,000 members but to the 5.7 million Minnesotans MAPE serves. “The public has spoken. State leadership echoes. Our members agree. Equity, diversity and inclusion should be desired by all who live and work in Minnesota. Today, we present proposals that will bring the state as an employer, and our members as a workforce, more in line with these ideals. These proposals will provide an opportunity for the marginalized, and allow us to lead in tandem on Equity," Novotny said.

Commitments to anti-racism and emphasis of the importance of EDI to the state workforce, improvements to the Connect 700 program and ensuring that temporary unclassified positions are used only when appropriate while being afforded the rights and benefits of this bargaining unit were some of MAPE’s EDI proposals.

A healthy workplace has been shown to improve productivity and employee satisfaction. This was evident when MNIT members helped more than 35,000 state employees turn their homes into remote workplaces during the pandemic. The ability to telework ensured state government would continue to move forward and enable MAPE members to continue delivering timely and exemplary services to people across the state. MAPE proposes updating the existing telework policy and provide the right to participate, and protocol for employee to supervisor/manager relationship and accountability.

Study after study shows that benefits such as paid family leave and sick leave can help employees meet their personal and family healthcare needs, while also fulfilling work responsibilities. MAPE is recommending these and other mental health and wellbeing proposals.

The State of Minnesota has long said it wants to be competitive in the workplace. “Our proposals would help make the State a more attractive workplace and retain those who have already adopted to the 2021 model of working in a global pandemic. We have identified gaps in areas of attraction and retention of qualified employees and our proposals maintain our history of being a productive and successful workforce,” Murphy said. 

Tuition reimbursement, tuition and fee waivers, student loans, deferred compensation and vacation accruals were some of the attraction and retention proposal topics. 

Negotiators will discuss wages and healthcare proposals later in the bargaining process. 

MMB’s Proposals
MMB presented 143 proposals. Although MMB negotiators did not lay out their proposals in themes like MAPE did, many of their proposals attempt to create union division through taking away seniority and trying to take control of stewards and smaller, but still significant, things like taking away union space on agency bulletin boards.

“Despite Gov. Walz often saying that ‘MAPE makes Minnesota work,’ the majority of MMB’s proposals indicated a lack of appreciation for the work that has been done in incredibly difficult times by state employees represented by MAPE. They also undermine the resiliency of our workers and the vision of making Minnesota the employer of choice,” Dayton said.

“The proposals lack any real solutions to the problems we face as a state workforce. Equity deserves real solutions, not to be used as an excuse to take away union rights. We hope the State uses the time before our next meeting to look at some of our proposals and bring to the table their own proposals that would attract and retain a diverse workforce similar to what MAPE has proposed,” Novotny said.

Many MAPE members said they were surprised and disappointed that MMB had no new contract language on teleworking. “Millions of Minnesotans continued to receive quality services on time because many MAPE members had the ability to telework throughout the pandemic. Many companies in Minnesota and across the country are moving to include telework as a large part of their new work standard. The State must be able to compete with the private sector to be able to attract and retain employees,” Murphy said. 

Next Steps
MAPE’s Negotiations Committee will go through the proposals from MMB and prepare responses. The Team will be looking for items in the proposals that coincide with MAPE’s interest in improving services to Minnesotans and making the State the best place to work in Minnesota. Share why this contract this important to you.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 22and will focus on the often-misused status of temporary unclassified workers. Watch the negotiations page and your email inbox for additional updates and opportunities to be involved in improving your next contract.