MAPE welcomes new statewide vice president
For 21 years Angie Halseth has worked for the Department of Corrections (DOC). Currently a caseworker at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, she says that role has helped prepare her for her newest title: MAPE statewide vice president.
“Caseworkers do so much: you have to be organized, manage a caseload of up to 90 people, manage your own time,” Halseth said, when sitting down to talk about her recent MAPE election victory. “I think my role as VP will be very similar to case management - knowing each case and what you have to do when and how.”
As statewide VP, Halseth’s primary focus is to manage stewards, chair MAPE’s Employee Rights Committee (ERC), conduct training, check in on grievances and track arbitrations. For some, this might sound like a heavy load, but for Halseth, it’s an opportunity to get more involved in her union and a challenge she happily accepts.
“Though always a member, I wasn’t active in MAPE for many years,” Halseth said. “But then I went to steward training and became our local vice president four years ago.”
Shortly after becoming a steward, she volunteered to be Region 13 chief steward when no one else stepped up.
“I was chief steward for three years before deciding to run for VP,” she said. “I was shocked how much I enjoyed being on the Meet and Confer Committee and started to feel like this was my passion.”
Halseth said she’s learned a lot from MAPE chief stewards (which make up the ERC) and looks forward to building on that foundation as chair of the committee.
“I learned a lot from former VP Thu Phan, and many chiefs have been around for a long time. They’re knowledgeable and aren’t afraid to share that knowledge,” Halseth said.
During her term as VP, Halseth hopes to visit the stewards in all 21 MAPE regions, gathering insight on what’s working and what isn’t, and developing stewards both new and experienced.
“I want not only to develop new stewards, but also recognize all our stewards because this work is tough and draining,” she said. “I’d like to see some steward self-care training or retreat to talk about our stories, challenges, successes and connect and build each other up.”
Halseth said she enters this new role with members’ best interest at heart. She hopes to help strengthen MAPE’s representational model and relationships between the ERC, stewards and enforcement business agents.
“I think we’ve lost some members because we haven’t effectively represented them. I want to get back to focusing on the members and make sure we’re representing our members,” Halseth said.
Other goals of hers include bringing back the Steward Summit in 2022 and reviving the steward representational model task force.
When asked what motivated her to run and excites her most about her election win, Halseth said, “It was the feeling of providing support for people during their darkest and scariest times, feeling like you’re doing something good and the gratitude you get from those members.”