Meet and Confer listening blitz a success

Publish Date

When pandemic working conditions have state employees more likely to bump into a family member during the workday than colleagues and agency leadership, labor-management Meet and Confer Committee meetings are more important than ever to maintain clear and open communication between workers and key leaders.

To help foster that communication, the Pollution Control Agency (PCA) Meet and Confer Team recently conducted a three-day blitz of 23 separate listening sessions with every unit in PCA.

Hannah Field, PCA Meet and Confer chair, said her team meets quarterly with management, and that all MAPE meet and confer chairs meet weekly.

“It’s been eye-opening,” Field said. “We want to hear what members care about and how we can take those ideas to management.”

During one listening session, fellow PCA Meet and Confer Team member Joel Peck gave participants a little background on how meet and confers work and why the team was reaching out to every unit in the agency.

“Minnesota labor law recognizes that professional employees have something special to offer the agencies, so we are empowered to discuss whatever we want at meet and confer,” Peck said. “And that’s what we’re trying to gather today – what do our members want leadership to know?”

Some examples of discussion items included onboarding and mentoring of new hires, teleworking, flexibility in job duties and access to and learning from experts in the field.

For others on PCA’s Meet and Confer Team, it’s an outlet to connect better with union colleagues and get more involved with MAPE.

“I am excited to finally see myself in MAPE and see how I fit in there to help others increase communications,” said Anne Morris, PCA Meet and Confer Team member. “When we understand how we work together, I think we can work together with more understanding.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about your agency’s Meet and Confer Team, or about hosting a blitz in your worksite, please reach out to your Meet and Confer committee for more information.