MNIT meet and confer minutes Nov 7, 2018

Publish Date

MNIT Meet & Confer Minutes – 11/7/18

Present from MAPE: Jed Becher – MNIT @ DNR, Kassie Church – MNIT @ DHS, Axelina Swenson – MNIT Central, Andi Morris – MNIT @ BCA, Gary – MNIT @ DOT, Nic Frey - MAPE

Present from Management: Justin Kaufman – MNIT Assistant Commissioner, Brian Fitch – Labor Relations/HR, Nicole Schultz – Labor Relations/HR, Chad Thuet – MNIT HR Director, John Eichten – Deputy Commissioner

Old items

  1. Phased retirement option update
    1. Any plans to get the information out?
      1. Last time there was some discussion about an FAQ that was being vetted by MMB and MSRS.
      2. Option was negotiated into the contract – some agencies opted in; MNIT@ staff at those agencies would qualify as well
      3. MMB has reported “soon” with no further guidance
      4. In the meantime, former staff can be hired under Post Retirement Option - PRO
  2. Service Desk Consolidation
    1. Commissioner provided update on 10/30 in Town Hall
    2. Service desk optimization plan – business process transformation, and enterprise redesign
      1. Encouraged to watch this to hear it straight from the Commissioner
      2. Questions to Bill Poier– Chief Technology Officer; can invite him to a future meeting
  3. Affirmative Action Plan
    1. Just finished redacting private data, approved by MMB last week
    2. Making sure it’s accessible prior to posting online
    3. Will be posted on Careers page (public MNIT site) as well as MNIT intranet with a communication about it, possibly including goals for the next year.
  4. Updates on Knowledge Transfer Discussion
    1. Using contractors for projects and when they leave the knowledge leaves with them because there’s not enough time/budget for the knowledge transfer
    2. Knowledge transfer is required under statute
    3. How do we talk to people to ensure knowledge transfer occurs? It is in contracts
    4. Contract template with Dept of Admin – contracts are not MNIT specific
      1. Checking to see if it’s appropriate to put in the contracts
        1. What is appropriate for contract language vs process
    5. Are we talking about formal knowledge transfer where we would commit a vendor a certain number of hours for this?
      1. There would be a premium assigned to that
    6. Or MNIT staff should be working side by side with contractors to prevent need for knowledge transfer at the end of a project – it’s an obligation of the state rather than the vendor
  5. Update on all agencies being subject to MNIT contracting
    1. DHS is writing their own IT contracts and running their own IT projects without MNIT involvement
      1. MNIT finds out about the project 6 months down the road and then needs to jump in to fix it
      2. Now back pedaling to resolve issues related to not meeting security standards
    2. Justin is going to look into this – Kassie will send him copies of some of the contracts
  6. Metropass subsidies
    1. This was reviewed previously but there were issues with not having minimum ridership required by Met Council to initiate the program
    2. Justin received a list of how other agencies are handling Metropass, how much they’re subsidizing, etc.
      1. Longer term MNIT folks get the subsidy of their @ agency while newer employees do not
      2. Should have the same rate for all MNIT employees – some will get higher subsidies while others will get lower subsidies but MNIT employees should all be treated the same
    3. Justin will ensure that this is included in the rates package
    4. Will discuss opting out of Admin contract and instead opting in to Metropass
    5. MAPE would like MnIt to do a survey to find out if there are enough people to implement this – this will be dependent on what Justin learns from Admin
  7. Brown & Bigelow
    1. There is a new safety officer who is learning how to respond to safety concerns
      1. Maintenance issues are not always making it back to MNIT management (safety officer and Chad)
        1. Sometimes MNIT hears about it once all the communication has been sent out
      2. Chad acknowledged there are gaps – landlord not invested
    2. Melissa Warhol is the safety officer with MNIT
    3. M&C requested a joint meeting with DHS and MnIT management so that issues at B&B can be resolved.
    4. MnIT management would like to take a tour first to fully understand all the issues before requesting a meeting with DHS management
      1. Justin, Chad, Brian, Melissa
    5. Chad is taking this seriously – Andi will be in touch to schedule the tour


New items

  1. Emergency communications message – minor disagreement with the language that was used
    1. Management feels it is important to be able to communicate things such as the closure of agencies and any other important information
    2. Want it to be clear that employees won’t be disciplined for not replying
    3. Will be reviewing worksite locations
    4. Chad will send the proposed language and the committee will provide back language they are comfortable with HR using in the next notice to staff
  2. Add new M&C members to the meeting notice and remove old members
    1. Jed will send updates to Chad and he will update the meeting notice
  3. QAs moved to new option without notice
    1. Would like communication from MNIT about this – people weren’t aware of the change
    2. MMB was not willing to create more options (already 1600)
      1. Shoehorned QAs into BA option as that was the closest description and must have an option for anything above ITS3
      2. Assigned QAs to a more appropriate option, but management now realizes they should have communicated with affected staff and MAPE about the pending change.
    3. Admitted they missed engaging employees
    4. If anyone feels they were improperly classified, they should contact Chad or Chris Stiebler
  4. COB help desk workload concerns
    1. Employees are in service desk and desktop support areas at MNIT Central
      1. They are overwhelmed, asked to work more, unsure what they should record on timesheet, etc
      2. Too many tickets, unable to get through the backlog, need more help
    2. Don’t understand how to report OT
      1. ITS1 and ITS2 employees
      2. Didn’t know who to direct questions to
      3. Were being told to balance hours outside work week which is a violation of the contract
    3. There are a lot of helpdesk employees at other @ agencies who might be able to help
    4. Employees feel unsupported because everyone is busy so they don’t want to ask questions
      1. Worried they won’t pass probation
      2. Offer training/mentorship so they have a contact for assistance/questions
    5. The overwhelmed feeling is common
      1. There were 70 vacancies at MNIT enterprise services and they are all actively being filled – have filled 48 so far
        1. Not all service desk but a lot of them are
    6. Non-exempt employees who are working over 40 hours should be reporting actual time worked
      1. Should be talking to supervisor about workload vs hours
      2. OT should be optional
      3. Time balancing should be within the work week
    7. Management needs to use their discretion to hire more staff, escalate the issue, etc
    8. Chad would be happy to attend team meetings to remind supervisors of rules regarding OT, etc
      1. Make sure supervisors are aware of appropriate ways to report OT
      2. There is a whole section on FLSA in supervisor training
        1. Manager CORE and supervisory CORE also address this
    9. Timing of a request to use staff from other agencies would need to be approached with caution because it may be perceived as contradictory to everything that has been said about optimization
  5. Onboarding and new employee orientation at @ agencies
    1. Manager’s meeting during MNIT week included discussion of how to address the culture in @ agencies
      1. It’s as if MNIT holds a passport and has to adjust to culture of agencies
    2. There is a meeting with MNIT HR to discuss benefits, etc
      1. Held weekly
    3. Setting up a new HR governance team – representatives from DHS, DPS, MMB, DOLI, and one other agency, 3 CIO reps
      1. Will be having conversations about things that affect MNIT employees at @ agencies
        1. Each agency does their own background checks
        2. Some agencies offer a lot of training, others just expect employees to learn without being willing to spend the money
        3. Can MnIT ask host agencies to modify their new employee orientation to include MnIT staff when they cover information that is key to MnIT staff success?
  6. Discussion of not including MNIT employees in agency climate surveys – team would like to see MnIT staff included in host agency climate surveys/
    1. Issues may be relevant to the @ agency more so than MNIT
    2. Some people may want to know about the @ agency mission while some may be more interested in MNIT mission, or vice versa
  7. Chad brought up the idea of doing rotations across agencies


Chad provided follow-up regarding COB Service Desk:

Deputy Commissioner Eichten and I met with COB directors this morning to share your concerns. We talked about non-exempt OT rules and that non-exempt staff are paid by the hour and are eligible for OT for any time worked beyond 40 hours in a work week. We talked about workload concerns and trying to keep up with service tickets and tasks and a general feeling on the part of staff of being overwhelmed. And we talked about making sure that managers and supervisors are communicating expectations and scheduling time to meet with staff and prioritizing their work.

We clarified non-exempt work hours and work schedules and how overtime is determined – no balancing hours beyond the work week. We encouraged them to talk with their managers and supervisors to schedule one-on-one meetings to listen to workload concerns and to help prioritize and/or reassign work to others. We mentioned that OT is an option, and that any hours worked above 40 in the standard work week should be logged on the timecard and will be paid at time and one-half. And we reiterated the importance of engaging with staff and listening and responding to concerns.

While we won’t always be able to control the expectations of our business partners, we will always have high standards for ourselves because it’s our mission to partner with Minnesota state agencies to deliver technology solutions that transform how government provides services for the people of Minnesota.