MNIT Meet & Confer minutes Aug 7, 2019

Publish Date

8-7-19 Minutes: MNIT Meet & Confer



Old Business

  1. MetroPass Subsidies – What the eligibility rules will be, who can use the new contract. Are only rate-based employees eligible? Can non-rate based staff use the contract?
  • What will eligibility rules be?
  • Will only rate-based employees be eligible?


Response: Will look into this. Trying to determine who will administer the program. On Exec Team meeting agenda for 8/8, then will be reviewed by the Financial Steering Committee. Will need to talk to CBTOs & CFOs. Some agencies subsidize now, might subsidize at a higher amount. Trying to make the subsidy amount the same for all MNIT employees, regardless of @agency. Need to determine if subsidies will be funded through @agency or through MNIT Central. Started with 5 employees at Pine because they were kept on after moving from COB.


  1. Brown & Bigelow
  • No one is telling HR that power is a problem, people decided to go home.
  • Generator covers Wi-Fi but not the lights
  • Staff need to be told something from their management, not DHS management.
  • What is the reporting process for reporting a problem? Is the safety coordinator in the loop? How does the power back up work?
  • MAPE proposes having an onsite lead onsite if one does not already exist.


Response: Chad was not aware of the power outage, acknowledged that it is a continuous issue. Solution: Bring all parties together: DHS Facilities Management, landlord representative, ADA staff, MNIT Safety, someone from MNIT HR, MNIT and DHS managers, plus 4 MAPE employees at B&B. Come up with a list, prioritize items and determine who is responsible for each. This is a concern for MNIT management, not just MAPE, and they are frustrated that they have not been kept informed.

  1. Rotation of MNIT staff – update requested if available, otherwise, we skip this item

                Response: Planning about how to pull the last of the MNIT folks into the Enterprise needs to take place                   first. This initiative was an idea of Commissioner Poirer, Commissioner Thomes may have different thoughts.                                Will follow up in 6 months.

  1. Employee Recognition Policy

MAPE had sent a request to the ERC that major MNIT awards such as project of the year or employee of the year have a monetary award attached to them.

Update on the idea of monetary awards for the recognition.

Response: Discussed with Commissioner Thomes a few weeks ago i.e. what this really looks like. Is this ERC or a              broader issue? Need to determine where funding can come from, how it can be used, etc. Commissioner   Thomes was accepting of this as a retention tool. Need to discuss with various Steering Committees.      Management will be going back to Commissioner Thomes with additional information. Chad noted that           this would be moving forward, not retroactive. Will follow up at next meeting.

  1. Logo wear – We were waiting for an update about Justin getting someone at MNIT Central to set up a contracted vendor to secure products from.  

Response: Justin noted some work has been done i.e. talking to general council. Tracy has been looking at what other agencies have. Need to decide what items to have, etc. Needs to go to Dept of Admin. May do something as a Beta test. Will be something people can order rather than something kept on hand. Would likely be on a website with a unique code, etc, with direct payment. No policies, just restrictions on the available items (i.e. no tank tops).

New Business

  1. Onboarding & New Employee Orientation at other agencies
    (onboarding list from 6/10/19 that we sent them. C:\mape\Meet and confer\mnit\followed up with management - sent to them
    Update on onboarding work by HR

How do we get staff in agency-based offices to understand rules in the building? Management asked for MAPE’s help - what specifically do you want to know about working in agency locations. Please provide a list of items that HR can share with its HR partners at other agencies.


Response RE Onboarding at other agencies: MAPE provided a list of topics to have covered for staff working at agency locations. Management will provide a response by the next meeting.

What has been done so far regarding Onboarding within MNIT: Starting it at COB. Hoping to automate some of the process, using Remedy. Figuring out ways to pull information from one system to another to reduce need for duplicative data entry, chances for errors, etc. Manager’s survey RE onboarding: What was an issue before, what works better under the new system.


  1. Update on MNIT week


Response: Being planned for the latter half of November. Activities/agenda still up in the air. There will likely be another expo. Still looking at location and dates (dates are dependent on availability of space).


  1. Would HR consider creating a policy requiring @ agency management staff to notify HR 30 days prior to moves so HR can notify the affected staff?

Response: HR will not consider such a policy. Will give as much notice as possible but sometimes things happen quickly and they may not be able to give 30-day notice. Chad brought up the fact that the MAPE contract only requires a 14-day notice for layoffs, but MAPE is asking for more time for a location changes. He noted that they will notify people as soon as possible. Sometimes too much notice causes other problems. Not intending to be secretive, sometimes it is the business partner making the decision. Will abide by the contract RE not moving employees more than 35 miles, changing shifts, etc.


  1. Not being able to drive @agency vehicles at most locations other than DNR. Per DNR CBTO, it has to do with how Fleet Services is set up. This became an issue July 1st.


Response: DNR was noted as a location where MNIT staff can still freely use DNR vehicles. DNR has a unique fee structure where MNIT pays for the use of fleet vehicles just like any other DNR division. Part of the reason is the liability for non-employees driving the vehicles. The biggest concern is if there is an accident, it would be difficult to determine who would bear the cost. This is a complex issue in the long run. Looking into this further could jeopardize remaining usage of agency vehicles.


  1. There are 300 MNIT staff at B&B. MAPE would like to see an HR generalist in an onsite rotation once a month at B&B. Maybe use touchdown station with posted office hours.

Response: Management has concerns that this could end up being primarily a complaining session. MAPE’s intent is to have someone on site to answer questions about benefits, FMLA, etc. Management is open to the idea, but there are practical considerations. Maybe just providing a particular contact person in HR would be helpful and answer questions electronically. Chad will discuss with his staff. Will follow up at next meeting.


  1. Holiday pay for exempt staff – send out proactive communication about how to do this right. Will have more detail at our meeting for you but there seems to be a change in how “payroll status is being determined. People have needed to earn and take comp time in order to be in pay status the day before/after the holiday.


Response: Need to work the normal scheduled day (number of hours) the day before and the day before. Chad and his staff will discuss. Chad was open to clarifying language provided by MAPE. Will revisit at the next meeting.

  1. Minimum workstation standards for @agency MNIT staff
    Landing stations instead of cubes, nowhere to secure personal belongings, first come first serve landing stations, giving landing stations as permanent workstations. Supervisors are not getting offices, no privacy with supervisor. B&B walls are too thin, no privacy. Staff lose parking if only in the office 2 days a week. This is in large part an issue at DHS.

Response: Most supervisors at COB don’t have an office. Over 500 telework agreements within MNIT, many of which provide for more time working from home than working from the office. Issue of having nowhere to secure belongings is concerning. No one in MNIT management was aware of these concerns. Will discuss as part of the meeting with DHS at B&B.


  1. Perceived continual slide in relations between host agency staff and MNIT @agency staff – anger about rates, want Bob on this project vs. Jill since Bob costs less. Staff are singled out based on their rate.
    Asked to change time cards because of how much something costs. Project manager told us……

Response: Chad is aware of some issues, wants to meet with managers at multiple @agencies.

  1. Recent feedback from MDE staff: Technology stack consolidations – MDE has four reporting tools. Noted that MAPE staff are taking the brunt of the frustrations and some advice on how to address this.

Response: One reporting tool will never work for all agencies/projects, but it would be nice to get down to 2 or 3. MNIT needs to determine business requirements for a reporting tool. Very cognizant of it, working to get toward common software and tools. Have not had an Enterprise architect for quite some time due to other priorities. This will take time.


  1. MNIT @ DEED is piloting Microsoft Teams. During a training session, staff were told they can use personal phones to access the program, but there was no indication of potential implications of doing so. Since Teams will be replacing Skype in 2021, more employees will be joining the pilot in the coming months and there is concern about suggesting using personal devices with no acknowledgement of what this means for MAPE employees.

Response: Management recognizes this will be a growing concern, not only with discoverability of information on personal phones, but with data privacy. Justin provided a contact of Kevin Rosar; Andi will contact Kevin regarding this issue.