MPCA meet and confer minutes May 25, 2017

Publish Date

Minutes for the Meet and Confer Quarterly Meeting

May 25, 2017




Management: Commissioner John Linc Stine, Cathy Moeger, Kellie McNamara, Mark Schmitt;


MAPE: Melissa Wenzel, Mark Toso, Bill Dunn, Angela Preimesberger, Sandy McDonald (minute taker)


Agency Updates



  • The House and Senate will try to finish today
  • The Governor has three business days to review because of the special session. Memorial Day counts as a business day.
  • No bills were presented until all were complete because Dayton wanted to see the whole package together.
  • The MPCA is in a reasonable position with a slight increase in funding although some sources and how distributed in programs have changed.
  • The MPCA budget will now be allocated by Division rather than program. Remediation may be getting some new FTEs and will be getting enough to cover the increase in program costs. Other areas that are underfunded may be able to make this up with multiple funding streams.
  • MPCA will still need to be cautious about hiring pending Federal budget.
  • Reallocations will not be effected.



  • As the FY 2018 budget is currently proposed, there would be a 31% decrease to EPA, a 40% decrease to tribal and state assistance grants.
  • The biggest cuts would be to 319 programs and GLNPO.
  • The MPCA is planning in case there is a federal shutdown. There may be State funds to cover some programs but it would depend on whether the shutdown is full or partial and how long it lasted.
  • Layoffs in a shut down are based on defining Essential Services (in the past this is a very small number of MPCA staff ); layoffs due to EPA funding cuts would be by seniority, but State  may be able to fund some of the difference.


Agenda Items


Paid Parental Leave

  • This is still in question at this time.


Retirement Options

  • HR is still considering an FAQ or brown bag for staff (concern that listing of options would lead to expectation that these are available to anyone as an employee benefit).
  • There was concern by HR that staff not assume that all options would be available to all employees. Currently retirement options are only offered in special circumstances by MPCA Leadership.
  • Supervisors and Managers will need more training to explain options and help manage staff expectations.


Agency Classifications (Career Ladder)

  • The HR Brown Bag scheduled for April 10th was cancelled. There will be an ADD meeting on Tuesday where HR will discuss the issues. HR wants feedback from management.
  • The presentation will focus on alternative tracks within the Agency. What knowledge and skills are needed at specific levels?
  • Will be presented at a Meet & Confer meeting before presenting to the Agency. Should be ready by the August meeting.


Environmental Leadership

  • The process is close. The group has been focused on protecting human health and the law.
  • Need to run the document by the Assistant Commissioners.
  • Feedback is seen as key component. If no action is taken on an issue, staff want to understand why.
  • It will be important to understand the process for reporting a concern.
  • There were still concerns about protection for staff who need to go outside their direct chain of command.



  • Some programs have been negatively affected more than others by Tempo issues.
  • Staff should be talking to their division Tempo reps.
  • After the new 2.1 version is rolled out, there will be a survey.
  • Footprints should be used to document concerns/problems.
  • An Intranet page would be helpful.



  • There is an anti-bullying component of the current required Respectful Workplace training.
  • MMB will be implementing a phased roll out to Agencies of their on-line training. It will be mandatory.


Tools to track workload

  • Management is aware that some areas are not staffed adequately. This is an ongoing adjustment.