President’s Corner: October 2021
Fall has come to Minnesota. The skyline is filled with vibrant shades of yellow and red, the smell of bonfires waft over neighborhoods and Halloween decorations are starting to appear on front lawns. I have two young children who recently started a new school year, so this time of year always feels like new beginnings to me.
Members recently voted overwhelmingly, 97 percent, to approve our 2021-2023 contract, and the next day MAPE completed its 41st Delegate Assembly. On Oct. 1, the Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER) voted 9-1 to recommend the Legislature fully ratify our contract This feels like a new year for our union, too.
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) informed us that the new rates of pay, including back pay from July 1, will be included in paychecks beginning Dec.17. This is later than usual due to a backlog of contracts that are now being updated.
The SER vote was the first step in the legislative process because the Legislature still must pass the contract by mid-May of next year. There are many challenges facing us, including getting our contract through a highly partisan legislature at a time when politicians are gearing up for re-election. Redistricting will also make elections more chaotic than usual. We know when we work together we can do great things, including helping to pass our contract, so we can better serve our fellow Minnesotans, our members and our communities.
Another example of “new beginnings” for MAPE is the strategic planning process we recently launched. We’re reaching out to and engaging members so that we’re grounded in what members want and need. You should have recently received a survey asking your thoughts on a variety of topics including your job, telework, Meet and Confers, member engagement and how we can better serve our members. There will be additional member 1:1 meetings and larger listening sessions through early November which will help shape conversations the Board of Directors will be having over the next few months as our union plans for the next three to five years.
Our consultant team is planning to do hundreds of conversations with members and staff as part of this process. These conversations will dig into many of the same questions as the 1:1s, but in group settings so members can engage in discussion and really explore ideas. Your input is crucial so please participate in these conversations.
I hope you have time to enjoy the fall colors and crisp temperatures with family and friends for your own new beginning this month.