What you need to know about a potential shutdown State employees receive layoff notices

Publish Date

We are hopeful state Legislators and Gov. Walz will reach a budget deal before July 1, 2021, but there is still risk of a state shutdown resulting in state employee temporary layoffs or involuntary unpaid leaves of absence. You may receive, or have already received, a layoff letter from MMB or your agency. MAPE, along with other unions, and MMB have negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Below is an overview of the agreement.

  • Layoffs or involuntary unpaid leaves of absence as a result of the shutdown and the MOU only applies to employees who will not be directed to perform priority 1 or 2 critical services.
  • The assignment of employees to perform priority 1 or 2 critical services will be by seniority provided that the senior employees are capable and qualified to perform the assigned work.
  • For employees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, a potential layoff or involuntary unpaid leave of absence would have to be triggered by the Board of Trustees determining that funds are no longer available to continue operation.

  • The MOU waives Article 17, Section 3 of the MAPE Contract for the first thirty (30) days for any layoffs as a result of a state shutdown.
  • If a layoff is longer than 30 days and an employee chooses to bump, the position change will be permanent.
  • Employees who are laid off and choose not to bump will return to their former position, work location, shift and schedule at the conclusion of the shutdown.
  • Employees who are laid off or on involuntary unpaid leaves of absence as a result of the shutdown will not be able to liquidate accrued vacation, severance, or comp time.
  • Employees who are laid off on involuntary unpaid leaves of absence and are eligible to receive insurance through SEGIP will remain eligible with the same coverage level and employer contribution for the duration of the shutdown, regardless of years of service.
    • This applies to unclassified employees as well.
  • Premium deductions for employees’ share of premiums that were missed during the shutdown will be taken out beginning with the second full paycheck received after the return to work and will be spread out on subsequent paychecks for as many periods that were missed. 
  • Once the shutdown ends, all employees who are laid off or on involuntary unpaid leaves of absence will be recalled to work and will be returned to their prior position, work location, shift, and schedule.
    • Employees will receive a return-to-work date in the recall notice they receive.
  • Time on layoff or involuntary unpaid leaves of absence because of the shutdown will be considered “continuous service” for purposes of vacation accruals, seniority, severance pay eligibility and eligibility for insurance for part-time employees.
    • Regarding your MSRS pension, service accruals are controlled by MSRS and can’t be altered with an MOU. MSRS counts months of service based on an employee getting paid for that month. Find out more information here about MSRS during a shut down. https://www.msrs.state.mn.us/state-shutdown-faq

Employees who are laid off or on involuntary unpaid leaves of absence are eligible for unemployment benefits.

For questions, please contact a MAPE steward, business agent, or email action@mape.org.

MAPE President Megan Dayton in the news re: state employees receiving layoff notices:

Star Tribune: 38,000 state employees get layoff notices as budget work continues

MPR News: MN government begins planning for potential shutdown

WCOO: Layoff Notices Sent To State Employees As Threat Of Government Shutdown Looms

Forum News Service: After 38,000 state workers get layoff notices, Minnesota leaders aim to avert shutdown

Minnesota News Connection: Notices of Possible Layoffs Worry MN State Workers