|The Scholarship Screening Committee reviewed sixty-six applications for the 2015-2016 academic years. The Scholarship Screening Committee included Julie Ramer, Chair, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Jim Manson, Revenue, Mary Vang, MnSCU and Dora Schumacher, MnSCU.There are always more deserving applicants than available scholarships; however, the screening committee had to make the difficult decision of choosing the winners. The applicants chosen illustrated not only outstanding academic achievement, but a balance of community service, work experience and family obligations.The recipients for member category are:
The recipients for dependent category are:
Kaley Jo Considine
Our congratulations and best wishes to those selected.
Have you ever met someone at an event and as you were getting to know each other discovered that you had spent time together in your past?
This is what Kevin Monio and Mark Parsley discovered when they attended the March MMA Board meeting.
Kevin Monio joined the MMA Board in January 2014 representing the Department of Corrections. He is currently a Corrections Lieutenant at Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility.
Mark Parsley joined the MMA Board in January 2015 representing MnSCU. He is currently a Building Services Foreman at Mankato State University.
Kevin and Mark were sharing their backgrounds and discovered they had both joined the military right out of high school. They both chose the Regular Army, Military Police unit and in 1979 traveled to Fort McClellan, Alabama to begin basic training, Mark from Pipestone, MN and Kevin from Stillwater, MN.
They completed six weeks of basic training in B Company and remained together in a platoon of 50 for the next eight weeks. As they reminisced, two memories that stood out were two of their drill sergeants. One, of Hawaiian descent, was known for his huge size and his fondness for doing push-ups and finding opportunities to have his platoon add more push-ups to their drills. His arm dimensions reflected the results for him since he had to get the sleeves of his shirts custom made to fit his arms. On a more somber note the other drill sergeant was remembered because he committed suicide.
Mark’s career path had him serving nine years with the National Guard after completing his three years in the Army. He started with the State in 1989 as a General Maintenance Worker at Mankato State University and became a supervisor in 2000 as a Building Services Foreman.
Kevin also joined the National Guard after serving his three years of active duty. While in the National Guard he switched to aviation and flew helicopters. He retired from the National Guard in 2009 after serving in Iraq. Kevin became a State employee in February 1984 as a Correction’s Officer at Oak Park Heights Correctional Facility and was officially promoted to Corrections Lieutenant in 2003.
Kevin and Mark are also members of the MMA Negotiations committee and Mark brought in the equivalent of a military year book and shared these pictures of him and Kevin.
Can you tell which is which?
And we’re off!
On March 15th and 16th the MMA Negotiating Team held their retreat and reviewed the results of the negotiations survey and other contract issues that have been collected during the past two years. Zaidee Martin, (Rollins, Martin & Button, P.S.C.), is our chief negotiator with Kathy Hanson, MMA President and Gary Kloos, MMA Executive Director. Zaidee began the retreat with an orientation and training for the negotiating team. We concluded the retreat by drafting our proposals to be presented to the State and making assignments for supplemental and equity contract proposals.
The 2015 legislative session is coming to a rapid conclusion. The session must adjourn by Monday, May 18th, as required by the Minnesota Constitution. 2015 is a budget year for Minnesota, making the legislative adoption and gubernatorial approval of the FY2016-2017 budget the primary goal for lawmakers this session. Without passage of the budget,the Minnesota State Government will not be financed. The differences between the House and Senate budget have now entered the conference committee phase of the session. Given the vast differences between the budgets from the two bodies of the legislature, it is difficult to see how differences are reconciled in the short time remaining. However, there is much energy being expended to find compromise, and we remain hopeful that one will be reached in time.
Days at the Capitol are now hectic, tense and long. These conditions are not unusual for this time of the year; however, this session is unique. Disagreements between the House, Senate and Governor are highly divisive in many cases, affecting all areas of budgets and policy.
Transportation funding is a highly partisan issue this session, with far reaching implications. Both bodies of the Minnesota State Legislature agree that Minnesota’s roads, bridges and transit systems are in need of a systemic overhaul. How to fund this overhaul, however, is an area of much disagreement.
The House seeks to use existing general fund revenue to pay for transportation upgrades, while the Senate, with the Governor, looks to use a proposed new tax on the wholesale of gasoline as a dedicated transportation funding mechanism. This disagreement is so significant that it adversely affects the probability of passage on all other budget bills.There are equally large divides between the House and the Senate in other budget bills including Health and Human Services, K-12, Higher Education, State Government Finance, Jobs and the Environment, Taxes, and others.
Over the next few weeks, the media will focus on behind-the-scenes negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, and Governor Mark Dayton. These negotiations will be tense, long, but hopefully productive.
The Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement has worked cooperatively to produce an Omnibus Pensions and Retirement bill with bipartisan support. Pension bills are historically one of the last items to pass in session, and this year looks to be no different. The bill, as passed out of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, is currently moving through both bodies of the legislature with relative ease. We expect final passage of the Omnibus Pension Bill by the House and Senate sometime next week. Regardless of ongoing larger session conflicts, we are hopeful that this bill will become law shortly. There are no issues in this bill that would threaten a veto by Governor Mark Dayton.
The Pensions Omnibus bill has various sections of interest, including the lowering of the actuarial assumption interest rates from 8.5% to 8% for many of the pension plans statewide, including MSRS. Additionally, the bill includes articles outlining interest rates for repaying member’s refunds from 8.5% to 8%, as well as clarifying that future cost-of-living adjustments will be reduced if funding ratios decline. Contribution stabilizers are switched from mandatory to advisory, with the bill listing various indicators for the governing boards of plans to consider, before making employer and employee contribution rate change recommendations to the Commission. Read Full Article
Nellie Stone Johnson Capitol Statue Initiative
The 2014 Legislature and the Governor authorized placing a statue of Nellie Stone Johnson, a nationally-renowned labor and civil rights leader, in a prominent spot in the Capitol. However, $30,000 must be raised to match the amount appropriated by the legislature to make this dream a reality. The Nellie Stone Johnson Statue Committee is half way there thanks in part to a contribution of $3000 from MMA which has joined the campaign.
This will be an opportunity to permanently remind Capitol visitors’, including school children, of the important role labor has played in our state. Nellie Stone Johnson is an excellent choice as she represents many ‘firsts’
- First prominent labor leader
- First woman activist/leader
- First education leader
- First Minnesota-born African American civil rights leader
MMA is proud to be a sponsor and contributor to what will be a permanent reminder of the important role of labor to the health and vitality of our state.
Part 2: Friday Night Fights
The first installment of MMA’s history discussed MMA MN/DOT’s beginnings and its arbitration victory on wages in resolving its 1979-81 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the State. The year 1979 turned out to be a tumultuous one for State labor relations. Coming into the year, the State negotiated and administered 33 collective bargaining agreements covering 116 bargaining units involving 20 different unions, MMA being but one small union in that big picture. As would typically occur, AFSCME, which represented by far the largest number of employees, settled first, in March, 1979, with general wage increases for its 1979-81 contract totaling about 14% over the two years. (Recall that these were the years where inflation, and thus all other rates, were running very high. Mortgage rates, for example, were 11% in May 1979 and peaked at 18% in October 1981). Read Full Article
The appointments to the MMA Negotiations Team for the 2015-2017 MMA contract have been finalized.
The MMA Executive Committee approved the following supervisors to represent MMA members at this year’s contract negotiations:
Lyla Burkman, Health
Jeff Cassidy, Transportation
Bruce Daniel, Transportation
Randy Gordon, Human Services
Dean Hagen, Corrections
Kathy Hanson, Labor & Industry
Lonnie Lilly, Natural Resources
Jim Manson, Revenue
Kevin Monio, Corrections
Peter O’Grady, MnSCU
Michael Parker, Public Safety
Mark Parsley, MnSCU
James Pointer, Natural Resources
Rob Rose, Human Services
Shelly Siegel, MnSCU
Lance Voegele-Allore, Human Services
Gary Kloos, Robyn Cousin, My Lee and MMA Attorneys Ron Rollins, Zaidee Martin and Joel Button will provide staff support to the Negotiations Team. Read Full Article