Category archives
Labor & Employee Relations

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Fall Conference last week at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center. More than 100 city leaders representing 50 cities attended the conference — a record attendance!

The conference kicked off Thursday afternoon with a presentation by Marnie Werner, acting director of the Center for Rural Policy, on their study titled “A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage.” You can watch video of her presentation here and read her Power Point presentation here.

After Werner’s presentation, we delved further into the issues surrounding Greater Minnesota’s child care shortage with a panel discussion featuring Nancy Jost, early childhood coordinator for West Central Initiative; Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; Jessica Beyer, business development specialist for First Children’s Finance; and Amanda Benda, director of Little Huskies Daycare Center & Preschool in Jackson, Minn. The discussion was moderated by Dan Dorman, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership. Each panelist provided a unique perspective on the issue and offered suggestions on ways city leaders can be more involved in developing solutions. You can watch the panel discussion here.

Broadband was also an important topic at the conference. Bill Coleman, president of Community Technology Advisors and a consultant for the Blandin Foundation, informed attendees about where broadband access stands in Greater Minnesota and outlined the economic impact of world-class broadband infrastructure. You can watch Coleman’s presentation here and read his Power Point Presentation here.
After Coleman’s presentation, CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson moderated a legislative panel discussion featuring Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-Moorhead) and Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville). The panelists discussed the impact of the 2017 legislative session and plans for 2018. The conversation touched on issues such as transportation, bonding and the ongoing lawsuit between the Legislature and Gov. Dayton.

The afternoon was capped by another panel discussion, this one on the role of elected officials in labor and employee relations. Brandon Fitzsimmons, an attorney with Flaherty & Hood, moderated a discussion featuring Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson, Alexandria City Administrator Marty Schultz and Moorhead City Manager Chris Volkers in which they talked about the “productive” and “unproductive” involvement of elected officials in dealing with unions and personnel issues.

In the evening, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner followed by an entertaining and informative quiz show led by the award-winning Theater of Public Policy. During the show, three teams squared off against each other in a battle to see who knew the most about random Greater Minnesota trivia, the history of LGA and other various topics. To the audience’s surprise, Team Lobbyist (Flaherty & Hood lobbyists Tim Flaherty and Marty Seifert) ultimately bested Team Mayor (Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski and Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson) and Team Administrator (Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow and Virginia City Administration Britt See-Benes) to take the quiz show crown.

In addition to speakers and presentations, the conference also included a membership meeting on Friday morning during which members discussed and adopted the CGMC’s 2018 legislative policy positions. To review the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas: Annexation & Land Use, Economic Development, Environment & Energy, LGA & Property Taxes and Transportation. You can also read more about the top priorities for the upcoming legislative in this CGMC Press Release that was sent to the media at the conclusion of the conference.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our 2017 Fall Conference! Please check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page to see pictures from the conference.

The CGMC has scheduled its 2017 Labor & Employee Relations Seminars for later this spring!  Please mark your calendar for the below date and location that works for you:

  • Thursday, June 1 in Brainerd
  • Thursday, June 8 in New Ulm

The seminar is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The seminars focus on practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. They will provide relevant and timely advice on the following topics (and more!):

  • Recruiting and hiring practices
  • Variable pay systems
  • A union’s perspective on negotiations
  • Handling employee groups that can’t get along
  • Updates on settlements, arbitrations and the Legislature

We hope all units of government will send representatives (e.g., managers and administrators, human resources personnel and elected officials) to this valuable program.

Please complete the registration form today as space is limited! You can in send the form by fax (651-225-9088), email ( or mail (Flaherty & Hood, P.A., 525 Park St., Suite 470, St. Paul, MN 55103).

For more information, contact Karina Patino at 651-259-1919 or

More than 50 city and county managers, administrators and elected officials attended the CGMC Labor and Employee Relations annual seminars in Fergus Falls on June 2 and Albert Lea on June 8.  The seminars focused on practical and legal solutions for managing employees and unions in local government covering unfair labor practices claims under the new PERB process; health insurance trends; total rewards for public employees; updates on settlements, arbitrations and the legislature; and a mock labor contract mediation.

Special thanks are in order to the program participants: Bemidji City Manager Nate Matthews, Brainerd Human Resources Coordinator Kris Schubert, Winona Human Resources Coordinator Myrna Olson, Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow, NFP Benefit Consultant Andy Weitnauer, and Flaherty & Hood Shareholder Attorney Brandon Fitzsimmons and Human Resources Analyst Carol Loncar. In addition, thank you to the cities of Fergus Falls and Albert Lea for being such gracious hosts.

We are still accepting registrations for the CGMC’s Labor and Employee Relations Seminars! They are scheduled for Thursday, June 2 in Fergus Falls and Wednesday, June 8 in Albert Lea. Both seminars will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The seminars will provide practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. Seminar topics include:

  • Health insurance law and marketplace update
  • Preparing for increased unfair labor practices charges against public employers
  • Updates on settlements, arbitrations and the Legislature
  • Using total rewards to recruit, retain and reward public employees
  • Mock labor contract negotiations

To register, please fill out this registration form and submit it today as space is limited! You can send the registration form by fax (651-225-9088), email ( or mail (Flaherty & Hood, P.A., 525 Park St., Suite 470, St. Paul, MN 55103).

For more information, contact Karina Patino at (651) 259-1919 or

The CGMC Labor and Employee Relations Committee will hold labor and employee relations seminars from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4 in Little Falls and Thursday, June 12 in Owatonna. The seminars will provide practical and legal solutions for providing services and managing employees in local government. Seminar topics include: Health Insurance Legal and Marketplace Trends; Handling Fitness for Duty Issues; Hot topics in labor relations and community dispute resolution from BMS; Settlement, Interest Arbitration and Legislative Update; and Mock Negotiations: The Employer’s Counterproposal.

The registration form for both seminars can be found here. Please complete your registration and return it via email, fax or mail per the instructions on the form. We look forward to seeing you there!

At the CGMC Summer Conference last week, staff lobbyists provided highlights of the legislative and other work performed over the last year and previewed some of the efforts that will be undertaken during the upcoming year.  Copies of the presentation are provided below the fold.

Annexation and Land Use

Even though it was a quiet year for annexation and land use, the CGMC helped advance legislation adopting one recommendation of the Annexation Task Force Report and started a discussion to work on reforming the detachment process.  Read more on Annexation.

Environment & Energy

This year the Legislature dedicated money to Parks and Trails in Greater Minnesota.  It also started paying attention to the impact that municipal lab regulations and water quality standards have on waste water treatment facilities.   Read more on the Environment.

Economic Development

The final budget bill contained$ 4 million for the greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure grant program.  Next year the CGMC hopes to focus even more on job growth and business development in rural Minnesota.  Read more on our Economic_development program.


Our transportation focus this year was on minimizing cuts to greater Minnesota transit.  Read more on transportation funding.

The CGMC Labor and Employee Relations Committee will be sponsoring two seminars again this year from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as follows: Thursday, June 2, 2011 in Brainerd and Thursday, June 9, 2011 in Mankato.  Additional details and registration materials were emailed to all CGMC cities, and can be downloaded here: 2011 CGMC Spring Seminars Brochure

Registration materials are now available for CGMC’s annual labor and employee relations seminars. Seminars will be held 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 27 in New Ulm and June 10 in Park Rapids. Please note: city officials who are not CGMC members are welcome to attend. Sign up for the seminar closest to you!

Click here to download seminar registration materials.

Why attend a labor and employee relations seminar? Now more than ever, cities are looking for practical legal solutions for providing services and managing employees. In light of state aid and budget reductions, this task becomes increasingly difficult. To help cities navigate through labor and employee relations issues, CGMC staff will provide information on the following topics:

  • Using seasonal, temporary, and other non-regular employees
  • Contracting services
  • Evaluating employee performance
  • Handling personnel data
  • Dealing with employees and unions in tough times
  • Impacts of new legislation on local governments

Additionally, a panel of knowledgeable government representatives will discuss what their units of government are doing from a labor and employment and budgeting standpoint to deal with the 2010 and 2011 revenue cuts and other economic problems.

Feel free to send any management representatives from your unit of government (e.g., managers and administrators, human resources personnel, elected officials) to this valuable program. Space is limited, so register your city today!  You can return your registration materials by fax (651-225-9088), email (, or mail (Flaherty & Hood, P.A., 525 Park St., Suite 470, St. Paul, MN 55103). For more information, contact Bonnie Oaks at or 651-225-8840.

We hope to see you in New Ulm or the Park Rapids Lakes Area!