ACTION ALERT: Contact Legislators and Ask Them to Fully Fund $10 million Campus Funding

We need you to take action now! The MN House and Senate released their supplemental budget with less than a week before the end of the 2018 Legislative session. The Legislature's plan includes $3 million in support for MinnState campuses. Please contact your Legislators today and urge them to work with the Governor to fund the full $10 million request for campus support. 

Metropolitan State Professor Dr. Daniel Abebe Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Multicultural Issues

The Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) has recognized Metropolitan State University Professor Dr. Daniel Abebe with the Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Multicultural Issues Award. Dr. Abebe has dedicated his professional and personal life to advancing opportunities and awareness on multicultural issues at Metropolitan State University and within the community. The IFO Multicultual Issues Committee reviewed all nominations and recommended Dr. Abebe as the recipient to the IFO Board of Directors.

Dr. Abebe has created a positive difference for countless people throughout his 28 years as a faculty member at Metropolitan State with his tireless work and leadership in support of communities of color. He has guided hundreds of college students, faculty peers, and other U.S. professionals on trips to Kenya, Tanzania, Jamaica, Botswana, Western Samoa, Ghana, Liberia and other destinations. He coordinated the Perspectives Center, co-founded and served as the first co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Department. He also served in leadership roles on the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) Multicultural Advisory Committee and Equity and Diversity Committee, the Anti-Racism Leadership Team (ARLT), the Diversity Learning Task Force, and the International Exchange and Study Committee.

In 2014, he received Metropolitan State University’s Anti-Racism Legacy Award. In 2017, he received the Metropolitan State University’s Carol C. Ryan Excellence in Advising Award. He has been nominated for the Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards numerous times.

Dr. Abebe has also serves his community as a leader of various organizations dedicated to racial and social justice. He is on the International Committee of the Metropolitan YMCA (now YMCA of Greater Twin Cities), co-founded and later chaired Ethiopians in Minnesota, where he proudly served Ethiopian refugees for 23 years. He founded and served as a board member and trustee of Global Citizens Network – an organization which has sent over 2,000 volunteers to villages in 20 countries around the globe. He joined the first "Voices of Ethiopia" program on KFAI Fresh Air Radio, and served as a board member for many non-profit organizations locally, regionally, and nationally. In 2005, at a celebration of Hamline University’s 150th anniversary, he was honored and recognized as one of the “One Hundred and Fifty Lives that Make a Difference” for his life’s work.

Dr. Abebe has been, and continues to be, a mentor, leader, supporter, and friend to all faculty, staff, and students at Metropolitan State. His actions and words will continue to influence and inspire the mission of diversity, social justice, equality, and inclusion for years to come.

The IFO Multicultural Issues Committee addresses matters of concern for faculty of color, American Indian faculty, religious minority faculty, and immigrant faculty regarding racial justice, equity, and inclusion. The IFO is a union that takes professional responsibility for excellent, accessible, and inclusive public higher education in Minnesota and beyond. The IFO represents the interests, welfare, and aspirations of all faculty of the seven state universities of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system through collective bargaining, contract enforcement, and advocacy.

IFO Grassroots Organizing Spring Semester Update

This academic year has been one of exciting changes in the IFO. A key example is the IFO choosing to adopt a grassroots organizing model, led by our newest staff member, Director of Organizing, Matt Smriga. Through 1 to 1 conversations, phone calls and office visits, teams of Volunteer Faculty Organizers began the process of building relationships with colleagues across MinnState universities in order to recruit new IFO members and engage existing members on a deeper level than ever before.

Some results...

New members are up: so far this academic year we have recruited over 240 new IFO members. This exceeds the new member total from each of the last 5 fiscal years and sets a new record for new members added in a year (since the IFO began keeping track in FY13).

In addition to adding new members to the IFO, we’re beginning to see the results of a more deeply engaged membership base. On the recently completed contract ratification vote, we increased the number of those who voted on the contract by 200 members compared to the vote before, which represents a 4% increase in the participation of eligible voters. This is likely due in large part to organizing efforts to reach populations not before deeply engaged in the IFO, like the adjunct and community faculty membership drive that took place in January.

This is only the very beginning as we will continue to adopt a robust grassroots organizing approach into the future. If you are an organizer, reaching out to your colleagues on campus and engaging them in the work of the union, thank you. The work you do is strengthening your union.

Contract Implementation Information: Back Pay, Health, and Dental Benefits

As you know, the IFO contract has been passed by Legislature and is in the process of being implemented. Details of back pay and health and dental benefit changes are listed below. 

The new $0 (down from $10) copayment for online care and convenience clinics will go into effect on May 1, 2018. You will be receiving new member cards from your medical carrier in the coming weeks. On May 1, you may begin using these resources at no out-of-pocket cost. 
Dental changes will take effect on January 1, 2019. They include an expanded benefit set and increased premium. Due to the higher premium, employees will be offered a new opportunity to add or drop coverage, which will be during Open Enrollment for 2019, happening this fall.
For more information on benefit implementation please visit MMB’s website.
The IFO contract back pay is being processed during the pay period that began April 4, 2018 and ends April 17 (April 27 paycheck). If you plan to make a change to your MinnState Tax-Sheltered Annuity (403b) Plan and/or the State’s Deferred Compensation (457), you will need to enter the change so that it is effective during this pay period. Please see the instructions attached. 
Tuesday, April 17 is the deadline to make Self-Service entries to tax shelter all or a portion of your back pay. The Self-Service is generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Entries need to be entered by April 17 to be effective the payroll period ending that day (paycheck 4/27/2018). 
Access your pay distribution and back pay information
To determine the amount of gross back pay you are scheduled to receive you can access your individual Employee Pay Details report in the Time & Leave Reporting Application (e-Timesheet), using your Star ID and password to log in. Once logged in, use the following instructions to run a report:

  • Select Employee Pay Details from the Time and Leave Reporting toolbar. 
  • You will see Pay Details Report and State Self Service in the drop-down displayed.  To view your pay details, select Pay Details Report
  • The Report Setup screen displays. Select the Fiscal Year for which you would like to view pay details for 2018.
  • Select “no” for the send report to email question.
  • Click Create Report to run the report.  

Back pay information will be available beginning on April 10, but will only be an estimate. It is advised that faculty wait until April 16 to review their details to allow time for HR/Service Centers to verify the amounts.
If you have any questions, please contact IFO Legal/Labor & Equity Director Pat Arseneault