8033 Excelsior Dr. Madison
Management: James Buchen, Bob Oyler, Daniel Petersen, Ed Lump and Earl Gustafson
Labor: Phillip Nuenfeldt, Dennis Penkalski, Robert Lyons, Red Platz and Mike Bolton
Chair: Greg Frigo
Department staff present: Hal Bergan, Bob Whitaker, Dan LaRocque, Andy Reid, Lutfi Shahrani, Ben Peirce, Tom Smith, Dick Tillema, Terese Wojick, Ruth Tucker, Tom McHugh, John Zwickey, Carla Breber, JoAnn Hium, Sue Lowry and Ellen Vogel
Others present: John Metcalf, Bob Anderson, Mike Mikalsen, Larry Smith and Pat Henninger
The meeting was opened with a review of the minutes of the July 29, 2005 meeting. The minutes were approved.
Hal Bergan contacted Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana to offer help to process UI and DUA claims, he was only able to speak with someone in Louisiana. This would be a short term assignment for Wisconsin staff to go to Louisiana to help. There is also a possibility that calls could be routed to Wisconsin. There is a federal program which would reimburse expenses. Louisiana will let Wisconsin know if they need assistance.
A question was raised of how secure the UI records in Wisconsin are. If the economy takes a hit, it may affect Wisconsin. If Wisconsin gets hit, the trust fund would also be hit. It is OK for now, just wanted to make the Council aware of the situation.
D05-64 and D05-65, D05-64: Use Reed Act funds for IT projects in 2006 and 2007, D05-65: Use Reed Act funds for general UI administration in 2006 and 2007: A handout was provided summarizing the progress and projections of SUITES and EnABLES. SUITES is set up to be implemented in large pieces. The major vendor, Accenture, has rolled off of the project and now the plan is to use internal resources and local vendors. The project is moving into the testing phase and the projects are working well and properly. Goal is to build in quality now and not have to fix problems later.
EnABLES is being done in smaller releases. The first release was completed. Problems with the first release have been fixed with Release1.1. The second release, appeals process, well along into the schedule. Will need to recalibrate the project, will need to go back to the marketplace and do RFP, so now less certain of the bottom line. Will bring parts to the Council as it progresses.
Discussion: willing to come back to Council when need to expend money, willing to be accountable. Management voiced concerns of the need to have agreement of accountability before voting on the proposal, reiterated concerns in Rep. Nass’ letter. Also concerned about the amount of money being requested if may not need that much or, with the economic uncertainties, may need it for something else, could money be released as needed through the Joint Finance committee? Federal law requires that a specific amount and purpose be passed by the legislature as an appropriation. Suggestion was made that it be left to be brought up as separate legislation. The problem with that is the legislature may not be able to discuss the proposed legislation on the same schedule as the need for the money. May be possible to write into the legislation that the use of the appropriated funds would be subject to approval of the Council.
Follow-up of Borton Construction—decision regarding the employee who was discharged because of drug use in violation of union rules so could not, because of the contract with the union , continue to work for Borton Construction. The decision was based on the fact that even though he could not work for Borton, he was still eligible to work for other employers. Most common experience is the person is discharged and the first offense is usually not disciplinary. Need to follow up with the employer and provide information that was discussed in the meeting. Also need to look into the statement that Borton was advised not to appeal.
Follow-up of Nelson Bros. and Strom Co.—employee had been approved for a second benefit year which was charged back to the employer. Generally the second benefit year is non-chargeable to the same employer. However, if the employer brings the employee back and the employee establishes a new benefit year, the second year will be charged back to the employer. The impact of changing this so the employer would not be charged for a second benefit year would be very costly and the money would have to come from some other source that would somehow have to be funded. The Council approved writing a letter to the employer acknowledging their concern, and explaining that this is a unique situation and at this time would be too expensive to change but will look into other options not involving non-charge of benefits.
Council voted to go into closed caucus at 10:20 a.m.
Council was back in public session at 2:40 p.m.
Management voiced several concerns. First they would like to have someone representing the third party administrators (employer agent companies) speak to the Council regarding the proposed legislation regarding the penalties in the ‘employer fault’ law change proposal before the Council.
Second: Regarding the Reed Act, they are OK for UI Administration now but would like to wait until later to use these monies to fund UI IT projects to see if the money is needed. Is there a possibility for a separate bill? Hal Bergan will talk with Rep. Nass and his people to see if wording could be added now that would please the legislature. He will do that right away.
Next meeting was set for September 16, 2005 at 10:00 a.m.
The meeting was adjourned.Updated March 25, 2013