Questions and Answers about
Bringing the SHARE Union to Marlborough Hospital
Q. Who is SHARE?
A. SHARE is the union that represents 2700 employees at UMass Memorial Medical Center. At the University and Memorial campuses SHARE represents people in nursing jobs (CNAs, LPNs and Mental Health Counselors), technical jobs (like Respiratory Therapists, Radiology Technologists, and Medical Technologists), and clerical jobs (like secretaries, billers, schedulers, and medical records).
Q. What’s happening now with the SHARE union organizing at UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital?
A. A few months ago, a group of Marlborough Hospital employees asked SHARE to come to Marlborough Hospital. Now Marlborough Hospital employees are getting information about what it would be like to have the SHARE union, and meeting people from SHARE. In order to build a strong organization, we need to know each other and learn about each others’ concerns, creating relationships of trust and respect, so we can work well together moving forward.
Q. Why do Marlborough employees want to form a union?
A. Forming a union gives employees the right to negotiate about salaries, benefits and working conditions. This means that you have a say in many decisions that affect you -- management can no longer make unilateral decisions about changes that affect you.
Q. What does the SHARE union stand for?
A. Participation in decisions. SHARE believes that workers should have a voice in decisions that affect you -- from the department level (like how to get the work done more smoothly) to hospital-wide issues like raises and benefits.
Making our hospital better for everyone. SHARE members at the Medical Center are working to improve the work in their departments, to make it easier for them to do a good job delivering high quality patient care.
Financial progress and security, for both SHARE members and for Marlborough Hospital. We want to build good jobs for ourselves and for our children – we know that our futures are entwined with the hospital’s future.
Q. Who can be in the SHARE union?
A. Most Marlborough Hospital employees who are “non-exempt” (meaning they are paid hourly, not salaried) could be in the union. Per diem employees can be in the union too.
Q. What are people at Marlborough Hospital saying about the idea of having a union?
A. Many people that we’ve talked with seem very interested in the idea of the union. Others are open to the new idea, but have questions or concerns and want more information. Some people say – “I don’t even know what questions to ask!”
Q. How much are SHARE union dues?
A. SHARE dues are currently $8.74 per week. The dues rate is set by our parent union, AFSCME. Dues go up a little each year. In 2017, they went up $.17 per week. There are no additional fees in SHARE.
Q. If we vote SHARE in, how do I know the dues will be worth it?
A. The value of having an organization to back you up is hard to put a price on, but no one has to pay dues until they see what they are getting and the group votes for it. Here’s how the dues work:
1. Marlborough Hospital employees vote SHARE in by a majority.
2. Our negotiating team (made up of elected Marlborough Hospital employees and SHARE staff) will negotiate a contract with Marlborough Hospital management.
3. When they’ve got the best contract they think they can get, the negotiating team shows everyone the details of proposed contract.
4. You and your co-workers look at what’s in the proposed contract -- like raises, benefits cost, etc. – to see whether the value is more than the dues to you. Then Marlborough Hospital SHARE member employees vote on the contract.
5. If the group votes Yes, then the contract goes into effect and SHARE union dues start.
Q. Will Marlborough Hospital employees have the same contract as SHARE Medical Center employees?
A. No. We will negotiate a contract for Marlborough Hospital employees separately from SHARE contract for the Medical Center (University and Memorial). Marlborough Hospital SHARE members can decide what your priorities are. We can use the Medical Center contract as a road map for issues that you have in common.
Q. Will our pay and benefits be the same as the Medical Center SHARE members?
A. Not necessarily, and certainly not at first. The current SHARE Medical Center contract is the result of 20 years of negotiations. However, when you are at the bargaining table, you will do better than if you are not. That progress adds up over time!
Q. Are we allowed to talk about the union?
A. Yes. You can talk about the union at work. Of course, patient care comes first, so talking about the union should not interfere with getting the work done. You have the right to get information so that you can make an informed decision about the union.
Q. I’m worried about strikes. What does the SHARE union think about strikes?
A. SHARE has never had a strike. We believe that there are better ways to solve a problem than striking. It would take two-thirds of the union members at Marlborough Hospital to vote to strike, so it’s a not a decision someone else makes for you.