2019 SHARE Dues Increase

The 2019 regular weekly dues rate for SHARE members will be $9.17. That is an increase of twenty cents per paycheck, or about ½ cent per hour. For members working 20 hours/week, the 2019 weekly rate will be $6.87. The new rates are reflected in the 1/10/19 paycheck.

HOW DO THE DUES INCREASE EVERY YEAR?

The annual increase is calculated by our parent union, AFSCME, based on the average percent increase of AFSCME members’ pay rates across the country in the previous year.

WHERE DO MY DUES GO?

The short answer is that dues mostly pays for SHARE staff.

The staff spend their time gathering information and opinions from members, sharing information with members, developing and supporting SHARE Reps, helping members with questions or problems, negotiating contracts, organizing events, researching issues, writing blog posts, etc., all on behalf of SHARE members.

The longer answer is that SHARE members at UMass Memorial pool their dues money with members of three other unions locals: SHARE at UMass Medical School, HUCTW at Harvard University, and USW at Cambridge Health Alliance. The four union locals together are called the New England Organizing Project (NEOP). All their dues together pay for the union staff for all the locals, union offices, phones and utilities, mailings, etc. About 75% of the budget is for staff.

WHY SHOULD I PAY DUES?

Dues are an investment that SHARE members make in themselves and their coworkers. Without a union, employees have very little leverage to make change, or even to hold onto what they have.

SHARE members want respect for the work that they do, fair treatment, opportunities for advancement, and good raises so that they can take care of themselves and their families. Working together through the union, SHARE members can continue to make progress in all these areas. And dues support the staff who support this work.

MORE INFORMATION

If you would like to know more, please talk to a SHARE Rep, email share.comment@theshareunion.org, or call 508-929-4020. You can also learn more about what our union does, and the benefits of union membership, by exploring www.sharehospitalunion.org.

Error in Retirement Contribution Affects SHARE Members Who Work for the Medical School

The State Retirement Board recently figured out that the University of Massachusetts hadn’t been deducting the correct amount of money from UMass state employees for their pensions. It’s been in the news a bunch in the last few days. Hospital employees who work for UMass Memorial are NOT affected by this problem, though the news coverage has been confusing.

About 150 SHARE members who work for the Medical School are potentially affected, and may have to pay back money that should have been deducted since 2002. Some members are being told they owe thousands of dollars. These employees had no idea that there was an error in their retirement contributions. SHARE believes that the employees should not have to pay back the money – it wasn’t their mistake.

Click here to see Medical School SHARE member Antonio Jimenez and SHARE Organizer Jana Hollingsworth on tonight’s Channel 3 news – it starts at about 4:50 minutes into the news.

If you want more info, you can check out these posts on the SHARE Medical School blog: here, here, and here.

Upcoming SHARE Contract Events

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ICYMI: Contract Negotiations Update

In case you missed the email that was sent to all SHARE members on December 21st, it’s printed below. The SHARE negotiating team can use your help! Hope to see you at an event soon.

Keep your eyes peeled for more updates . . .

Our contract negotiations continue. Of course, a raise will be coming, but we do not yet have agreement about the amount or structure of that raise. 

We would all hope to have agreed by now on a wage package. We know that the non-union employees got a 2% raise last week. Money is always the most difficult part of contract talks. Many of you will remember this from previous years, and know that negotiating a good deal often requires work and time that extends some months beyond the contract expiration. The SHARE Negotiating Team is committed to getting the best raises possible for SHARE members – we know that SHARE members are depending on raises to make economic progress for our families.

We are planning events for January to support a strong contract and get these negotiations done. The events will help our hospital community understand the importance of these negotiations, and the importance of the work that SHARE members do to keep UMass Memorial running. Mark you calendars now, and watch for more details:

  • Thursday, January 10 – Faculty Conference Room at University, 11:30-1:30

  • Wednesday, January 16 – Knowles Hall, Memorial, 11:30-1:30

As always, would like to especially thank those of you who cover the work in your department while a colleague must be away for negotiations, and to thank everyone who is working to keep our hospital running strong through the upcoming holidays.  

We will post more details to the SHARE website soon. We look forward to your continued support and participation to help move forward toward contract agreement. And we wish everyone very happy holidays.

Pathways to College Program

The Pathways to College program is designed in collaboration with Worcester State University to provide UMass Memorial caregivers access to low-cost courses that serve as the foundation for many degree programs, including health education, nursing, occupational studies, business, psychology, and sociology. The next session begins in January.

See the flyer below for more information, or contact the Program Director, Jeremiah Riordan: jriordan1@worcester.edu (508-929-8787).

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Showing SHARE Pride

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A big thank you to those who came out to the University Campus Table event to support our Negotiation team and talk with us about the current state of contract and raise negotiations. We continue to have important conversations about wages with management, and have not yet come to an agreement.

We have two more “Table” events this week:

  • Memorial Campus (Thursday, 12/6, 11:30A-1:30P), across from the cafeteria entrance

  • 306 Belmont St (Friday, 12/7, 11:30A-1:15P), Conf Room G

We’d love to see more SHARE members highlighting the important roles that you play in our hospital. Come get posters and badge reels and other materials to show your support. And let’s talk together about our next steps.

To see more photos of proud SHARE members, check out this Facebook album!

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Share SHARE Pride: Support Your Contract Negotiating Team

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The SHARE Negotiating Team encourages you to visit a “tabling” event on your campus. At the Table, you can find badge reels, posters, and other materials to help you show pride in the work that you do as a SHARE member. Members of the negotiating team will also be on hand to talk about the current Contract Negotiations, and answer any questions you may have.

We have currently scheduled the following Tables:

  • UNIVERSITY CAMPUS — Tuesday, 11/27, 11:30a-1:30p (in the Prescription Center hallway, near the cafeteria)

  • MEMORIAL CAMPUS — Thursday, 12/6, 11:30a-1:30p (across from the cafeteria, near the auditorium)

If you would like to have a Table event scheduled on your campus, or would like a member of the SHARE organizing staff to visit your department with a negotiations update, please call the SHARE office (508-929-4020) and let us know.

Sticking together and sharing our stories keeps our union strong. See you there!

2018 Mass AFL-CIO Scholarship

The following was sent to the SHARE office announcing the 61st Annual Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship. This program is available to all SHARE members. For complete details, and to apply, please visit www.massaflcio.org/scholarships.

Please note that the “Organization Name” for our union at UMass Memorial Hospital is “SHARE/AFSCME Local 3900.” (It doesn’t appear in their dropdown menu, but can be entered below that, in the field that asks for your “Local Local Number.”)

Over the years, several SHARE members have received scholarships through this program, and we hope to see more this year!

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Contract Negotiations Update

We’d also like to congratulate our sister union, SHARE-UMMS, for ratifying their new contract with the Medical School! (Pictured above: SHARE members baked spooktacular treats to celebrate their Halloween ratification day)

We’d also like to congratulate our sister union, SHARE-UMMS, for ratifying their new contract with the Medical School! (Pictured above: SHARE members baked spooktacular treats to celebrate their Halloween ratification day)

In the previous Contract Negotiations update, we described the early stages of our talks, including that management has not proposed changes to Health Insurance and Pensions. We continue to make progress, although we have not yet reached a new comprehensive agreement. As we continue to talk, we will extend our contract again with UMass Memorial management to maintain the existing policies through the month of November.  

Note that we’re still in the process of upgrading our automated communications: members who have joined within the past few months may not receive this update in their inbox. Please help us keep everyone informed, and pass this along if you think a newer colleague might not have heard. We want everyone to be in the loop! Here’s a general overview of more recent developments: 

Raises 

Although we have not yet reached an agreement about wages, the talks continue to be substantive and respectful. SHARE has always maintained that it’s important for each SHARE member to get raises that keep ahead of inflation, and to continue making economic progress as she invests more service into our hospital. Now, as SHARE members adapt with our hospital through an increasingly rapid evolution, the impact of raises to each of us is as important as ever. We all know that Epic isn’t implementing itself. 

Unit-Based Teams 

We’re talking about how to make sure that members in Unit-Based Team departments have time to work on fixing problems in work flows in their departments. It’s great to come up with ideas for a better way to do things, but members need time to try out the new ideas and evaluate whether they work.  

Learn more about SHARE’s cornerstone program for involving members in work design on the evolving SHARE UBT webpage.  

Side Tables 

We’ve developed joint Labor Management teams, or “Side Tables,” which focus on issues including Staffing, Job-Posting, Breaks & Time Off, Leaves of Absence, and the Problem-Solving & Discipline Process.  

Over the last couple of weeks, representatives of each of these groups have presented about their progress to the larger negotiating team. The Side Table teams use an Interest-Based approach to building consensus, and that’s worked so that most of the Side Tables have generated a number of viable proposals. The Side Table teams are working to finalize recommendations for the Contract Agreement. 

That said, these groups are tackling some tough issues. The “Breaks & Time Off” Table, for example, have wrestled through some hard conversations to develop proposals. A very difficult reality underlies many of the Side Table negotiations: staffing is tight in most SHARE departments. Nowadays, there‘s less flexibility in each department’s schedule. Someone needs to be clocked-in to take care of the patients, and, at the same time, our time-off benefits are only as good as our ability to use them.  

Of course, we want to swim upstream from that problem, too. We’re working to improve the way that staffing levels get set in each department. In our last contract, we wrote new language about getting answers to staffing concerns (see page 41). Now, SHARE members can expand staffing conversations to meet directly with the decision-making senior hospital leaders. The Staffing Side Table is working to further develop this language to make the process clearer and more effective.  

Want More Details? Let’s Talk 

Although the SHARE blog is only appropriate for general overviews of our talks with hospital management, we’re always looking for opportunities to speak in more detail and develop our thinking together. If you have specific questions, or if you would like to arrange for an organizer to come speak to members in your work area, please contact the SHARE office (508-929-4020). Leave a message for your organizer, or on the general voicemail (extension 10). 

Please Stay Tuned 

. . . for developments about ways that you can help support your negotiating team to reach an agreement that SHARE members can be proud of. 

Contract Negotiations Update

SHARE has been negotiating with UMass Memorial management for several months now. As you may know, our last negotiations resulted in a contract that was designed to run from 2016 until October 1, 2018. We have agreed with management to extend the duration of the existing contract through October so that all of its provisions and protections continue to apply while we negotiate.  

Our last contract agreement laid out ambitious aims for SHARE and UMass Memorial to partner around, particularly with the rollout of Unit Based Teams. We continue to develop those initiatives in the day-to-day, which allows our current negotiations to focus around a tighter scope.  

 

WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS SO FAR? 

While nothing is final until both teams agree around the comprehensive set of issues, management has not proposed changes to benefits that SHARE members care a lot about:  

  • The premium split where UMass Memorial pays 85% of the Health Insurance Premiums for SHARE members. (Although we will expect to see a small increase in the total premium cost charged by the Insurers themselves in January.) 

  • Health Insurance co-pay amounts.  

  • The Defined Benefit Pension plan. 

Raises are the toughest issue – see more info below.  

A FOCUS ON OVERLAPPING INTERESTS, NOT BARGAINING POSITIONS 

As expected, the content of our conversations is meaty and significant, and the tone is respectful. We continue to use a version of Interest-Based Bargaining which builds consensus by discovering and emphasizing those places where our goals and values overlap.   

SIDE TABLES 

The format of these Negotiations, however, is somewhat different from what we’ve done before. Given the success of the process used to produce our last agreement, the work of negotiating has been routed almost entirely into “Side Tables”: small groups comprising members of hospital leadership and SHARE leadership who have expertise and shared interest to further develop these subjects in our Contract Agreement: 

  • Staffing  

  • Job-Posting 

  • Breaks & Time Off 

  • Leaves of Absence 

  • The Problem-Solving & Discipline Processes 

That’s a lot of activity all at once. These groups typically convene once per week to evaluate their progress, further compare interests, and define next steps for developing the agreement. 

UNIT-BASED TEAMS 

In the (almost) two years since we reached our last agreement, we have rolled out thirteen Unit-Based Teams. The first five pioneering UBT’s have each had significant successes in the goals that they defined for themselves. SHARE members and management both agree that the effort has been very worthwhile, and all of the UBT’s continue to push on toward more successes.  

In Negotiations, we are talking about how to better support the teams with additional resources. The goal is to spread these teams so that every SHARE member in every department has access to participate with their own team. We are discussing how fast we can spread the UBTs at a rate that each team can be successful, and we don’t try to spread too far too fast.  

RAISES 

Traditionally, unions bargain about raises at the end. However, a core group of negotiators has been meeting consistently throughout this process to talk about the financial issues. It’s most difficult to apply an Interest-Based approach to issues like money, but rather than debating about who’s getting the biggest slice of the pie, we’re putting our attention on the ways that SHARE members and our union’s efforts expand the size of the pie, and the hospital’s total revenues.  

We intend to maintain the wage structure that we’ve developed over the past twenty years, which delivers raises made up of two parts:  

  • An “across-the-board" raise, designed to account for inflation, and move the entire pay grids ahead, and 

  • A raise that recognizes experience by moving members up to the next pay platform each year, so that SHARE members make consistent financial progress. 

The discussion with management has been respectful, but difficult. UMass Memorial management is telling us that the hospitals have a lot of financial challenges right now: Medicaid reimbursement cuts and a drop in Medicaid patient volume starting in March this year, very small increases in all reimbursement rates predicted for next year, and their concern about the financial impact on UMass Memorial if the ballot question about RN staffing passes in November. 

Of course, the financial stability of UMass Memorial matters to everyone who works here. At the same time, SHARE members are working incredibly hard, often feeling short-staffed, and we need to continue to make financial progress. Raises are important. 

As with the amount of the raises, many related issues are the subject of negotiation, and haven’t yet been settled, including the timing of the raises, payment of “retro,” the length of the contract, etc.   

MORE INFORMATION & NEXT STEPS: We may need your help... 

If you’ve been in SHARE over several contract negotiations, you know that it’s often important for management to see that SHARE members are paying attention to contract negotiations and care a lot about the outcome. We usually find a fun, but pointed, way for SHARE members to voice their concerns, and we may need to do that again soon. 

Thank you to all the SHARE members who have come to the Contract Information Sessions. These conversations help your Negotiating Team hone our priorities as we continue contract discussions. We will soon announce another wave of system-wide Information Sessions.  

Our negotiations are steadily progressing. Keep your eye on this blog for more updates, and we encourage you to reach out to your area SHARE Rep or Organizer to discuss any of the details in greater depth. Or, just call the SHARE office, of course (508-929-4020). More to come . . .   

Contract Negotiation Information Meetings

As you may have heard, we have started negotiations for our next contract. This is an exciting time, and a great opportunity to build your connection with the union and your coworkers. To that end, we are holding information meetings over the next few months. These meetings are a time to get updates about contract negotiations, get answers to your questions, put in your two cents, and connect with other SHARE members throughout the hospital. These are drop-in meetings during lunch hours (11:30-1:30) – feel free to bring your lunch. The dates and locations are as follows:

University

Wednesday, 8/22, 11:30-1:30, S2-309A (in the Med School)

Wednesday, 9/19, 11:30-1:30, S2-307 E/F

Wednesday, 10/17. 11:30-1:30, S2-307 E/F

Memorial

Thursday, 8/30, 11:30-1:30, Jacquith Lecture Conference Room

Thursday, 9/27, 11:30-1:30, Jacquitth Lecture Conference Room

October date TBD

If you work at a location other than University or Memorial, keep an eye out for details from your SHARE organizer or union rep about information meetings at your location.

Enroll in the Pathways to College Program!

The Pathway to College program provides caregivers with the foundation needed to enter a number of degree programs including health education, nursing, occupational studies, business, psychology, and sociology. This collaboration with Worcester State University is a revised version of the Direct Care Pathways program, but expands beyond healthcare specific roles.

Program Highlights

  • A 9-month program designed to prepare participants for admission to an associate’s degree program
  • Begins with an Academic Success Seminar followed by three core classes delivered with individual attention from the instructor and support from an advisor
  • Three (3) cohorts of up 20 students
  • One evening per week 
  • Low out-of-pocket expenses for those eligible for tuition assistance benefits

The next cohort starts meeting in September 2018 (next month!!), so if you are interested, please contact Cherie Comeau to learn more and/or to register: 5089298787 or cherie.comeau@worcester.edu

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Sharing an opportunity: Workplace Violence Prevention educational forum on 8/17

What? This forum on preventing violence in the workplace will be moderated by Jonna Dube, and will include panelists Candy Szymanski, Jack Luippold, Ted Carlson, and Maria Michas, MD. If you attended last year, you’ll remember the format: panelists will speak briefly before opening up the floor for questions and discussion. Managers are being encouraged to make arrangements for one or two staff to attend, so speak with your supervisor if you are interested.

Where? The Hiatt Auditorium at the University Campus

When? Thursday, August 17 from 9am-10am

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SHARE Encourages You to Complete the Caregiver Engagement Survey

Please fill out the survey! We encourage your thoughtful, honest feedback. Why?

Survey Data Helps SHARE

Did you know? The SHARE Union at UMass Memorial Hospital has over 2700 members

Did you know? The SHARE Union at UMass Memorial Hospital has over 2700 members

SHARE leaders will receive the results, and intends to work with hospital leadership to understand what those data say about SHARE members' experiences at work. Our union will also compare the results to those of our own surveys. The more SHARE members fill out the survey, the more useful the results will be. We want to use the results to benefit SHARE members at work.

Survey Data Helps Your Department

Your manager will share the group's results for your work area. You will work with your team to figure out what aspects of your experience that you’d most like to improve, and how you will do it. 

The Survey Is Confidential, Quick, and You Can Do It at Work

The survey process is conducted by a professional outside survey company, Press Ganey. The survey is confidential, and is designed and administered in ways that ensure participants remain anonymous. In the past, SHARE has heard worries from members about survey confidentiality, but SHARE members have not reported problems with this agency. You should receive a link to the survey in your work email. The survey shouldn't take much more than ten minutes, and you are encouraged to do it on work time.

Thank You for Your Help

This is the second-ever system-wide survey. It also builds upon data collected by UMass Memorial over the past few years, which targeted select areas of the hospital. Together this information can begin to suggest trends--what's working and what's not--when it comes to your experience as hospital employees. Please let us at SHARE know if you have concerns about your own confidentiality, or about how the data will be used, and we will work with you to address those concerns.

Thank you for participating, and helping to create a more complete and accurate overview about the experience of SHARE members at UMass Memorial.

 

Giving Back to Our Community: SHARE Delivers Donations to North High

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of last year, 50 students whose schools could not remain open came to Worcester to be hosted by Worcester Public Schools. About 30 of them have joined the community at North High, and they were in need of supplies such as toiletries and warm clothing for the winter. For the SHARE 20th Anniversary celebration at Memorial Hospital, our party planning committee and Executive Board decided to raise money for the North High students with our raffle at the party!

With the generosity of everyone—SHARE members, HR business partners, managers—who donated baskets and bought tickets, we were able to raise $521. We used the money to create toiletry kits and buy warm socks and gloves for the students. The Worcester Teacher’s Association (WTA), the union for the teachers at North High, generously donated gift cards for the students as well.

On February 12, SHARE members and SHARE organizers took a trip to North High to drop off these donations. We were able to meet some of the students from Puerto Rico, their teachers and guidance counselors, and the person who has been coordinating all aspects of the students’ time here in Worcester. It was so powerful to meet and spend time together, and we had a good time, too!

SHARE members know that our community is strong when we take care of each other, and we were so happy to work in solidarity with members of the WTA at North High. Caring for our community helps keep unions strong in Worcester!

UMassFive Credit Union Scholarship

A new scholarship opportunity!

UMassFive is pleased to announce The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Credit Union League's Scholarship Program is accepting applicants for six $2,000 scholarships and one $1,500 scholarship to be awarded in 2018.

In order to apply, students must:

  • Be members or have a parent/guardian who is a member of a participating credit union (UMassFive College Federal Credit Union)
  • Be a high school senior who will be enrolled in an undergraduate college degree program during the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Carefully review and complete all requirements in the instructions linked below.

Scholarship Instructions - click here
Scholarship Application - click here

Members can also obtain an application either by stopping by any branch or calling 800-852-5886 All applications must be turned in or post marked no later than March 2, 2018.