Contract Negotiations Side Tables

 SHARE and UMass Memorial are trying something new in our negotiations this time. As you may remember from our last round of negotiations, SHARE and UMass Memorial management had a side table to discuss changes to the pension, before we started negotiations about the rest of the issues. The Pension Table brought together people from both union and management to focus in-depth on the pension, which worked quite well.

This time, we are building on that success. Multiple side tables will meet in the afternoons after the Main Table meets. These smaller groups can focus on their issue and bring recommendations to the Main Table.
  •  Teams & Culture Side Table– This side table (who might change their name once they get started) is looking at examples of team-based work systems in other places to see what we want to try here at UMass Memorial. At Kaiser Permanente, unit based teams help groups do process improvement to make the work easier, and train everyone on how to work together as a team.  SHARE believes a team structure also could improve how SHARE members and supervisors and managers work together, which was a big priority coming out of the SHARE member survey last fall (link to SHARE letter and survey results). 
  • Career Development Side Table – SHARE wants to increase ways for SHARE members to learn and grow in their jobs and to build careers at UMass Memorial. A group will also discuss how internal applications and transfers are working.
  • In-patient PCA Staffing Side Table – This side table will look at how the patient care model is working on the inpatient floors. SHARE hopes to address PCAs’ concerns about how many patients they have to provide care for. (Staffing is a big concern for many SHARE members – we will be discussing staffing for other areas at the Main Table.)
  • Call-Back and Sleep Time Side Table – This side table is tackling issues for SHARE members who take call.
  • In addition, mini side table groups will discuss salary scales for peer-slotted titles in SHARE, the pension floor to protect lower paid SHARE members, and 401K auto-enrollment for new employees.

 Our hope is that side tables will help us get more done quickly in negotiations, and bring more new ideas into the negotiations. We’ll keep you posted.