SHARE and UMass Memorial Contract Negotiations: Week 5, Discipline


Wednesday, August 31st marked the SHARE Negotiating Team's fifth all-day contract negotiations session UMass Memorial.

We talked about the disciplinary process, and the problem-solving process. (The disciplinary steps are listed in the contract -- most people call it "being written up." They start with counseling, and go up to termination. The problem solving process is the steps that Human Resources and SHARE use to discuss and agree or disagree about the level of discipline that a SHARE member gets if their manager or the hospital thinks they did something wrong.)

In addition, members of the Peer-Slotted Scales side table reported back to the main table about options that could create more equity and clarity among the mostly techs job titles that are peer-slotted.

For more detail about this week's session, please read on.


SHARE and management both wanted to talk about how to improve the disciplinary process. Management wanted to talk about timelines, and making sure the process keeps moving.

SHARE wants to bring some of the ideas from lean organizations to how we use discipline:

  • Mistakes should be viewed as an opportunity to improve.

  • Moving away from a "culture of shame and blame" and focusing more on fixing the systems that make it easy to make mistakes.

SHARE and UMass Memorial don't always agree about how much discipline a SHARE member should get. However, we find that we do have interests in common:

  • Respect for SHARE members -- We talked about how to treat SHARE members whose performance or behavior is the subject of a disciplinary meeting.

  • Interest-Based Processes -- We choose to try to resolve the problem and help the SHARE member and manager move forward, rather than to emphasize an adversarial approach.

  • Keeping discipline as local and informal as possible, to help supervisors and SHARE employees resolve issues before they grow and get worse.

  • Transparency and good communication between Human Resources and SHARE, especially when we disagree.

  • Balancing the need for consistency in discipline with the flexibility to recognize the uniqueness of each person and each situation.

September Negotiations

SHARE and UMass Memorial both want to finish by the expiration of our contract, September 30th. (Of course, making sure the right things are in the contract is more important to SHARE than finishing on time!) We've agreed to add several more days of negotiations in September to try to meet our timeline.