SHARE Contract Negotiations Update
“I've been here 19 years, and I've gotten a raise every year," Maria, an Administrative Assistant in Pediatrics, pointed out at a recent SHARE Rep meeting.
That’s true. In our 21-year history, SHARE has negotiated a raise every year. The SHARE Negotiating Team has no worries about this year – there will be a raise. We just can’t tell you how much that raise will be yet, because we have not yet reached an agreement with the hospital.
WHAT’S NEW IN NEGOTIATIONS
Thank you all for showing up with your enthusiasm at all the recent “SHARE-Proud” Contract Events. These events are giving negotiations the push they need to move faster. Way more than a thousand SHARE members have participated in these events – it’s really important for management to know that everyone cares about what the outcome of negotiations is, and cares enough to help push them forward.
Now negotiations are moving in a positive direction. There for a while, we might have described them as “stuck,” but they are moving again. SHARE and management are exchanging proposals about the raises, getting closer to each other.
In addition to all the events supporting negotiations, having a mediator is helping. SHARE and UMass Memorial Negotiating teams recently spent three long sessions with a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, who’s helping to bring us closer together.
ABOUT THE MEDIATOR
As we have described in previous negotiation updates, it’s not uncommon, even in SHARE’s history, to encounter difficulty reaching agreement with our employer when it comes to raise amounts. SHARE has worked with mediators many times before.
The FMCS settles labor disputes throughout the United States. As a department of the US Government, their work is paid out of Federal tax monies, so our mediator does not receive any money from hospital funds or union dues.
This particular mediator, Marty Callaghan, had a previous career printing the Boston Globe, where he also served as a shop steward, and as President of their union for 17 years. His role is as a neutral third party. In introducing himself to our team, he joked that his boss directs him that he has one main goal: “Don’t make things worse.” All joking aside, the SHARE negotiating team has been pleased with his ability to understand the interests of both sides, and suggest steps we can take toward agreement, even when talking about something that seems like a zero-sum issue, like money.
WHEN WILL THIS BE DONE?
Everyone, including management, hopes to reach agreement soon. One of SHARE’s first priorities is to secure ongoing financial progress for all of our members. We have a solid history of doing just that.
Some negotiations take longer than others to reach agreement. We were talking about this at a SHARE Rep meeting recently. Brian, a Rep and dispatcher for 911 and LifeFlight responders, said "Settling the contract has been fast the last few times. So people who haven't been here as long as I have don't know that it's going to be OK.” Both MNA groups, University and Memorial, are still negotiating, and they started before us. While we would certainly prefer to have finished sooner, we’ve gone longer past the date before.
We have more negotiation dates set up with the mediator. Learn more about our negotiations online. We’ll keep you posted about both more SHARE events to keep pushing negotiations forward, and about our progress in the negotiations.