Contract Negotiations Update 

Thank you to all of you SHARE members who are helping to move our contract negotiations forward! 

  • We are making progress on the raises. Slow progress, but progress.  

  • As you probably know by now, we have reached tentative agreement on most of the policy issues discussed, and neither side proposed any changes to the Health Insurance or Pension. Raises remain the unresolved issue.  

  • SHARE proposed involving a mediator to help us come to an agreement about raises. Management agreed. 

  • Remember “Singing for a Strong Contract” from 2016 contract negotiations? We're getting the band back together! Read on for more details about how you can help move negotiations forward . . .   

ABOUT A MEDIATED AGREEMENT 

SHARE Caregivers take pride in their work at UMass Memorial.  Check out the  online portrait gallery  as it continues to grow.

SHARE Caregivers take pride in their work at UMass Memorial.

Check out the online portrait gallery as it continues to grow.

SHARE and management both want a deal – we’ve agreed to get a mediator to help us come to agreement. When we meet this month, he will join us. 

Using a mediator is a common approach for resolving differences between unions and employers. A mediator is a neutral, third-party facilitator: they can’t make decisions for us, or for management – they work to understand both groups’ interests, and find a solution everyone can live with. 

TIMING  

This is taking longer than either SHARE or UMass Memorial would like. But it’s not that unusual for contract negotiations to go this long. Last time we finished in December, and we’ve finished in February or March before. Other unions in our hospitals are negotiating now too, and are farther beyond their contract deadlines. 

We know everyone is waiting – SHARE’s Negotiating Team is pushing hard for a raise that SHARE members would vote for. 

THE RAISE PROPOSAL 

UMass Memorial’s non-union employees got a 2% raise at the end of last year. In negotiations, we don’t discuss the details of the specific proposals made at the table publicly. However, we can be clear that SHARE believes that the non-union 2% is too low for SHARE members.  

SHARE proposals include retro back to October 1, 2018. SHARE Members deserve raises back in time. Sometimes we negotiate something better with the retro amount, as in the case of last time, when the bonus was of more value. 

THE RAISE DEBATE: What SHARE and Management are Saying 

The SHARE Negotiating Team is talking about how hard SHARE members are working. We know that caregivers in hospitals everywhere are experiencing unprecedented burnout. The stresses on our own healthcare system (Epic, short-staffing, flu season, hospital reimbursement changes, etc.) create additional demands on each SHARE member personally. Simultaneously, inflation rates and costs of living, particularly the cost of rents here in Worcester, continue to climb. Your colleagues on the SHARE negotiating team are making this case very clearly at the negotiating table.  

The hospital management team is saying that financial difficulties (the result of decreased Medicaid reimbursements, and periods of low patient volume) undercut their ability to offer higher raises. They believe, too, that they are not having difficulty hiring into many SHARE positions -- the benefits and pay are already good. We continue to argue that SHARE members deserve better, and, in order to keep up with inflation and continue to make progress in their grade, require more than the 2% given to non-union employees.  

SHARE NEGOTIATORS NEED YOUR CONTINUED HELP 

SHARE members at the Worcester Business Center are singing for a strong contract!

SHARE members at the Worcester Business Center are singing for a strong contract!

SHARE is working to educate the whole community about the value that SHARE members bring to our hospital. Many hundreds have come to the “SHARE-Proud” tabling events, and the exhibits of SHARE member portraits. These visible displays help move our negotiations forward.  

Next we’ll be getting the band back together, so to speak. Remember “Singing for a Strong Contract” during our last negotiations? It really helped then, so we’re doing it again!  

Save the date for these events, and keep your eye out for additional information: 

  • WBCFriday, February 1 (Groundhog Day, observed), 12:15 PM--parking lot 

  • MemorialWednesday, February 6, 12:15 PM--outside the Amphitheater 

  • UniversityThursday, February 14th  (Valentine’s Day), 12:15 PM—location TBD

  • 306 Belmont: Tuesday, February 19th, details TBD 

Let management know that you are paying attention to contract negotiations, that you care what the outcome is, and help to bring negotiations to a successful agreement – “Come to a Singing for a Strong Contract” event! 

NEW EMPLOYEES

It’s important for everyone to be in the conversation. Communication helps make our union strong. The hospital has a delay in supplying new members’ addresses to SHARE. If you suspect that someone has been left out, please help make sure they get a copy of this message. Thank you!