SHARE Encourages You to Complete Caregiver Engagement Survey

Please fill out the survey! SHARE wants you to participate in the first system-wide engagement survey at UMass Memorial. This round of surveys builds upon data collected over the past few years, which targeted select areas of the hospital. Your manager will share results for your work area and 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.

SHARE leaders will also receive the results, and intends to work with hospital leadership to understand what they say about SHARE members' experiences at work. We will compare the results to those of our own recent surveys, involving members to make sense of the data, and use the results to line up improvements that will benefit SHARE members in at work. The more SHARE members fill out the survey, the more useful the results will be.

The survey process is conducted by an outside agency, Press Ganey. You should have gotten get an email from them on October 17, with a link to the survey. You’ll also receive reminder emails that contain the link, in case you deleted the initial email. 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 the agency that administered the previous smaller waves of engagement surveys here, Avatar Solutions (which has since been bought by Press Ganey). 

The survey shouldn't take much more than ten minutes, and you are encouraged to do it on work time. Thank you for participating, and helping to create a more complete and accurate overview about the experience of employees at UMass Memorial.

SHARE 2016 Contract Negotiations Survey: The Results Are In

Thank you again to the 1651 SHARE members who completed the 2016 Contract Negotiations Survey. The survey focused on how to improve the day-to-day experience at work because that is where we want to focus in this year's contract negotiations. The survey results will be extremely helpful to the SHARE Negotiating Team.


  • The great majority of SHARE members find meaning in their work providing healthcare. 
  • SHARE members value their benefits. 
  • SHARE members say they get too little respect and appreciation for the important work that they do. 
  • SHARE members are frustrated about their workload and staffing levels. 

You can see the full results online here

What are SHARE members MOST satisfied with?

SHARE Members Love their Benefits

Satisfaction with benefits was the highest ranked of the items that SHARE members reported their satisfaction with, with 85% saying they were either very satisfied or satisfied with benefits in general. This finding echoes SHARE members’ opinions as reported on the SHARE benefits survey from 2014, where 93% of SHARE members who took the survey said benefits are an important reason why they continue to work here. Over the years, SHARE members and the Negotiating Team have spent a lot of time and energy negotiating to keep and improve these benefits, so it's good to know that SHARE members appreciate them! 

Doing Something Meaningful in Providing Quality Healthcare

Doing something meaningful in providing quality healthcare was a close second in satisfaction, with 79% of SHARE members saying that they were satisfied on that question. People wrote lots and lots of comments about how much they love their patients, and their work with them.

What are SHARE members LEAST satisfied with?


Only 45% said they were satisfied with their workload. On another question, 41% disagreed with the statement that staffing levels are adequate in their department, which was one of the highest negative responses to a question in the survey. Lots and lots of people wrote comments about how staffing challenges affect their experience at work, and patient care.

Only “informed about policies and administrative decisions” came in as less satisfying than workload, with 43% saying they were satisfied with this.

Respect at Work

SHARE members who took the survey were asked to rank a bunch of things in response to “What most important to improving your day-to-day experience at work?” The items you could choose from included: “respect and how my department leaders treat people; job security; feeling like a team in my department; systems, fixing how the work gets done; getting breaks and lunch and vacation time; and learning new things, career development.

Over two-thirds of SHARE members, 69% of those who took the survey, ranked “Respect and how my department leaders treat people” as number 1 or 2 out of that list, considerably more than any other item.

SHARE members report a wide range of opinions about their supervisors and managers: There are positive comments about how some managers seek out and listen to input from their staff, support their staff, and show respect for everyone and everyone’s work. There are also plenty of negative comments by SHARE members who say that their supervisor or manager does not listen to their input, or micromanages their work. When asked to agree or disagree with “I have an opportunity to participate in decisions made by my supervisor that affect my work environment,” SHARE members are evenly split. 34% say they agree with the statement, and 32% disagree with the statement. (The remaining 34% chose “neutral.”)

Job Security

Second in that ranking of priorities for improving day-to-day work was job security, with 53% ranking it number 1 or 2. And 30% agree that they worry about getting laid offs from their jobs.

Many SHARE Members Want to Learn Something New

73% of SHARE members say Yes or Maybe to wanting to learn new skills for a different job, plus 9% who say they are already in school to learn something new. Clearly there’s a hunger out there among SHARE members to keep learning and growing at UMass Memorial.

What's next?

These major themes are not a great surprise--these are issues that come up regularly in conversation with SHARE members. However, having numbers to attach to these stories gives us new insights, and documentation of what we hear day-to-day. We will continue to analyze the data, looking for patterns, and which groups of SHARE members feel most strongly on which issues. Stay tuned.

Take the Employee Engagement Survey by January 25th!

As many of you already know, UMass Memorial is rolling out another wave of Employee Engagement surveys to over 3,800 staff, including many SHARE members. If you are in an area that is being surveyed, SHARE encourages your participation. It shouldn't take much more than five minutes, you can do it on work time, and we are hopeful that the results will direct attention at improving what it feels like to come to work here every day.

Last year, a smaller number of departments were administered a similar survey; these departments will be re-surveyed to check on their progress.  In addition, several dozen other departments are being asked to participate.

Like the other Employee Engagement surveys administered since 2014, these will be handled by an outside agency called Avatar Solutions. The surveys will not be seen by anyone at UMass Memorial. Prior to this new approach, SHARE members sometimes encountered problems with how their information was handled--sometimes the results were reported in such a way that managers and supervisors could figure out respondents' identities. It appears that the measures involved now are working; SHARE has heard no complaints about confidentiality. Avatar Solutions will give UMass Memorial results for groups only, not individuals. Small groups will be combined to help protect anonymity. You have to enter your employee ID number to take the survey -- that's to make sure only employees take the survey, that each person only takes it once, and that your responses are grouped with your team’s responses.

If you are in a department taking part in the survey, you can expect that results will be shared with you in March, that measures will be put in place over the Spring and Summer with the goal of improving what it feels like to work here, and that your department will then be re-surveyed in October to measure whether improvements made between surveys have worked. SHARE leadership will also study these results to better understand ways that our union can improve our members' experience at work.

If you have any thoughts or questions about this survey, or SHARE's participation with it, email


7796 -- that's how many comments SHARE members wrote on the Contract Negotiations survey. The SHARE organizers are reading them all now, preparing the data for the SHARE Negotiating Team.

The data can answer many questions: We can look closely at each topic, like "What does all of SHARE think about career development?" and at different groups, like "What do clerical and administrative SHARE members think and how are they different or the same as what the techs or SHARE members in nursing jobs think?"

It's fabulous that so many SHARE members put so much thought into their survey responses. Analyzing that huge amount data is a huge task, and a very good problem to have. Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses.

1651 SHARE Members Completed the Negotiations Survey

Thank you to everyone who completed the SHARE Negotiations Survey. All total, we received 1651 surveys, which represents 64% of the SHARE membership.

We'll provide a breakdown of the numbers on this blog soon. We're now beginning to read all the responses, so that SHARE's Negotiating Team can use them in preparation for sitting down at the table with management in next year's round of negotiations.

Although this survey is now closed, we'll continue having many many conversations, collecting feedback and ideas, both leading up to and throughout the negotiations process. In the new year, SHARE will hold information meetings around the hospital system. We really appreciate the time you have taken to let us know your priorities, and your feedback about what could improve your day-to-day experience at UMass Memorial. If you would like to talk with a SHARE Representative about contract negotiations, please let us know!

We Need YOUR Opinions and Ideas!

Have YOU filled out your SHARE survey about our upcoming contract negotiations??

This is the first step towards a new contract. The survey turns the conversations SHARE members have everyday -- about how things are going and what should change -- into data that helps us to figure out our collective priorities for contract negotiations. We want to make sure we include all opinions and ideas -- from SHARE members from all departments and all shifts, all ages and all jobs. (Many thanks to the hundreds of you who already filled out the survey!)

Here's the link:

Topics on the survey include:

  • What parts of working at UMass Memorial are satisfying, and what parts are not?
  • Staffing Levels, Breaks, Lunches and Vacations
  • Getting the Work Done and Process Improvement
  • Co-Workers and Working as a Team
  • Supervisors and Managers
  • Training and Career Development
  • The SHARE Union
  • Your Priorities: What would help most to improve how it feels to come to work?

Super Convenient Ways to Take the Survey -- Come to the SHARE table to pick up a paper copy of the survey, or fill it out on a laptop right there, or pick up a postcard with the link to remind yourself to do it at home:
Memorial: Wednesday, November 11th, 1:45 am - 1:15 pm in the hospital cafeteria
370 Main Street: Thursday, November 12th, Noon - 1:00 pm in the 5th floor conference room
University: Friday, November 13th, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm in the hospital cafeteria

Can you help spread the word to your co-workers?

Please encourage your co-workers to take the survey! If you would like some postcards with the link on them to hand out, just call the SHARE office and we will bring you some!

Having trouble with the survey?

If you are having any trouble getting into Survey Monkey to do the SHARE survey, try typing the link above into your browser. If that doesn't work, please let us know so we can figure out what's wrong.

Would you rather fill out a paper survey?

Follow this link to a .pdf that you can print. Then mail us or fax us your survey -- call us if you want a postage paid envelope.

All questions or ideas -- You can talk to your local SHARE Rep, your SHARE Organizer, or call the office at SHARE 508-929-4020. Leave a message at extension 10. Or you can send an email to

2016 Contract Negotiations: Where We’ve Been, One Big Problem, and the Year Ahead

When UMass and then Memorial employees voted to form the SHARE union, the main goal was participation. People wanted a say in decisions that affect them at work.

With a merger, and with healthcare changing rapidly all around us since, there have been many decisions being made that affect SHARE members. As a new union and in the 18 years since those votes, we’ve checked off most of “the biggies” from our list:

  • SHARE members wanted to make raises predictable, with raises every year, and a salary system that was fair, transparent, and moved people up to grade max over time.

  • SHARE members wanted to hold onto the benefits they had, in spite of the merger, especially:

    • Health insurance, keeping the 85%/15% premium split the state workers had had.

    • A defined benefit pension.

  • SHARE members wanted to land safely in new jobs when there were layoffs, especially in the highly uncertain times of the early merger. And we wanted to feel that seniority was valued equally no matter which campus you came from.

  • SHARE members from Memorial and UMass wanted to have the same policies across campuses, without going to the lowest-common-denominators among those policies. And we wanted to continually improve on these policies.

We all know that there’s plenty more we can do to improve even further on those goals. Still, our achievements have been significant and hard-won. Congratulations to all of us for sticking together when our union has faced hard times and hard negotiations.

Changing How it Feels to Come to Work

While we have steadily, persistently ticked the goals off our list, there’s one important nut that we haven’t cracked: We really want to change how it feels to come to work every day.

  • We want to save lives and improve patient health to the best of our ability.

  • We want patients’ experience -- from making an appointment to paying the bill – to go smoothly and give the patients what they need.

  • We want to have fun at work

  • We want to be able brag to our neighbors that we work at UMass Memorial, to have the respect of our peers and leaders, and to leave work consistently with our heads held high.

SHARE wants to focus on that problem -- how to re-imagine and improve our entire work culture -- in our next contract negotiations.

Many forces combine to cause our work to be stressful and frustrating:

  • Constant change, and financial pressure that leads to “doing more with less”

  • Work systems that are complicated and wasteful rather than clear and efficient

  • An old culture of “command and control,” and a “shame and blame” approach to problems that make positive teamwork tough to establish

Changing how it feels to come to work is not a simple goal. We have lots to figure out, and we may need to try several approaches before we figure out what works.

We Need Your Ideas!

We hope that all SHARE members will take part in this conversation as we prepare to tackle this difficult set of problems. We are starting with a survey for all SHARE members to get your thoughts, questions, concerns, and ideas.

We will negotiate about raises and benefits too – so there will be a lot going on in this coming year. We will set up lunch-time SHARE information meetings across the hospital’s campuses in the new year. You can also contact your SHARE reps and organizers through the SHARE office any time.

And of course, we will post updates here on this blog. Stay tuned…

2016 SHARE Member Negotiations Survey

We need to hear your opinions! Your thoughts, your ideas, your experiences! Please take the 2016 SHARE Negotiations Survey:

This survey kicks off our thinking about the upcoming contract negotiations. In the past, our contract surveys have been very useful -- giving us concrete information to use in negotiations, and figuring out what areas need the most work. This survey focuses on your day-to-day work experience -- what works well and what needs to be improved. We are trying to figure out how to improve how it feels to come to work every day. For more about where we've come from as a union, and our next challenges, click here.

Our current contract expires on September 30, 2016.  We will start negotiations with UMass Memorial sometime in the spring. After we collect SHARE members' responses to the survey in the next few weeks, we will use the results to help set the priorities for negotiations. There will be plenty of time to talk about those priorities at lunch-time information meetings in the new year.

The survey takes about 10 minutes. Please fill it out, and encourage your co-workers to do the same!