Enroll in the Pathways to College Program!

The Pathway to College program provides caregivers with the foundation needed to enter a number of degree programs including health education, nursing, occupational studies, business, psychology, and sociology. This collaboration with Worcester State University is a revised version of the Direct Care Pathways program, but expands beyond healthcare specific roles.

Program Highlights

  • A 9-month program designed to prepare participants for admission to an associate’s degree program
  • Begins with an Academic Success Seminar followed by three core classes delivered with individual attention from the instructor and support from an advisor
  • Three (3) cohorts of up 20 students
  • One evening per week 
  • Low out-of-pocket expenses for those eligible for tuition assistance benefits

The next cohort starts meeting in September 2018 (next month!!), so if you are interested, please contact Cherie Comeau to learn more and/or to register: 5089298787 or cherie.comeau@worcester.edu


Sharing an opportunity: Workplace Violence Prevention educational forum on 8/17

What? This forum on preventing violence in the workplace will be moderated by Jonna Dube, and will include panelists Candy Szymanski, Jack Luippold, Ted Carlson, and Maria Michas, MD. If you attended last year, you’ll remember the format: panelists will speak briefly before opening up the floor for questions and discussion. Managers are being encouraged to make arrangements for one or two staff to attend, so speak with your supervisor if you are interested.

Where? The Hiatt Auditorium at the University Campus

When? Thursday, August 17 from 9am-10am


SHARE Encourages You to Complete the Caregiver Engagement Survey

Please fill out the survey! We encourage your thoughtful, honest feedback. Why?

Survey Data Helps SHARE

Did you know? The SHARE Union at UMass Memorial Hospital has over 2700 members

Did you know? The SHARE Union at UMass Memorial Hospital has over 2700 members

SHARE leaders will receive the results, and intends to work with hospital leadership to understand what those data say about SHARE members' experiences at work. Our union will also compare the results to those of our own surveys. The more SHARE members fill out the survey, the more useful the results will be. We want to use the results to benefit SHARE members at work.

Survey Data Helps Your Department

Your manager will share the group's results for your work area. You 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. 

The Survey Is Confidential, Quick, and You Can Do It at Work

The survey process is conducted by a professional outside survey company, Press Ganey. 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 this agency. You should receive a link to the survey in your work email. The survey shouldn't take much more than ten minutes, and you are encouraged to do it on work time.

Thank You for Your Help

This is the second-ever system-wide survey. It also builds upon data collected by UMass Memorial over the past few years, which targeted select areas of the hospital. Together this information can begin to suggest trends--what's working and what's not--when it comes to your experience as hospital employees. Please let us at SHARE know if you have concerns about your own confidentiality, or about how the data will be used, and we will work with you to address those concerns.

Thank you for participating, and helping to create a more complete and accurate overview about the experience of SHARE members at UMass Memorial.


Giving Back to Our Community: SHARE Delivers Donations to North High

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of last year, 50 students whose schools could not remain open came to Worcester to be hosted by Worcester Public Schools. About 30 of them have joined the community at North High, and they were in need of supplies such as toiletries and warm clothing for the winter. For the SHARE 20th Anniversary celebration at Memorial Hospital, our party planning committee and Executive Board decided to raise money for the North High students with our raffle at the party!

With the generosity of everyone—SHARE members, HR business partners, managers—who donated baskets and bought tickets, we were able to raise $521. We used the money to create toiletry kits and buy warm socks and gloves for the students. The Worcester Teacher’s Association (WTA), the union for the teachers at North High, generously donated gift cards for the students as well.

On February 12, SHARE members and SHARE organizers took a trip to North High to drop off these donations. We were able to meet some of the students from Puerto Rico, their teachers and guidance counselors, and the person who has been coordinating all aspects of the students’ time here in Worcester. It was so powerful to meet and spend time together, and we had a good time, too!

SHARE members know that our community is strong when we take care of each other, and we were so happy to work in solidarity with members of the WTA at North High. Caring for our community helps keep unions strong in Worcester!

UMassFive Credit Union Scholarship

A new scholarship opportunity!

UMassFive is pleased to announce The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Massachusetts Credit Union League's Scholarship Program is accepting applicants for six $2,000 scholarships and one $1,500 scholarship to be awarded in 2018.

In order to apply, students must:

  • Be members or have a parent/guardian who is a member of a participating credit union (UMassFive College Federal Credit Union)
  • Be a high school senior who will be enrolled in an undergraduate college degree program during the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Carefully review and complete all requirements in the instructions linked below.

Scholarship Instructions - click here
Scholarship Application - click here

Members can also obtain an application either by stopping by any branch or calling 800-852-5886 All applications must be turned in or post marked no later than March 2, 2018.

Pathway to College program

We recently received the following information from UMMHC Human Resources about a new opportunity for UMass Memorial caregivers to prepare for further healthcare education. Questions can be directed to Christine Staub, HR Organizational Development Specialist, 508-793-5637

Pathway to College Flyer FINAL-1.jpg

The Pathway to College program provides caregivers with the foundation needed to enter a number of degree programs including health education, nursing, occupational studies, business, psychology, and sociology. This collaboration with Worcester State University is a revised version of the Direct Care Pathways program, but expands beyond healthcare specific roles.

Cherie Comeau, Director of Worcester State University’s Center for Business & Industry will be on campus to share information and answer questions

  • University: Tuesday, February 6th  Noon-2 pm Outside Pharmacy near the cafeteria
  • Memorial: Wednesday, February 7th  6:30 - 8:30 am Across from cafeteria
  • Hahnemann: Wednesday, February 14th  11:30 am-1 pm Main Lobby

Program Highlights

  • A 9-month program designed to prepare participants for admission to an associate’s degree program
  • Begins with an Academic Success Seminar followed by three core classes delivered with individual attention from the instructor and support from an advisor
  • Three (3) cohorts of up 20 students, the first group starting in March
  • One evening per week (Cohort 1 will meet on Tuesdays)
  • Low out-of-pocket expenses for those eligible for tuition assistance benefits

New Memorial Campus Co-President

Jay Hagen (center front, blue scrubs) with participants from the most recent SHARE-UMass Memorial Contract Negotiations

Jay Hagen (center front, blue scrubs) with participants from the most recent SHARE-UMass Memorial Contract Negotiations

Congratulations to Jay Hagan, the new Memorial Campus co-president for SHARE. He has been appointed by SHARE's Executive Board to hold the position until the next presidential election. Jay fills the role previously held by current SHARE staff member Bobbi-Jo Lewis. 

Jay has worked as a CT Technologist at our hospital for over 30 years. He has been serving as the Executive Board member for the Technical Region at Memorial, including on the Contract Negotiating Committee. We are excited for his new role, and looking forward to another Contract Negotiations together later this year.

January Is National Blood Donor Month

SHARE members and UMass Memorial Blood Bank Technologists Sarah and Jen

SHARE members and UMass Memorial Blood Bank Technologists Sarah and Jen

The Blood Donor Center at UMass Memorial accepts the important gift of blood year-round, and January is a great time to resolve to give. Already in 2018, the American Red Cross has again issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations in response to a severe winter blood shortage. Blood is required for a number of medical conditions, including, of course, transplants, cancers, and traumatic injuries.

UMass Memorial uses about 31,000 blood products each year to meet the needs of patients. The Blood Donor Center is located on the University Campus, downstairs from the Emergency Department. Walk-ins are welcome for whole-blood donations, or to schedule an appointment, please call 508-421-1950. To find other locations to give, visit the Red Cross website.  

SHARE Staff Organizer Will Erickson, donating platelets

SHARE Staff Organizer Will Erickson, donating platelets

2018 Dues Increase

How much will SHARE union dues be in 2018?

For 2018, dues will increase for most members by 23 cents per pay period. Below are the old and dues new rates. The new rate will be effective on the first paycheck you receive in January 2018.

Per Pay Period  (1 week)                       2017 rate                   2018 rate

Regular dues rate                                 $8.74                            $8.97

20-hours/week                                        $6.55                            $6.72

That's a total annual increase of $11.96 ($8.84 for employees working 20 hrs/week).

Where does the money go?

The money from dues supports the work that SHARE does. It pays for the organizers' salaries, office rent and supplies, phones, website hosting, printing costs and postage for mailings –  all the things we need to negotiate good contracts, keep people informed, help members to solve problems if they come up, and to support members in having a voice in the workplace. A portion of the dues also goes to our national union, AFSCME, in Washington, and helps to pay for other groups of employees forming unions in their workplaces, and for research and lobbying.

How is the dues increase determined?

Our national union, AFSCME, calculates the annual increase based on the average raise for AFSCME members across the country. The new rate goes into effect each January.

Are my SHARE dues eating my raise every year?

SHARE members gain more than non-union employees even taking the cost of dues into account. In fact, from the end of June 2012 to the end of June in 2017, SHARE members got more raises than non-union employees.  SHARE members get bigger raises (the difference in any particular year between a union raise and non-union raise is small, but the difference adds up). And each year the advantage of being in SHARE grows by having a voice in issues that affect us.

In what ways does having a union give SHARE members a voice?  

  • In contract negotiations, we have a voice in our pay, benefits and work policies
  • In union meetings and individual conversations, we have a voice in the direction and priorities of the union
  • Through the problem-solving process, we have a voice when individual problems/conflicts come up at work
  • In union elections, we have a voice in who our representatives will be
  • Through committees and ad-hoc negotiations, we have a voice in issues that face groups of SHARE members  


You can talk to any of our E-board members or local reps who are active with SHARE, call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or email us at share.comment@theshareunion.org

2017 IHI National Forum Field Report


At the 2017 Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum, I was struck by a statement that I heard early-on: patients want caregivers to care about one another. Patients know that, otherwise, their treatment is compromised.

"Personal burnout" is the key indicator of a group's performance. And it can be reversed.

"Personal burnout" is the key indicator of a group's performance. And it can be reversed.

Personal Burnout Makes It Hard to Care  

Bryan Sexton, Director of the Patient Safety Center for the Duke University Health System, pointed to data that indicate that the best predictor of patient care is the level of "burnout" among that patient's caregivers. Did you catch that? That's a Patient Safety director . . . saying that personal burnout has a greater impact on healthcare outcomes than, say, "safety climate," or "teamwork," or any of the more traditional measures. Sexton points out that 50% of physicians are are burned out. As is 30% of healthcare administrative staff. 

Joy at Work?

This year, my second trip to IHI’s annual event, provided lots of learning and smart tools for healthcare improvement. (I blogged from the plane last year, too, if you want a look back.) Beyond the patient care subjects that one might expect from a national healthcare conference, the IHI has adopted a curious and heartening focus on the personal happiness of the people who work in healthcare. Or, as they refer to it, "joy."

Care among Caregivers

I suspect it's always an inspirational event. Definitely the 2017 IHI Forum included some impressive and brave thinking, things that stoked my optimism, examples of people who had figured out useful ways to keep caring central to their jobs as healthcare providers, including:

IHI CEO Derek Feeley with Patient Advocate Tiffany Christensen and Dr. Awdish

IHI CEO Derek Feeley with Patient Advocate Tiffany Christensen and Dr. Awdish

  • A physician, Rana Awdish, who, on the last day of her residency, had a tumor rupture in her liver. This lead to a scene on the operating table. There, in her own hospital, through her stupor, she could hear someone say that she was “circling the drain.” She pulled through that event. But days later, still in the hospital, all by herself and unable to call out, she had to reach out to press the button and call a code blue on herself, as she lay in her bed, drowning in her own fluids as they redistributed into her lungs. She said she believes her wound was “a gift,” and has given her a keener eye for the system problems that demoralize caregivers and threaten patient health.
  • A heartening story of a hospital that pays for groups of caregivers to go to dinner together every couple of months so that they can talk with one another about their experiences. The dinners were described as a kind of symbiosis--commensalism--and this eating together has brought these employees to care for each other, as well as their patients, in ways that they hadn’t before.

  • Helen MacFie and Lorra Brown, who lead Lean projects at the MemorialCare network of hospitals in Southern California. They spend their work days talking about systems. AND, their concern for others was palpable. MacFie and Brown believe an improvement project is probably incomplete unless it has lead someone to cry happy tears. The pair led a session with an audience of hundreds, encouraging hospital leaders from around the country to hand the tools over to front line employees, the ones who really know how to make meaningful change where it matters.

Your Personal Burnout Assessment

Can you make your workday happier with only a smidgen of effort? It does seem that some small interventions can go a long way. Together with researcher K. Carrie Adair and others at the Duke Patient Safety Center, Bryan Sexton directs the WISER study, which is designed to assess burnout and increase emotional resilience among healthcare workers.

Online, you can access their free, HIPAA-compliant Stress-Reduction Assessment and Resilience Program. For a peek into their hypothesis about strengthening resilience, check out this seven-minute video. (WARNING: this video is pretty fun.)

What else?

This quick summary only scratches the surface of the things I learned at this year's conference. If you'd like to know more about what I learned, and about how SHARE is applying new ideas, let's talk. Drop me a line: kirk.davis@theshareunion.org. As always, thank you for reading . . . 

Flu Season Reminder

UMass Memorial is currently encouraging employees to comply with the hospital flu vaccination policy. At our hospital, whether you get the shot or decline, you are supposed to turn in one of two forms to Employee Health: either the hospital flu vaccine form, (which you can bring with you when you get  your shot to have completed by your own regular care provider, drugstore clinic, etc.) OR, the declination form, if you choose not to be vaccinated.

Hospital-sponsored flu clinics are listed below. The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccination for most individuals over six months of age, especially those who work in healthcare. This short video featuring UMass Memorial physician Dr. Fozia Qamar addresses some of the most common questions about the vaccine.

As in previous seasons, when flu season hits, the hospital plans to require unvaccinated employees working in patient care areas to wear a mask.


UMass Memorial Flu Clinics 2017

Remember to bring your Kronos' Badge --OR-- Driver’s License with you.


 Monday 12/18   University Campus  RM HB 376  7:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m.

                           291 Lincoln St   Suite 100    7:00 a.m.  – 5:00 p.m.


Tuesday 12/19   University Campus  RM HB 376  6:30 a.m.  -3:30 p.m.

                          291 Lincoln St Suite 100  7:00a.m. -5:00 p.m.


Wednesday 12/20   University Campus   RM HB 376   7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

                         291 Lincoln St Suite 100   7:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.


Thursday  12/21   University campus  RM HB 376 6;30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

                          Memorial Campus   RM MB 2624  12:30p.m. – 3:30p.m.

                          291 Lincoln St   Suite 100   7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Friday  12/22   291 Lincoln St Suite 100 7:00 a.m -5:00 pm


AFSCME Free College Benefit: Register Now for January Classes

It’s a great time to be online with AFSCME's Free College benefit.

Spring 2018 classes start January 16th, so don't delay.

Get started right away to take advantage of this opportunity for you and your family, and you won’t have to pay a penny out of pocket.
Thousands of AFSCME members have already signed up for classes and are sharing this benefit with their spouses, children and grandchildren as well. Spouse to spouse, parent to child or grandparent to grandchild, AFSCME’s partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College allows members to share this valuable college degree opportunity awhere it means the most. Right in your own home with your own family!
Eastern Gateway Community College is a public, fully accredited, open-access college in Ohio, and credits are transferable. No entrance exam or placement test is required; you only need to complete the EGCC application, send in your high school or GED transcript, and apply for and use any available federal financial aid. AFSCME Free College will cover the difference for tuition, fees and e-books.
The AFSCME Free College benefit is bigger and better than ever, so spring into action with us this January.

Visit us at FreeCollege.AFSCME.org or call toll free at 1-888-590-9009 to take the next step to a brighter future.

Career Counseling Appointments for SHARE Members

Brought to you by The SHARE-UMass Memorial Workforce Planning Partnership Committee
Are you interested in professional growth and development?
Quinsigamond Community College’s Center for Workforce Development and Continuing Education will be offering career counseling to interested SHARE members.
Benefits of Individual Career Counseling
  • Discover personal interests, skills, and work values
  • Identify factors that influence career development
  • Explore career options
  • Locate sources of career information and support
  • Determine next steps and develop a plan to achieve goals
Meet privately with a certified career counselor who can guide you through a step-by-step process to explore options, set goals, and take action.
To Register for an afternoon appointment on Wednesday, December 6 at University Campus or Wednesday, December 13 at Memorial Campus:
  • Contact Jackie Kaczowka, Administrator Center for Workforce Development at QCC at 508-751-7911.
  • You will be asked to provide your name, address, date of birth, and email address.
  • Complete an online* assessment prior to your meeting. Instructions will be emailed to you upon registration. The assessment takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • After meeting with the counselor and reviewing your report, a follow up meeting will be scheduled.
*If you do not have access to a computer, please contact Christine Staub in Human Resources at Christine.staub@Umassmemorial.org

SHARE Supports Raise Up for a $15 Minimum Wage and Paid Family/Medical Leave

SHARE Organizers Jihelah, Eve, and Dylan
collected signatures outside the White City Trader Joe’s this week! 
This Fall, some SHARE organizers have been supporting the Raise Up coalition to bring two questions to the public on election day 2018. We have been working on gathering the number of signatures required to get a $15 minimum wage (phased in slowly over four years) and paid family/medical leave on the ballot next year so that we, as citizens of Massachusetts, can decide if we want these changes in our state.

Raise Up is a group of unions, churches, and small community organizations from across the state who are committed to positive changes for working families here in Massachusetts.

At SHARE, we see how valuable these changes would be for our members, and for all working people in MA. Many SHARE members have family and dependents at home who make the minimum wage. We believe that everyone deserves the ability to support themselves and their family, and right now, working 40 hours a week for the current $11 minimum wage just isn’t cutting it. And we know that a raise in the minimum wage helps to support solid raises for SHARE members when we negotiate with hospital management.

The Paid Family/Medical Leave proposal is also a better deal for working families. That proposal would provide up to 26 weeks of job-protected medical leave at 90% of pay if an employee is sick, and up to 16 weeks of job-protected family leave at 90% of pay if they have to care for a family member or have a new baby at home. A higher standard would help SHARE as we negotiate leaves-of-absence in our own contract in the future.

Some of our SHARE reps have been volunteering their time to collect signatures so that we will have the chance to vote on these two important issues next fall. If you are interested in joining that effort, or if you have questions about these two initiatives, please email eve.feldberg@theshareunion.org or call/text (617) 620-4091.

SHARE Raise Delivered in October 13 Paycheck

UMass Memorial Human Resources has confirmed that the SHARE raises will be on time. SHARE members started earning their new rate on Sunday, October 1st. That new amount will show up in paychecks next week, October 13, and should be visible on-line starting on Saturday.

Most SHARE members are getting a 2% across the board raise, plus the annual SHARE platform movement amount. The across-the-board raise keeps you up with inflation, and the platform movement gives you credit for another year of experience and moves you up toward the grade max.
This is the final raise negotiated under our current contract. We expect to begin negotiating the next contract, including raises, in the Spring-Summer of next year.
. . . will receive the entire raise to their base pay, unless their raise would put them over the new higher Max Cap. (Only eleven SHARE members will be at the Max Cap for their grade. They will be contacted directly by SHARE staff about their raise, a portion of which will be paid-out as a bonus.)
We have completed a great amount of the work involved to slot individuals onto platforms. Thank you to everyone affected for your help in making sure that the hospital has the correct experience data on record for you. We are still working with management to finalize the process, and will contact you all with a further update.
For most SHARE members, those whose current rate of pay is already on a platform, you can identify your new rate by locating your current rate in the online Pay Grids, then moving one column to the right and one row down.

For more detailed instructions about using the pay grids -- or if you current pay is between platforms, at max or over max, or in a grade without platforms -- please contact the SHARE office for help. 508-929-4020

So Fun! 20th Anniversary Celebration on the University Campus

SHARE: 20 Years Old
3200 Strong
By the Numbers

Nine hundred attendees, give or take a few. That’s how many people popped in last for SHARE’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on the University Campus. SHARE members came down during lunchtime to the Faculty Conference Room from desks and bedsides and lab benches, and even bussed over from other campuses. Thank you to everyone who made time to make the event such a success!

It was a pretty good day for two unions recognizing a shared anniversary. And in other nifty statistics, our celebration had nine raffle winners. More importantly, altogether, the raffle participants contributed $535 to the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk and Run.

SHARE Rep Rich Leufsted
reprises his famous "SHARE Song"
A Festive Atmosphere

We were excited to catch up with old friends: SHARE retirees, SHARE members who have been promoted to management positions, and some beloved SHARE members who have moved on to other careers. Joining us, too, were many guests, including students, nurses, executive leaders from our Hospital and Medical School, members of sister unions, and even a few folks who just wandered in wondering what the hubbub was about.  

We ate. We sang. We marveled a bit at how SHARE’s values of kindness and respect have translated into policies and work systems that enable SHARE members to participate at work. We did an awful lot of smiling.

SHARE-UMMS EBoard Member AJ Iaconi
describes how a Joint Working Group
at the Critical Care Unit has improved working conditions
and patient care

Support from an Old Friend

Congressman Jim McGovern returned to the University Campus where he championed our union in
Congressman Jim McGovern
commended the courage of employees
who voted to unionize
the beginning. He reminded us that, twenty years ago, the formation of SHARE was the result of the largest organizing effort central Massachusetts had seen in over sixty years.

As he looked over the crowd, Jim McGovern noted members of the senior leadership team participating in our big day. He called it a testament to SHARE's commitment to partnership and non-adversarialism. As he pointed out, especially in those earliest days, University and Hospital management have not always recognized the value of our union. He praised our union's earliest pioneers, who didn't know how management would react, and had to believe that we could create the kind of union that would make our community stronger.

Congressman McGovern remembered our earliest days so well that he even teased us about the unscoopable frozen-solid ice cream that we chiseled into servings at that ice cream social, back-in-the-day. And he encouraged us to continue being brave in our efforts, saying that SHARE members were not only important to one another in the room, and to our hospital, but because we’re a vital union that makes the middle class possible.
More to Come in SHARE’s 20th Year

SHARE Rep and PCA Kona Enders
describes how SHARE members
stick together
The event also served as a great show of our spirit and our strength leading into next-year’s contract negotiations. Both SHARE at UMass Memorial and SHARE at UMass Medical School will sit down at the table with our respective employers next year.

In the coming year, at anniversary events throughout our campuses, we’ll continue celebrating, and reflecting, and thinking ahead together. To keep up, be sure to subscribe to the SHARE blog, and check in to learn about developments at www.theshareunion.org/20years

SHARE Hospital Treasurer Kathy Girouard
and Organizer Dylan Goodman
tended the photobooth--until the crowds took over the space

New SHARE/JOIN Fellow Eve Feldberg explains
how an increased minimum wage
benefits SHARE members and other members of our community

Nice shout-out from Congressman McGovern on his Facebook page!