Our Action Made a Difference: GIC Health Insurance Decision Rescinded

The recent surprising decision by the GIC to eliminate the largest Health Insurance plans for state workers has been reversed. Thank you for your efforts! Your calls helped to protect the integrity of the plans for SHARE members and employees throughout the state. 

Responding to broad public objection and the criticisms of many public-sector unions, the GIC board re-voted on the decision, this time voting 12-2 to undo the plan to consolidate the Health Insurance plans. According to a report on the MassRetirees website, "the move to reconsider returns the GIC to a decision about how to move forward with plans for its members. The meeting continued after the vote Thursday with a discussion about the commission's options."


Breaking: AG Healey Says Health Insurance Changes May Not Have Been Legal

THANK YOU for making calls to Governor Baker's office earlier this week to oppose the GIC Health Insurance plan changes. While many of us were able to leave him a message, we understand that the number of calls overwhelmed his voicemail. Governor Baker has since said publicly that Commission officials "need to take seriously the blowback."

Our collective voice has clearly made a difference. According to the Boston Globe: “As a result of candid feedback from members and stakeholders, the agenda of the next GIC Commission meeting on Thursday, February 1 will include a motion for reconsideration of the recent vote to narrow carriers,” Ashley Maagero Lee, the commission’s chief of staff, said in a statement."

Furthermore, the GIC's plan may have hit a snag. The Globe continues to say: Attorney General Maura Healey’s office is investigating whether a state commission that made a surprise decision to eliminate some popular health plans for state employees violated Massachusetts open meeting law -- casting doubt on the validity of the commission’s decision.

Read the whole story at The Boston Globe.


Call Governor Baker Today to Oppose GIC Health Insurance Changes

As we previously reported here on this blog, SHARE  recently attended the Worcester hearing on the recent decisions by the GIC to limit the number of health insurance options.

We met at Worcester State University with many other unions and state workers who came to express their concern. All of the responses to GIC Director Roberta Herman expressed discontent at the surprising decision.

Early in the public comment portion of the hearing, SHARE-UMMS President Kathy Bateman asked Herman to have the vote rescinded, and a decision delayed until more of the affected groups had a chance to fully understand and respond to the options. We have since learned that many around the state are echoing that request, directing it at Governor Baker in advance of his State of the Commonwealth address this evening. We encourage you to call Baker's office today at 617-725-4005 to ask him to put a halt on this decision, and provide more time for Massachusetts State workers to have a say in the design of their health insurance plans.

BREAKING: The GIC Has Dropped Three Major Health Insurance Plans 

If you currently carry your health insurance with Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, or Fallon, you will soon be required to move to a different plan. The decision was made yesterday by the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the Massachusetts agency that manages coverage for all State employees.  

According to reporting from WBUR, the change affects roughly half of the 442,000 state employees. Three insurers will remain available: Unicare, Neighborhood Health, and Health New England.  

The GIC claims the changes will save the state $20.8 million in the next fiscal year, and that their goal is for members to retain their current physicians, with comparable coverage.  

According to the Worcester Telegram: "On Friday, the [GIC] agency will begin a series of nine public hearings over 10 days beginning in Worcester to solicit feedback. Benefit design decisions will be made at the GIC’s Feb. 1 meeting, and final rates will be determined on Feb. 22." 

Today, SHARE will attend that first public hearing. If you are available to come, we encourage you to be there, too. The session is being held at Worcester State University's May Street Building Banquet Hall (260 May Street in Worcester) from 3:00-4:30 pm.  


SHARE at South Street: Potluck Strong

SHARE Executive Board Member Jameal Jackson & SHARE Rep Belinda O'Brien

SHARE Executive Board Member Jameal Jackson & SHARE Rep Belinda O'Brien

Being in SHARE connects you to a very big community, one designed to take care of itself, almost 500 members at UMass Medical School, as well as 2700 members at UMass Memorial Hospital. Our strength comes from the stories and information we share.

Current SHARE member Dinea Williams, holding a SHARE yearbook photo of her mother, Dianne Williams, who voted in our union twenty years ago

Current SHARE member Dinea Williams, holding a SHARE yearbook photo of her mother, Dianne Williams, who voted in our union twenty years ago

Carmen and Robyn

Carmen and Robyn

Our strength also comes from the meals that we share. At our SHARE 20th Anniversary celebration at South Street, the cooks showed up in full force for a fantastic potluck lunch.

A Smorgasbord! 

When it comes to feeding ourselves, we really know how to take care of business. Cheese and crackers with guava paste. Two kinds of homemade hummus. Tabouleh. Pulled pork. Meatballs. Rice and beans. Salads. Filipino roasted eggplant. Apple pie. Pumpkin Pie. Brownies. Cookies. Pretzel strawberry dessert. And so many more delicious homemade dishes appeared on the table at the event. 




Site Specifics

When a thousand people showed up to eat together at SHARE’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on the University campus, that’s a certain kind of festivity. It demonstrates something about how big our union is. It shows how we welcome others in our community. And, really, with so many of us on that campus, why wouldn’t we host a giant shebang, complete with a ukelele and a congressman?

South Street, however, is a place for a big family meal. During that lunch hour, we had a holiday. We talked family, we talked work. Top tunes from 1997 played in the background. In that festive and familial setting, we even talked about our upcoming contract negotiations (and somehow completed surveys). Thank you to everyone who made it a special day. We’re looking forward to more.

More to Come

We’ve got a lot more to talk about before we sit down at the negotiating table with management. Kicking things off by remembering where we’ve been, sharing our home cooked recipes, and having good conversations about the things that matter most in our lives, that’s a strong beginning to the next chapter for SHARE members at South Street.


Belinda's Rice & Beans

Belinda's Rice & Beans

Jihelah's Filipino Roasted Eggplant

Jihelah's Filipino Roasted Eggplant

IMG_4003 - Edited.jpg




2018 Union Dues Increase

How much will SHARE union dues be in 2018?

For 2018, dues will increase for most members by 46 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  (2 weeks)                      2017 rate                      2018 rate

Regular dues rate                                    $17.48                           $17.94

20-hours/week                                        $13.09                           $13.43

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, 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.umms@theshareunion.org


SHARE Opposes Increased Healthcare Costs for Public Employees

As the largest union at UMass Medical School, SHARE brings an important perspective to those Massachusetts state leaders who grapple with budget decisions. At the recent Union Lobby day, we pushed to limit the out-of-pocket expenses that enrollees pay for GIC health plans, contending that public employees should not be so burdened paying for their healthcare. SHARE JOIN Fellow Jihelah Greenwald provides this report about the event . . .
Every year, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO organizes a Union Lobby day. The MA AFL-CIO invites union members and staff from around the state to gather at the capitol to speak with their respective state legislators, lobby on behalf of their members, and demonstrate the collective power of unions.
This October, SHARE sent three organizers to the capitol to lobby our state legislators: Andrea Caceres, Eve Feldberg, and Jihelah Greenwald. Before talking to a few Worcester representatives, the three attended a workshop led by other union leaders to learn about this year’s six legislative goals to support working people:
  • raising the minimum wage,
  • establish collective bargaining rights for Uber and Lyft drivers,
  • bolster the current unemployment safety net while economic times are good,
  • ask Governor Baker to keep the MBTA bus system public,
  • stop wage theft, and
  • limit out-of-pocket healthcare spending for public sector employees covered under the GIC.
Since not all of these issues apply to SHARE members, the SHARE team partnered with a Sheriff's department union member and a MBTA union member from central Massachusetts so each person could speak about the issues that applied to their union.
At the state house our SHARE team and their new union friends, lobbied legislators including Sen. Ryan Fattman and Rep. Joseph McKenna. While the legislators they spoke to were not publicly in favor of most of the issues they were bringing forward, the legislators were open to engaging in conversation and hear about how these issues effect union members who are often their constituents. The SHARE team spoke on behalf of the minimum wage issue, which would have a positive effect on SHARE members' wages because many pay grades begin at a rate below $15/hour. Many of our members who are just beginning their careers often want to invest in further education because they know higher degrees and certifications could increase their wage earning opportunities for the rest of their lives. However, while working full-time for UMass Memorial or UMMS they are unable to make ends meet. So instead of using the spare time to go to school, they are forced to take a second or third jobs to achieve short-term financial stability.
The team also lobbied about high out-of-pocket spending for GIC recipients– an issue that has become increasingly important with our members in the SHARE UMMS local. In the GIC plan, caps on out-of-pocket spending has risen to $5,000/year for individuals and $10,000/year for families! Healthcare costs that high deter our members from getting the preventative care they deserve, can be financially catastrophic for members who are dealing with family medical crises, and, in general, adds stress on members who feel unable to afford to take care of their family's health. This issue is close to the congresspeople's hearts, because they are also covered on the GIC healthcare plan, and were able to personally relate to the problem of high healthcare costs. *
That day the state house was covered with union people winding through every hall meeting with their legislators. It is hard to know if SHARE's individual lobbying efforts changed the minds and votes of any congresspeople, but the overall impact of our collective actions was tangible. Which is the entire point of unions. On our own, it is hard to convince anyone to share wealth or power. But together we are able to negotiate better contracts, or, on a day like Union Lobby Day, influence state laws to benefit all working people. And we know that happier, financially stable working people are the foundation for happy, healthy businesses and communities. It felt invigorating to meet people from all over the state who are active in their unions and local communities, and to remember that even though SHARE UMass Medical and UMMS members work every day in our pocket in Worcester, we are part of a bigger effort to support workers throughout Massachusetts.

* According to AFL-CIO statistics, the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC)--which dictates health plan costs and structures for Massachusetts employees, including those of us at UMass Medical School--has shifted nearly 300 million dollars of healthcare costs onto workers through increased copayments and deductibles since 2015.

In FY2015, nearly 1,700 families in the GIC had out-of-pocket expenses over $5,000, with many of those families paying up to the current cap of $10,000. (These out-of-pocket expenses are in addition to their premium contributions.) The newly-proposed legislation would cap out-of-pocket maximums for active and retired public employees at $2,500 for individuals, and $5,000 per family.

We are working with other unions to support bills introduced by Senator James Timilty (S.1474) and Representative Paul Mark (H.2569). These are designed to limit the out-of-pocket expenses that enrollees pay for GIC health plans.

Elected Leadership

In the coming year, our Executive Board members will be around the table with management negotiating our next contract, while our representatives have stepped up as union point-people and resources for their coworkers.

Congratulations and thank you to all of our new and continuing elected SHARE leaders, listed below.



Kathleen Bateman, Pathology -- President

A.J. Iaconi, Psych CCU -- Treasurer

Jameal Jackson, CEAP South Street -- At-large Executive Board Member

Antonio Jimenez, Psych CCU -- At-large Executive Board Member

Valerie Mount, Animal Medicine -- At-large Executive Board Member

Tina Pierce, Office of Undergrad Med Ed -- At-large Executive Board Member




Danielle Brewster, Psych --CCU

Charles Gayflor, Psych -- CCU

Devon Poirier, Psych – CCU

Main Campus

Christopher Barry, Animal Medicine

Beverly Potts, Animal Medicine

Carlos Ortiz, Asset Management

Karen Lekas, Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Tara Washington, Bursar

Lisa Mendes, Medicine

Feston Idrizi, Molecular Cell & Cancer Biology

Daneal Portman, Molecular Cell & Cancer Biology

Sharlene Hubbard, Pathology
Cody Whitcomb, Cardiovascular


Max Trojano, Psychiatry Clinical Research

Ryan Bottary, Emergency Medicine

South Street

Melanie Gazdzik, CEAP

Belinda O'Brien, DES

Stephanie Therrien, Medicare Appeals

And thank you all for strengthening SHARE.



If you have interest in becoming a point person for your department, please reach out to us. Extra volunteers are always wanted and needed!

SHARE Your Thoughts with SHARE: 2017 SHARE-UMMS Contract Survey

Please take our Contract Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VFNVBBP
The current SHARE-UMMS contract expires on June 30, 2018. The elected SHARE leaders and Organizing staff are now preparing for our upcoming negotiations. One of the first steps is to assess the current state of SHARE. We will use this initial survey to help define our negotiating priorities.

The survey is anonymous, and should take 5-10 minutes to complete.

The survey deadline is Tuesday, December 12th.

As always, throughout the negotiation process, we will have many, many conversations as a union, including regular Information Meetings. Thank you in advance for completing this survey and helping us develop a framework for our ongoing conversations.

We expect to have have shorter follow-up questionnaires to focus on more specific negotiating items. Please stay tuned for those opportunities to give us feedback because hearing from members from all areas of UMass is a vital component of contract negotiations. Please encourage all of your SHARE friends and colleagues to participate.

Announcing the 2017-18 SHARE EBoard and Reps

We are excited to announce our 2017-2018 SHARE Union Executive Board and Representatives!

In the coming year, our Executive Board members will be around the table with management negotiating our next contract, while our representatives have stepped up as union point-people and resources for their coworkers.
Congratulations and thank you to all of our new and continuing elected SHARE leaders, listed below.

Kathleen Bateman, Pathology -- Co-President
A.J. Iaconi, Psych CCU -- Treasurer
Jameal Jackson, CEAP South Street -- At-large Executive Board Member
Antonio Jimenez, Psych CCU -- At-large Executive Board Member
Valerie Mount, Animal Medicine -- At-large Executive Board Member
Tina Pierce, Office of Undergrad Med Ed -- At-large Executive Board Member

Danielle Brewster, Psych --CCU
Charles Gayflor, Psych -- CCU
Devon Poirier, Psych – CCU
Main Campus
Christopher Barry, Animal Medicine
Beverly Potts, Animal Medicine
Carlos Ortiz, Asset Management
Karen Lekas, Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology
Tara Washington, Bursar
Lisa Mendes, Medicine
Feston Idrizi, Molecular Cell & Cancer Biology
Daneal Portman, Molecular Cell & Cancer Biology
Sharlene Hubbard, Pathology
Cody Whitcomb, Cardiovascular
Max Trojano, Psychiatry Clinical Research
Ryan Bottary, Emergency Medicine
South Street
Melanie Gazdzik, CEAP
Belinda O'Brien, DES
Stephanie Therrien, Medicare Appeals
And thank you all for strengthening SHARE.

If you have interest in becoming a point person for your department, please reach out to us. Extra volunteers are always wanted and needed!

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.

No Vote Required for EBoard and Reps this Year

We are happy to announce that we received 23 nominations for 2017-2018 SHARE Representative and Executive Board elections. There are 26 available Representative positions and 4 Executive Board positions, so we will not be holding representative elections this year. 

Please look for a complete list of our union Representatives and Executive Board members in a forthcoming blog post. 

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 dropped in 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.

In other nifty statistics, our celebration had nine raffle winners. More importantly, altogether, the raffle participants contributed nearly five hundred dollars to the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk and Run.

SHARE Rep Rich Leufstedt
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, faculty, 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
commended the courage of employees
who voted to unionize
Congressman Jim McGovern returned with some keynote remarks to the University Campus where he championed our union in the beginning. He reminisced about the unscoopable frozen-solid ice cream that we chiseled into servings at a rally back-in-the-day. He distinctly remembered, he said, coming away from that event as a great admirer of the trailblazers at SHARE. And 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.

Congressman McGovern 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 institutions, but because we’re a vital union that makes the middle class possible.
More to Come in SHARE’s 20th Year

SHARE-UMMS Executive Board Member
Val Mount talks about
the importance of unions to Central Mass

The event also marked a great kickoff occasion leading into next-year’s contract negotiations. Both SHARE at UMass Medical School and SHARE at UMass Memorial Hospital 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

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

SHARE Rep and PCA Kona Enders
describes how SHARE members stick together

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


for SHARE-UMMS Representatives and SHARE Executive Board 

Open positions this year are 

  • 1-year Representative positions: 10 for the main campus; 8 for South Street; 5 for the CCU; 3 for all offsite locations together.  

  • 2-year Executive Board positions: President; Secretary; and two at-large Executive Board members. (The other four Executive Board positions will be up for election in October 2018.) 

After the close of the nomination period, all nominees will be contacted to see if they accept the nomination and want to run for that office.  If there are more nominees than there are positions to fill, then we will have aelectionOtherwisethe nominees are considered elected. You will be notified about whether any elections are contested 

You can nominate yourself and other SHARE members for these positions  
Monday, October 23 - Tuesday, November 7 at noon 

Elections will bheld on November 15 & 16 
if there are contested positions 


Wednesday, November 15 
South Street & CCU 

South StCanada, 12-2:30pm 
CCU, 7-7:30am and 2:30-4pm 

Thursday, November 16 
Main Campus 

LRB Lobby, 9-10:30am 
Sherman AS8-2072, 11-2pm 
Main School S1-123, 3-5pm 

Thursday, November 16 
Offsite Locations 

Biotech One, 9-9:30am 
Biotech Two, 10-10:30am 
BNRI, 11-11:30am 
Chang Building, 12-12:30pm 
Shaw Building1-1:30pm 
Memorial Hospital, 3-3:30pm 

To run for Union Rep or Executive Board Member 
  1. You must have been a dues-paying SHARE member for at least 6 months prior to the election.   
  1. You must be nominated in writing by a SHARE member (either a co-worker or yourself).  
  1. Current SHARE Reps who wish to continue to be Reps need to be nominated again this year.
To nominate someone for Union Rep or Executive Board Member 
  1. Please send nominations by email to share.elections@theshareunion.org; or by fax to (508) 929-4040; or by U.S. mail to SHARE, 50 Lake Ave, Worcester, MA 01604. However you send the nomination, it is a good idea to call to confirm that it arrived. The phone number at the SHARE office is (508) 929-4020. 

  1. Nominations should include: 
the name, department and phone number of the person being nominated;  
the position for which they are being nominated; and 
the name and phone number of the person submitting the nomination. 

Nominations must arrive at the SHARE office by noon on November 7.  We cannot accept late nominations.  

Nominees will be offered the opportunity to decline the nomination. Anyone who does not decline is then a candidate. 

Descriptions of the different roles 

Below are brief descriptions of the roles of Union Reps and Executive Board Members. If you want to talk about what it would be like to be a SHARE Rep or to be on the Executive Board, or if you have other questions, please call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or talk to someone you know who is involved with SHARE.  

SHARE Reps: There is a Union Rep for approximately every 50 SHARE members.  A Rep is a contact person for their area. Union Reps get training from SHARE to move information between co-workers and union leadership.  Reps are elected for a 1-year term. 

SHARE Executive Board Members: Executive Board members have responsibility for the whole union. They make decisions about the direction of our union and participate in contract negotiations.  

20th Anniversary Celebration This Thursday!

It's here! Happy anniversary! This Thursday, we kick off a year of celebrating throughout our campuses with a bash on the University Campus. Join us for some fun!
SHARE 20th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, September 21st
UMMS Faculty Conference Room
  • Food! Including sub sandwiches, homemade treats, and -- of course -- chocolate!
  • Songs! New and old, written by SHARE members
  • Special guests! Including Congressman Jim McGovern, returning to congratulate our union, which he championed on our campus 20 years ago
  • Raffle! Enter to win one of several baskets. All proceeds go directly to support the Cancer Walk
  • Memories, Friends, and More! Including free SHARE Union schwag!
Both our Hospital and Medical School unions will enter contract negotiations in the coming year. This is a perfect time to show off the good things our unions have done, to highlight our goals, and to demonstrate to the community our strength and aspirations. Let’s eat, and laugh, and enjoy!
Developments, details, and other anniversary events can be found at www.theshareunion.org/20years

Help Keep Your Union Strong

Hi blog reader!

We really appreciate that you’re keeping tabs on your union’s news. There are now a few hundred subscribers to the SHARE blog . . . not to mention all of our unsubscribed readers. Thank you!
Never have our connections to one another been more important than now. Our unions have grown to include over 3,200 members. If you’re a faithful blog reader, or have been around our union for a bit, you know that person-to-person conversations make our union strong. That's a lot of conversations.

This Thursday, we’re hosting our first big event to celebrate SHARE’s 20 Year Anniversary. Throughout the year, we’ll be celebrating on all of the campuses, and we want to kickstart things right. We encourage everyone who can to come out to this one. Every member deserves to have a meaningful connection to their union, and we would love your help.

Here are a few things you can do now . . .

Ten Easy Things You Can Do this Week to Help Keep SHARE Strong

  1. Come to our keystone event, the 20th Anniversary Celebration, on September 21st.
  2. Bring a plate of finger foods to that party.
  3. Email a photo of yourself, along with a quote about what SHARE means to you, to kirk.davis@theshareunion.org.
  4. Print a flyer or three, and post them in your area.
  5. Hand out postcard invitations to friends and co-workers (ask your SHARE organizer for some, or contact the SHARE office: 508-929-4020).
  6. Help plan to celebrate on your campus . . . contact your SHARE organizer for details.
  7. Subscribe to the SHARE blog.
  8. Warm up your voices and be ready to sing.
  9. Ask your co-workers to do any of the above!

SHARE at Fenway Park

SHARE Union Co-President Bobbi-Jo Lewis
on deck to be recognized
during the pre-game ceremonies
There’s nothing like that feeling of being in the ballpark with friends, with the bright lights all around, as a talented singer nails those last few bars of "The Star Spangled Banner." And when Martha Vedrine stepped her voice up an extra interval near the end of her recent performance of the Anthem at Union Night, it was a magical thing. The stands erupted. Martha is a member of our sister union at Harvard University, HUCTW, where she works at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  

HUCTW member Martha Vedrine
singing the National Anthem

At the Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Labor Day, over 220 of the seats were filled by members of SHARE and HUCTW. Union Night is designated to recognize what unions do to improve the lives of working people.

Our own SHARE Hospital union co-president, Bobbi-Jo Lewis, was recognized during the ceremonies. "I've been bringing my kids to watch the Red Sox since they were little. It was really special for them to be in the stands while I got a chance to wave up at the crowd from the field," Bobbi-Jo said.

Bobbi-Jo's kids at the game:
SHARE member Emily Anderson
and her brother Tyler
We’re already looking forward to the next Union Day at Fenway. Although the Major League schedule hasn’t been announced for next season, we’ve got our fingers crossed for a day game, so more SHARE families can be able to come. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meanwhile, most any time that you go to Boston to see the Sox, you can listen to the musical skills of HUCTW member Josh Kantor. Josh is Fenway’s official organist. He has negotiated a flex-time arrangement with his supervisors at Harvard University’s Loeb Music Library so that he can perform at all of the home games. Next time you’re at a game, you can even Tweet him a song request!

The Great SHARE Recipe Swap: Kathy Bateman's Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Looking for a festive party food that you can whip up quickly to bring to an event? Let’s say, for example, the SHARE 20th Anniversary Party? SHARE-UMMS President Kathy Bateman has you covered. Below is her recipe for Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

If you’re bringing your Nana’s secret-recipe fudge brownies to our big day, that’d be a welcome treat, of course. That said, we also would love to include everyone in the recipe collection. To learn more about our pot-luck event, and to access the Recipe Swap easy submission form, just visit the Great SHARE Recipe Swap website.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

About this Dish: This recipe is so fun and easy that children will enjoy rolling, sprinkling and designing their own pretzel creation. I make these during the holidays and they disappear in no time.

Ingredients & How to Make It:

1 container of Pretzel rods (about 48 rods in a container)
Melting chocolate – I use white and milk, but you can use whatever color/flavor you like.
Sprinkles for decoration
Parchment or wax paper


Have at least 4 large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper – this makes clean-up a breeze and the pretzels will not stick to the cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and turn the oven off.

Place the vanilla and chocolate on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put into the oven to let the chocolate melt. Test for doneness by taking a toothpick, and swirl the chocolate through the middle.

While the chocolate is melting, place two of the parchment lined cookie sheets in the freezer so the chocolate will harden quickly after being dipped.

When the chocolate is melted, remove from the oven. Roll the pretzel rods in the chocolate to coat evenly and place on a frozen cookie sheet. This works up quickly. Once you have a whole sheet of pretzels, sprinkle with colored sprinkles and drizzle the different colored chocolate over the dark chocolate, same with the dark chocolate, drizzle over white pretzels. If you don’t have sprinkles, the drizzles will do just fine.

Place the decorated pretzels in the freezer for about 5 minutes. After removing from the freezer, place the pretzels on a plate or platter. Enjoy!

Additional Comments:
I purchase the white and chocolate flavored “Plymouth Pantry Almond Bark” at Wal-Mart, but you can use any kind of melting chocolate.

Submitted By: Kathy Bateman
Department: Pathology

The Great SHARE Recipe Swap: Jillian Schellhammer's Crab Rangoon Dip

In honor of SHARE's 20th Anniversary (And, to prepare for the big Celebration), we're currently accepting recipes for the Great SHARE Recipe Swap.
We'd love to include your recipe in the collection. Find more details, including an easy submission form, on the Great SHARE Recipe Swap website.
To whet your appetite, here's a recipe provided by SHARE member Jillian Schellhammer, who works in Provider Enrollment in our hospital.

Crag Rangoon Dip with Toasted Won Tons and Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
About this Dish:

I'm always preparing my house's dinner for the week on Mondays.. Feeling good, beginning of the week, I'm thinkin', "let's have a movie night Friday, and I'll make snacks!" - meaning, I will be tired after a long work week and have to host friends that I invited when I was energized (this happens, well, every week..). So, I prepared my Monday grocery shopping list and set off to the store. Thursday comes around, I'm already dreading hosting this little get together - thinking about all the cooking I will have to do.. Is there a way I can just order pizza..? Then it's Friday. I know how I am, I do this all of the time, I know that I'm going to go way overboard - and what do I do? Just that. BUT! It was totally worth it, and actually ended up being decently easy (just time consuming, you can easily make the thai chili sauce ahead of time or use store bought - I prefer homemade). Give it a try to wow your guests, or just yourself when you're craving some crab rangoons but really don't want the guilty feeling at the end.
Ingredients and How to Make It:
Crab Rangoon Dip Ingredients:
12oz lump crabmeat (or imitation crab), drained and shredded
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Sriracha
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 package won ton wrappers (optional)
Sliced scallions

Sweet Thai Chili Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chili flakes (I add a dash more for a little more kick!)

Preheat oven to 350F
IF DIPPING WITH WON TONS: Cut them into triangles, 2 per sheet. Add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray, and bake for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bow, mix crabmeat, cream cheese, sour cream, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, Worcestershire, soy sauce, lemon juice, Sriracha, garlic and pepper. Add salt to taste, give it another stir, and add to a casserole dish.
Top with remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes until the top begins to brown.
While dip is cooking, whisk all Sweet Thai Chili Sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
Garnish hot Crab Rangoon dip with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce drizzle and chopped scallions. Dip with toasted won tons or dippers of your choice.
... ENJOY!
Additional comments: Baked won ton wrappers can easily be substituted with any chip/cracker of your choice.
Leftover Sweet Thai Chili Sauce can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for a few months.
FYI, won ton wrappers are found in the produce section!
Personal recipe blog coming SOON!
Submitted By: Jillian Schellhammer

Department: UMass Memorial Medical Group - Provider Enrollment