2018 Mass AFL-CIO Scholarship Program

The following was sent to the SHARE office announcing the 61st Annual Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship. This program is available to all SHARE members. For complete details, and to apply, please visit www.massaflcio.org/scholarships.

Please note that the “Organization Name” for our union at UMass Medical School is “SHARE/AFSCME Local 4000.” (It doesn’t appear in their dropdown menu, but can be entered below that, in the field that asks for your “Local Local Number.”)

Over the years, several SHARE members have received scholarships through this program, and we hope to see more this year!


SHARE Members ratify 2018-2021 Contract!


Last week, the contract was approved by SHARE members with a 95% “Yes” vote! We had pretty good turnout too – 57% of SHARE members voted. Thanks to everyone who came out to vote, or in some cases came IN to vote on their day off. Participation makes our union strong.


The next steps are:

  1. Update the old contract with the new language – in process

  2. The SHARE and UMMS negotiating teams sign the updated contract

  3. UMMS and UMass system leadership sign the updated contract

  4. HR Compensation calculates what everyone is owed and sends it to Payroll

  5. Payroll processes the raises and the retro

  6. We start working with UMMS on the other new contract provisions


Please come to information meetings to learn the newest updates or follow our blog posts.


Congratulations to all SHARE members for a good contract campaign. Onward!


The SHARE Team

Vote to Ratify 2018-2021 SHARE Contract

We have reached the final stage of contract negotiations. An important step where every member gets to have their voice count: Voting for the Contract.

Voting to ratify the contract is a step where every union member can decide whether this contract represents them and cast their ballot to determine whether or not to accept this contract. If a majority of SHARE members vote to accept this contract, then it will go to UMMS to sign. At that point the contract content, can be implemented by all of the parties involved (including Payroll to calculate everyone’s raises).

To learn more about the content of the contract settlement please refer to the notices we sent home, which also can be found on our website under “Contract Resources." Or reach out to a SHARE organizer or rep.

The SHARE negotiating team will be holding voting times all day in various locations to make it possible for every member to vote. Please find the best location for you to vote here:

The next step in finalizing this contract is to vote to ratify it. Please turn out to vote on October 31, 2018. We are holding voting locations all over the UMMS campus. Please turn out to vote!

Please find the most convenient location to vote on October 31st. We will be holding voting at:

  • -LRB Pavilion, 1st floor, 8:30am-9:30am

  • -LRB, Room 816, 10:00am-11:00am

  • -Sherman Building, AS4-1044, 12:00pm-2:00pm

  • -School Builiding, S1-607, near library, 3:00pm-5:00pm

  • -Police Dispatch Office, 7:00am-7:15am and 3:00pm-3:15pm

  • -CCU, 1st Floor Library, 6:30am-8:00am and 2:00pm-4:00pm

  • -Memorial, Atrium across from cafeteria, 9:30am-10:00am

  • -Maple Ave, Chang, Banks Conference room, 11:30am-12:00pm

  • -South Street, Spain Conference Room, 11:30am-2:00pm

  • -Shaw Building, 12:30pm-12:45pm

  • -Farmhouse, 1:00pm-1:15pm

  • -Biotech I, 2:30pm-2:45pm

  • -Biotech II, 3:00pm-3:15pm

Thank you everyone!




2018 Contract Negotiations Update: Tentative Agreement Reached!

The SHARE-UMMS negotiating team has reached a tentative agreement for a new contract!

Click here to find the full Memorandum of Agreement: http://theshareunion.net/MoA_October_11_2018.pdf

To learn more about the tentative agreement, please stop by one of our information meetings. The meetings will be held:

-October 17th in the Main School, S1-123, 12:00 am-2:00 pm

-October 18th in Commonwealth Medicine, Spain Conf. rm, 11:30 am-1:30 pm

-October 22nd on Maple Ave in the Chang building, Banks Conf. rm, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

-October 23rd in the CCU, Library 1st floor, 7:00- 8:00 am and 2:00- 4:00 pm

-October 24th in the Albert Sherman, cafeteria, 11:30 am- 1:30 pm

The next step is for members to vote to ratify this tentative agreement. Contract ratification will be on October 31, 2018. Stay tuned to find the voting time at the location nearest to you.

Contract Negotiations Update

We started contract negotiations five months ago at the end of February. Since then our team (which is made up of five SHARE staff and seven SHARE members) has been meeting regularly with the management team (which is made up of three human resources employees and four operational managers). At every meeting we have been exchanging proposals and having discussions about the proposals in order to reach common ground on language and policies we can accept for SHARE members. Some policies have been easy to find common ground on, for example, agreeing to change the “maternity leave” policy to “parental leave” which extends the benefits more broadly. Other policies, such as work security/layoff policy have been more involved as we try to make our language as strong as possible to support SHARE members in the event of any future layoffs.

In every round of contract negotiations, the hardest piece to reach agreement on is wages. Both the management team and the SHARE team have made wage proposals, but there is a significant gap between their proposal and ours. Our negotiating team believes we need to negotiate raises for SHARE members that keep up with the cost of living, catch up with what other employers are paying, and move ahead as members stay at UMass and build their careers. So we are continuing to fight for larger raises.

One way that we make gains in negotiations is by involving all of our members in contract actions. Thank you to those who stood together for higher wages, improved benefits, and policies that are good for SHARE member in our actions at Commonwealth Medicine on June 19th and at the Medical School Lobby on July 12th! Please continue to stay tuned for future actions. Right now, we are collecting signatures for our signature poster. To learn more about that, please speak to your local SHARE rep or email Jihelah.greenwald@theshareunion.org.

Another way to stay updated and have your voice heard is to attend information meetings. We have upcoming meetings:

  • August 9th in S1.123 in the Main Campus from 12-1:30
  • August 16th in Sweden Conference Room in South Street from 11:30-1

If you cannot make either of those times because of your schedule or the location, please contact your SHARE rep or organizer to arrange a more convenient time/location. Thank you again to everyone who has been engaged throughout this process as we push for a strong contract.

Contract Negotiations -- Meetings and Activities

SHARE and UMMS are still in negotiations for this year’s raises and everything else in our contract.

If you are at the main campus, please save the date July 12 at noon for a contract action, and drop by to meet the SHARE Negotiating Team this Thursday, June 28 (see below).

No matter where you work, please join us at an information meeting for the latest update. If these times and locations are not convenient for you and your coworkers, let us know and we will arrange another time with you.

Information Meetings

  • CCU – Thurs, July 12, 2-4pm – Library
  • South Street – Thurs, July 19, 12-1:30 – Spain Conference Room
  • Main Campus – Fri, July 20, 12-1:30 – Room S1-123
  • Maple Ave – Mon, July 30, 11:30-12:30 – Bank's Conference Room, Chang Building,

All meetings are “rolling” meetings – we will run through the agenda and then start again at the beginning, so come whenever you can. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Contract Activities

  • Meet the Negotiating TeamTHIS WEEK Thurs, June 28, 12-12:30 – Michaelson Conference Room, LRB, main campus
  • Sing Out for a Contract – Thurs, July 12, 12-12:15 – Old School Lobby, main campus

If you have questions or would like to discuss anything, please call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or email us at share.umms@theshareunion.org.



SHARE Contract Kick-Off and Worcester City Hall Rally

SHARE Contract Kick-Off & Working people's day of action #werise

 South St

South St



On Monday February 26th, more than one hundred SHARE members raised the visibility of SHARE at UMMS and in Worcester. We wore red, took pictures with coworkers, and some of us joined other union members at a rally at Worcester City Hall after work. 

We were doing two things at once. The first was kicking off our contract negotiations with the Medical School, which started Wednesday, February 28. The second was participating in the Working People's Day of Action with millions of other union members across the United States. 

SHARE at Worcester City Hall Rally

 SHARE at Worcester City Hall

SHARE at Worcester City Hall

SHARE executive board member Jameal Jackson spoke at the rally about the power of unions to support people in the workplace. He was backed (literally) by Valerie Mount, Samantha Jimenez, and Sophia Todeasa, holding a SHARE banner on stage behind him.

 Jameal Jackson, SHARE Executive Board member, addresses the crowd at Worcester City Hall. Read his letter to the editor on The Telegram website (link below)

Jameal Jackson, SHARE Executive Board member, addresses the crowd at Worcester City Hall. Read his letter to the editor on The Telegram website (link below)

Other public-sector union leaders spoke as well, including Worcester firefighter Michael Papagni, teacher Zena Link, and Dept. of Conservation and Parks AFSCME member Jeanne Gilleney-Decenzo. In addition, the crowd was addressed by State Senate President Harriette Chandler, Mayor Joe Petty, Central Mass AFL-CIO President Joe Carlson, MA Secretary of State William Galvin, and other notables. The rally was scheduled to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing the case Janus v. AFSCME. 

Please continue to stay involved: 

ruby slippers.jpg
 Clinical Research Assistants at Biotech I

Clinical Research Assistants at Biotech I

 SHARE Hospital and SHARE-UMMS members together at the University Campus

SHARE Hospital and SHARE-UMMS members together at the University Campus

 Main campus

Main campus

UMass Five 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.

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.