Retirement Contribution Error - update 2/11/19

Good news!

SHARE and the other UMass unions have been successful in significantly reducing, and in many cases completely eliminating, the amount that members will have to pay toward their pension to make up for the University’s retirement contribution error. According to the University’s estimates, only 32 SHARE members will still be affected.

University sending new letter to affected employees

In early January, 148 SHARE members got a letter from the University, explaining the error, listing the amount that had not been deducted from their pay but should have been, and alerting them that they might have to pay that amount back. Everyone who received a letter from the University will get a new letter in the next couple of days, with updated information. There is also a useful online FAQ.

What has changed?

We had several lines of argument in trying to reduce or eliminate the amount employees have to pay. The Retirement Board listened to all of them, and made the following decisions:

  • 5 years instead of 17: The biggest impact on amounts owed came from the Retirement Board’s agreement to limit the look-back period to 2014-2018, instead of going back to 2002 or earlier. This decision means that employees will only be asked to pay the amount that could potentially increase their retirement benefit. It also brings the maximum amount owed by a SHARE member down from over $7,300 to under $2,700.

  • Under $500 waived: The Retirement Board has agreed to waive collection of any amount under $500. Employees who “owe” less than $500 will not have to pay anything. They also will not receive retirement credit for that amount, however the impact on retirement would have been small. This decision removed over 100 SHARE members from the list of affected employees.

  • Certification Pay and Holiday Pay won’t count: The Retirement Board agreed with us that Animal Medicine Technician Certification Pay should not be counted because it is not “regular” pay — it is only paid occasionally when a tech passes a certification exam. No one will owe retirement deductions on their certification bonus, and deductions will not be taken on the certification bonus going forward. This decision was made very recently, so the letter from the University will still say that certification pay counts, but the online FAQ will be up to date. Holiday Pay will not count either, as previously announced.

  • The University will pay administrative and other fees, and interest for the amounts owed:

    • If the amounts had been deducted on time, the money would have been earning interest. The University will pay the Retirement Board to make up for the interest lost.

    • If an employee chooses to repay what they owe as a payroll deduction, rather than a one-time payment, the Retirement Board will charge an administrative fee. The University will reimburse employees for that amount.

    • The University will also pay the Retirement Board some money to make up for missing fringe rate deductions.

the Retirement Board listened to union members

Although this solution is not perfect, it is a huge improvement over where we were when the error was first discovered. Importantly, it maximizes the retirement benefit to employees, while minimizing the amount employees need to pay.

The Retirement Board, under the leadership of State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, listened to what the unions had to say, did their research, and came up with a fair compromise. We thank them.

More Information from UMass and the Retirement board

  • This FAQ from the University has detailed answers to more than 20 questions

  • University System Office Human Resources: call 774-455-7150 or go to www.umassp.edu/hr

  • Mass State Retirement Board: email MSRB@umassp.edu or call 617-367-7770

Scholarship opportunity for SHARE members' children

Every year the Central MA AFL-CIO awards a few scholarships for the children and grandchildren of union members affiliated with the Central MA AFL-CIO. This includes SHARE members. Some of the scholarships are for $500, and some for $1,000. The scholarship recipients are drawn by lottery.

The deadline to apply is April 26, 2019. The names of the winners will be announced in early June, and presented at the Central MA AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast on September 2, 2019.

To apply, see 2019 Scholarship Opportunity.

Raises and Retro Delivered

SHARE members received their long-awaited contract raises and retro payments today.

If you have questions about your raise or retro, please get in touch. We would be happy to help figure it out with you.

Here are some things that might help in decoding your paycheck:

  • Overtime: retro on overtime is calculated by subtracting what you were paid for overtime, and adding back in what you should have been paid for overtime

  • Retirement: retirement deductions are taken out of the retro, the same as they would be for regular pay. For people who are affected by the University’s retirement deduction error, the amount the University told you that you might owe was NOT deducted. No decision has yet been made about whether SHARE members will have to pay that amount.

  • Bonuses: merit bonuses should be in this check

  • Errors: A few people have reported errors. If there is an error, you can go through your regular channels for fixing it. If you are not sure if it is an error, feel free to be in touch with the SHARE office and we will help figure it out. You can email share.umms@theshareunion.org or call 508-929-4020.

Nominations for SHARE Reps and Executive Board Members

Once a year, SHARE members can nominate themselves or another member to be a SHARE Rep or a SHARE Executive Board Member. If there are more nominees than positions, SHARE members vote in a secret ballot election. Usually this takes place in October, but this year we were delayed by contract ratification and implementation.

Nominations will be open from Tuesday, January 22 until Wednesday, February 6 at noon

SHARE members will receive a mailing at home with details about how to nominate someone, and when and where to vote if there are competitive elections.

About the different roles

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. 

There are 35 SHARE Representative positions. Their term will go through October 2019, when there will be a new round of nominations.

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.

There are 4 Executive Board positions up for election now: Vice-President; Treasurer; and two at-large Executive Board members. Their term will go through October 2020. (The other four Executive Board positions will be up for election in October 2019, and their term will go through 2021.)

Questions?

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.

2019 Dues Rate

There will be a small increase in the dues rate for 2019: forty-one cents per pay period, which is about ½ cent per hour, or $10.66 for the whole year.

How does the dues increase compare to my raise?

The pay raise is approximately 100 times the size of the dues increase.

Example: For a full-time person getting a $0.50 per hour raise:

  • Retro: The raise is retroactive ($560.00) and the dues increase is not ($0.00)

  • Annually: The raise is $1,040.00 and the dues increase is $10.66

  • Per paycheck: The raise is $40.00 and the dues increase is $0.41

  • Hourly: The raise is 50 cents and the dues increase is ½ cent

What is the new rate and who sets it?

The 2019 regular bi-weekly dues rate for SHARE members will be $18.35 (it was $17.94). For members working 20 hours/week, the 2019 bi-weekly rate will be $13.73 (it was $13.43). The new rates will be reflected in the 1/25/19 paycheck. The annual increase is calculated by our parent union, AFSCME, based on the average percent increase of AFSCME members’ pay rates across the country in the previous year.

Why should I pay dues?

Dues are an investment that SHARE members make in themselves and their coworkers. Without a union, employees have very little leverage to make change, or even to hold onto what they have. With SHARE, we can work together to make work better.

The SHARE advantage more than makes up for the cost of dues. (see FAQ about Membership and Dues and SHARE Raise Advantage.)

The money from dues mostly goes to pay for the union staff. SHARE staff spend their time gathering information and opinions from members, sharing information with members, developing and supporting SHARE Reps, helping members with questions or problems, researching issues, negotiating contracts, organizing events, writing blog posts, lobbying the State House, etc., all on behalf of SHARE members.

More information

If you would like to know more about what SHARE at UMMS does, or about how dues are spent, please talk to a SHARE Rep, email share.umms@theshareunion.org or call 508-929-4020.

Reclassification Process and Jan 30 Deadline

One of the agreements in the new SHARE contract gives individual SHARE members the right to request reclassification of their job through the union. We want to explain this process, and let you know that the deadline for applying this year is January 30. The form is here. Please read below.

What is reclassification?

Reclassification means changing the grade level for a job. If the grade level assigned to a particular title no longer seems to match the level of work responsibilities, a job may need to be reclassified.

How does UMMS handle reclassification?

Under the UMMS Job Evaluation Policy, your manager can make a request on your behalf for the HR Compensation Department to review your job. HR Compensation evaluates the job description, consults with your manager, looking at the level of the job responsibilities, and how they compare to other jobs inside and outside of UMMS, and determines whether the grade is appropriate.

What does the new contract language say?

UMMS has agreed to do some reclassification reviews that are not initiated by a department manager. SHARE can submit up to 10 individuals per year to HR for review. The deadline each year is January 30.

Example: Someone was hired as an Admin I, new responsibilities were added, and they now fit better in an Admin II job description. They can request a review of their job and present arguments for changing the grade.

There is another part of the Reclassification article about reviewing whole titles. For example, SHARE believes that the position of Mental Health Counselor is underpaid as a group. Those groups will be handled separately.

How will the ten individuals be chosen?

Because our unit is big, and our slots are limited, preference will be given to people who:

1)     have already tried to use the Job Evaluation process but been unsuccessful; and

2)     have the strongest business case for reclassification of their job

Anyone not chosen this year can apply again next year.

What should I do if I think my job should be reclassified?

  1. Do your research: Ask HR for copies of the job descriptions for your job title and for any job titles you think would better match your job responsibilities. What job title do you think you should have? How does the job description match up?

  2. Talk to your manager: Tell them what you are thinking, and why. Show them the job descriptions. Ask what they think, and why.

    • If they agree with you, that’s great. See if they will submit your job to HR for review. There is no deadline for managers submitting these requests, and no ten-person limit.

    • If they disagree, try to get a clear understanding of where you and they disagree.

  3. Apply by January 30: If your manager isn’t going to submit your job for reclassification review but you still think it should be reviewed, fill out a Reclassification Review Request application and send it by January 30 to Human Resources (David.LaChappelle@umassmed.edu) and SHARE (Dylan.Goodman@theshareunion.org). Please cc your manager.

If you would like help thinking about this, please talk to a SHARE Rep, call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or email SHARE.UMMS@theshareunion.org.

Retirement Contribution Error - update 1/8/19

T&G article

Today’s Worcester T&G has an article about the retirement contribution error. It mentions that SHARE members are among those affected, and quotes Jana Hollingsworth about SHARE’s view that employees should not have to pay to fix the mistake.

“Our position is really that the university should pay for it,” said Jana Hollingsworth, a SHARE organizer. “It wasn’t our members’ fault, and we really feel like (UMass) should bear the burden.”

Latest update

Most employees who are impacted by the retirement contribution error have now received an individual letter from UMass, explaining the situation from the University’s perspective, and telling each person what they might owe. Remember, this is only what you might owe. SHARE is working to reduce or eliminate the amount that an employee would have to pay.

Below are some of the immediate questions that SHARE members have been asking today. In addition to these questions, the University has a detailed FAQ online.

Is UMass going to deduct the amount in my letter from my pay on 1/25/19?

No. In the 1/25/19 check, they will start deducting the correct amount going forward. The amount in the letter is what was not deducted in the past. The State Retirement Board has not yet decided whether employees will have to pay the past amount.

Why did UMass send the letter if it is not yet decided?

They wanted people to be warned that they might have to pay the past amount, and that deductions will be taken out of your pay going forward.

What if I think the estimate in my letter is wrong?

Several people mentioned that they think that there is a mistake, for instance “On call” pay for someone who is never on call. If you want to review a detailed earnings report (broken down by pay period and pay type) for the time period that the University used to estimate the amount you might owe, you can call 774-455-7150 or email MSRB@umassp.edu.

If the Retirement Board decides that you would have to pay anything, you would get another letter telling you how much you had to pay. At that time you could review the payroll information and challenge the amount if it is still wrong.

Where can I get more information?

We recommend starting with the University’s FAQ which will answer most questions. In addition you can try these:

  • the Human Resources Department at the University System Office: 774-455-7150

  • the Massachusetts State Retirement Board email address: MSRB@umassp.edu

  • the Massachusetts State Retirement Board phone number: 617-367-7770

  • if you are not affected but would like to see what the letter says, click here

  • the University of Massachusetts’ HR website: www.umassp.edu/hr

And of course, you can always talk to a SHARE Rep, call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or email share.umms@theshareunion.org.


Raises and Retro Coming 1/25/2019

Good news: SHARE members will receive their raise and retro payment in the 1/25/19 paycheck.

SHARE members worked together to get this contract. Now we will see some of the fruits of our labors:

  • Raise is $0.50/hour or 2%, whichever is higher, for most SHARE members

    (see What raise am I eligible for? below)

  • Raise is fully retroactive to 6/24/18

  • Next raise is effective July 2019

How do I calculate my retro?

The paycheck on 1/25/19 will have the correct, higher, hourly rates for the pay period 1/6/19 - 1/19/19. So retro goes back 28 weeks (6/24/18 to 1/5/19). To find out the total pre-tax amount of retro, multiply:

your hourly raise  x  your hours per week  x  the number of weeks.

For example:

if your raise is $0.50/hour, and you work 40 hours/week, and you are owed retro for 28 weeks

then your pre-tax retro =   0.50   x    40    x    28   =   $560

If your raise or weekly hours are different from the example, then use your numbers instead.

What raise am I eligible for?

Non-standard raise amounts:

  • You have to have been here since 6/24/18 to be eligible for this year’s raise

  • If you were in 6-month probationary period on 6/24/18, raise is 1.5% after probationary period

  • Any amount of a raise that would bring your pay rate over grade max is paid out as a bonus

Additional raises and bonuses:

  • If you make less than the structural level for your years of service, you get additional increase

  • If you make less than the new grade min, or less than $15/hour, you get additional increase

  • Merit bonuses will be paid out for Exceeds or Outstanding evaluations

Why do we have to wait another pay period?

Human Resources couldn’t calculate the amount of retro each SHARE member is owed until they knew how many weeks of retroactive pay there would be. Since the UMass President has signed the contract, we know the number of weeks of retroactive pay, and HR is now calculating and cross-checking the amounts.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At-a-glance: Contract Implementation Steps – updated 1/2/2019

  1. Update the old contract with the new language and verify accuracy – DONE

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

  3. UMMS and UMass system leadership sign the updated contract:

    • UMMS leadership signs – DONE

    • UMass System leadership signs – DONE

  4. HR Compensation calculates everyone’s new pay rate and sends it to Payroll – DONE

  5. Payroll processes the raises - in process – due 1/25/19

  6. HR Compensation calculates what everyone is owed for retro, based on how long it has been, and sends it to Payroll - in process

  7. Payroll processes the retro - in process – due 1/25/19

  8. We start working with UMMS on the other new contract provisions – in process

Retirement Contribution Error - update 12/31/18

On January 4, UMass intends to send letters to individual employees affected by the Retirement Contribution Error, explaining the mistake and saying that they will be correctly deducting retirement contributions going forward.

In addition, if you are one of the affected employees, the letter will tell you how much UMass thinks should have been deducted for you in the past, but wasn't. This will just be an estimate and, more importantly, it is not yet decided whether you will have to repay it all. You can consider this estimate a worst-case scenario.

SHARE is working to reduce or eliminate the amount employees have to repay. We, along with almost 30 other UMass unions, are trying several lines of argument. Winning on the first argument would completely solve the problem. If the first argument doesn't work, the other ones will help reduce the amounts employees owe:

First, SHARE and the other UMass unions are trying to prevent UMass from collecting it. The University made the mistake, for years. It is not your mistake, or the mistake of any of the other employees who are affected. We think UMass should pay it to the Retirement Board and not collect it from employees at all. 

Second, we would like the Retirement Board to simply forgive some of it. It would be a lot of work for them to go chasing people for just a few dollars. There has been a lot of discussion about setting a number below which people wouldn't have to pay anything back. We would like that number to be as big as possible - like $1,000 - so that most people (those who "owe" less than $1,000) wouldn’t be affected at all. The Retirement Board seemed open to the basic idea of setting a number, but might only agree to a smaller amount, like one hundred dollars. That is still being discussed.

Third, we would like the Retirement Board to go back only 5 years, not all the way to 2002. When people retire, their pension is based on the highest 5 years. We do want all the money people earned to count toward their pension, so fixing those 5 years may be important, but it will not help anyone if they fix their pension contributions from before that. The Retirement Board should have caught this years ago. We see no reason to go back to 2002. 

Fourth, there are some categories of pay that we think should not be included at all. SHARE has been in touch with UMass HR to clarify these:

  • Holiday Pay will NOT be included.

  • We believe that Animal Medicine Technician Certification Pay should not be included either, because it is not a regular payment, but only happens occasionally when a Tech passes a new certification exam. This is still being discussed.

There is another Retirement Board meeting toward the end of January (which we will attend, like the last two), so we will know more after that. And in the meantime, the unions have sent a letter to the subcommittee that is looking into this situation, asking to meet about why we think employees shouldn't have to pay. We will keep you informed.

Raise & Retro Processing Update - 12/31/18

Good news! UMass President Marty Meehan has signed the SHARE contract. By the end of this week, we should know the timing of the raises and the retro.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At-a-glance: Contract Implementation Steps – updated 12/31/18

  1. Update the old contract with the new language and verify accuracy – DONE

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

  3. UMMS and UMass system leadership sign the updated contract:

    • UMMS leadership signs – DONE

    • UMass System leadership signs – DONE

  4. HR Compensation calculates everyone’s new pay rate and sends it to Payroll – DONE

  5. Payroll processes the raises - in process

  6. HR Compensation calculates what everyone is owed for retro, based on how long it has been, and sends it to Payroll

  7. Payroll processes the retro

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


Raise & Retro Processing Update

The raises and the retro process continues to be slower than we want it to be. Unfortunately, UMMS HR is not allowed to process the raises until the UMass system President signs the contract. We still do not have a definite date for when the raises and retro will be paid, but some more progress has been made.

  • The contract is still at the UMass system’s President’s office, waiting for the President’s signature. Everyone else who needs to sign the contract has signed it.

  • We have a commitment from the Medical School’s HR that the minute the President signs the contract, they will let Payroll know to start paying SHARE members at their new higher rates. Depending on the timing, the retro may be in the same paycheck or soon after, but the raise will start as soon as they are allowed to pay it.

We are frustrated about the timing and have heard from some members that they are also tired of waiting. There does not seem to be any good reason for it, but we have heard that the other UMMS unions who recently negotiated their contracts are also still waiting. Remember, the longer this goes on, the bigger the retro gets, and you will get what you are owed. We will find out more and be in touch again next week.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At-a-glance: Contract Implementation Steps – updated 12/27/18

  1. Update the old contract with the new language and verify accuracy – DONE

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

  3. UMMS and UMass system leadership sign the updated contract:

    • UMMS leadership signs – DONE

    • UMass System leadership signs – in process – one done, one to go

  4. HR Compensation calculates everyone’s new pay rate and sends it to Payroll – DONE

  5. Payroll processes the raises

  6. HR Compensation calculates what everyone is owed for retro, based on how long it has been, and sends it to Payroll

  7. Payroll processes the retro

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


Retirement Contribution Error

SHARE has been notified by the University of Massachusetts that they made an error in not deducting retirement contributions from some kinds of “specialty pay”.

What kinds of pay did not have the required retirement deductions?

·       Evening, night and weekend shift differential

·       Holiday pay (straight time)

·       Animal Care Technician certification pay

·       On Call pay

Who is affected?

This is a University-wide error, affecting approximately 3,250 employees in 29 unions across all UMass campuses. About 150 SHARE members are potentially affected.

What does this mean for SHARE members who earn this kind of pay?

Starting in January, the University will withhold retirement deductions from these kinds of specialty pay, and transmit them to the State Retirement Board.

Will the missing deductions have to be repaid?

That is still being worked out. The Unions’ position is that the University should pay the missing contributions. The University wants the Massachusetts State Retirement Board to forgive at least part of the missing contributions, and to bill the employees for the rest. The Massachusetts State Retirement Board has not yet decided how to handle repayment.

What happens next?

In January, the University will send a letter to each employee who is affected, informing them that these deductions will be made going forward. The letter may also include an estimate of the amount of deductions that were not made for that employee, but should have been made. This does not necessarily mean that the employee owes that amount of money. The unions are still opposed to making the employees pay the missing deductions.

Why did this happen?

The University is supposed to take a pension deduction from “regular compensation”, like base pay, and transmit that money to the Massachusetts State Retirement Board. Other types of pay, like overtime, are not considered “regular compensation”, are not part of an employee’s pension calculation, and so do not have pension deductions taken out.

The University did not consider shift differential, holiday pay, on call pay and certification pay to be “regular compensation” that counts toward a pension. The Massachusetts State Retirement Board has informed the University that these are “regular compensation” that count toward pensions, and therefore must have pension deductions taken out.

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!

IMG_0992.JPG
IMG_0991.PNG

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!

Best,

SHARE Team

pumpkin_ballot_box.jpg

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.