Contract Negotiations and Mediation

As mentioned in a previous post, SHARE and UMMS have hired a mediator to help us resolve the remaining issues in negotiations. The mediator has met with us five times so far, and we have four dates scheduled for May. We have made some more progress, and both sides remain committed to resolving the remaining issues as quickly as possible.

What is on the Table

The economic proposals continue to be difficult -- the three "time cuts" proposed by the management team (see comparison of SHARE and Non-Union personal days, vacation caps and OT) and, of course, raises. In addition to these economic proposals, the SHARE negotiating team is also pursuing agreements that support SHARE members in learning and growing in their careers at UMass.

Supporting Each Other

Eliminating a personal day, lowering vacation caps, and changing overtime rules would affect different SHARE members differently. An employee who depends on overtime to make ends meet might care most about the overtime. A short-term employee with only 2 weeks vacation time might feel the loss of a personal day most strongly. A long-term employee who has diligently saved their vacation time for an emergency might care most about lowering the cap on vacation time. As a union, we are committed to supporting each other on all of these issues. The negotiating teams are working to find solutions to these issues that SHARE members and UMMS management can both live with.


There are three aspects to negotiations about raises: the amount of the raise, its retroactivity, and the kind of raise (i.e. "across-the-board" raises for everyone, "merit" raises where your raise depends on your performance review, "step" raises that move people up through their grade over time, etc.)

One possibility proposed by the management team would be a raise that has a merit component. We have discussed the pros and cons of different raise systems in Information Meetings, and gotten some useful feedback to bring to negotiations. We have also been clear that the amount of the raise is very important, especially since many SHARE members do not make a lot of money. For the same reason, it is important to us that the raise be retroactive to last July. Thanks to all who contributed their thoughts, ideas and support. We are continuing to work through these issues at the bargaining table.