Contract Negotiations

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

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.

SHARE Raise, Merit Award, Vacation Caps and July 4th Holiday

We hope that you are having a great summer so far! We wanted to remind you about a couple of things that are happening this month:

Your raise for 2015 has gone into effect June 28th, 2015 and it will be reflected on your July 17th paycheck. The raise is 2% or $0.40, whichever is higher for employees who have successfully completed their probationary period. The minimums and maximums of each grade increased by 1.5%.

SHARE Merit Award
This year as part of SHARE’s salary increase, employees with an “Exceeds” rating in their performance evaluation will receive an additional $100 lump sum, and those with an “Outstanding” rating will receive a $250 lump sum. The lump sum payout will be delivered in your July 17th paycheck.

Vacation Caps
Vacation caps were lowered from 280 to 240 hours. If you had vacation accruals above the 240-hours cap, a one-time payout for the hours in excess of the cap will appear on your July 3rd, 2015 paycheck.

July 4th Holiday
Most SHARE members will not have to work tomorrow, Friday July 3. Some SHARE members may be required to work in order to keep their department open that day. Those employees will have Monday, July 6 off. There is more information about the July 4th holiday posted here: Questions about July 3

If you have more questions about any of this, talk to a SHARE rep in your area, or call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020.

Happy Independence Day!

Agenda for October SHARE Member Meetings

1. Contract

a. How long will this take?
b. Raises:
  • when, how much, and retro
  • mins and maxes, structure, and merit
  • evaluations
c. Other things SHARE would like to do:
  • education, training and career development
  • work-life-family balance
  • “engagement”
d. The 3 big “time” proposals from the management team:
  • Overtime
  • Vacation caps
  • Personal days
e. Other policies discussed so far:
  • Performance Appraisals, Admin Decision, Emergency Assistance Fund, Internship, Contact with News Media, Personnel Action Approval, Transfer of Service to/from UMMS, Equal Employment Opportunity, FMLA & unpaid LOA, Employee Classifications, Inclement Weather, Work Injury

2. What Else is Going On?

a. Layoffs
  • Library
  • others
b. H59
  • MA bill to change the retiree health benefit
  • public hearing October 31
c. Ballot initiatives
  • minimum wage
  • paid sick time

Contract Information Meetings

Please join us on your lunch break to discuss the latest in contract negotiations with UMMS. Bring your questions, your lunch, and your friends!

Oct 2nd, 2:00-4:00       WRCH                            1st floor conference room
Oct 7th,  12:00-2:00     South Street               Sweden conference room
Oct 8th, 12:00-2:00      LRB                                 Michelson conference room  (1st floor, on the left)
Oct 9th, 12:00-2:00     Main Building             S1-123
Oct 21st, 11:30-1:30    Sherman Building     AS5-2072
Oct 23rd, 2:30-4:00     WRCH                            1st floor conference room

If these meetings do not work for you, give us a call and we'll work with you to schedule a time and place that is more convenient: 508-929-4020.

Contract Negotiations

This week we began negotiations for our next contract. We will try to post a quick update every week or two throughout contract negotiations. If you have questions, please talk to a SHARE rep in your area, or call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020. (At the bottom of this post is a list of who is on the negotiating teams.)

Our first session was productive. The members of the SHARE negotiating team and the members of the management negotiating team introduced themselves, we agreed on groundrules for negotiations, the management team made a presentation on the Medical School's strategic goals, and the SHARE team made a presentation about who SHARE members are and what we care about.

We have grouped our hopes for this contract into four broad categories:

1. Money
2. Career development, training and education
3. Work-life-family balance
4. "Other"

Raises are generally the last issue resolved in negotiations (even though they are generally the first thing people want to know about) because management will want to know the total cost of everything in the contract before committing to an amount for the raises.

We plan to focus in on each of the four areas, starting next week with career development. Members who responded to the survey were enthusiastic about the idea of more opportunities for growth and learning, and we are hopeful that we can work with the School to make progress in this area.

If you have not yet taken the Contract Survey, it is not too late! Click on the tab at the top of the page marked **2013 NEGOTIATIONS SURVEY**. If you have taken it, thank you. The responses we received are very helpful in shaping the SHARE team's approach to negotiations. Stay tuned for survey results in an upcoming post on this blog, and for a schedule of the next round of member meetings.

SHARE Negotiating Team
The SHARE negotiating team consists of the elected leaders and staff of SHARE:

Kathy Bateman, Executive Board at large (MaPS)
Andrea Caceres, SHARE
Kirk Davis, SHARE
Deb Engvall, SHARE
Peter Fallah, Vice-President (IRTP)
Jana Hollingsworth, SHARE
Paul Julian, President (Library)
Sherry Nguyen, Treasurer (DES in Auburn)
Elisabeth Szanto, SHARE
Alana Wesson, SHARE
Dianne Williams, Secretary (Psychiatry)

UMMS Negotiating Team
The Medical School management negotiating team consists of department managers and representatives from HR:

Erin Cummings (HR)
Tim Cummins (CPS)
Jane Fama (Library)
Marc LaBella (HR)
Kristin Mullins (HR)
Jodie Nosiglia (HR)
Justin Peristere (CPS)
Bill Schmiedeknecht (HR)
Bill Tsaknopoulos (Facilities)