About Negotiations 

Being part of the union gives us an independent voice, which we use to advocate for ourselves and our patients, based on the important perspective we cultivate from the front-lines.

The ability to participate gives us the right to negotiate with our employer about raises and benefits . . . along with many other issues that affect how it feels to come to work. We don’t dictate the answers. But we do have an important say.

In negotiating, our goal isn’t to compromise: we want to develop solutions that benefit everyone. We do that through a kind of Interest Based Bargaining.

Interest Based Bargaining

SHARE uses a non-traditional model of negotiating that begins with open conversation about interests – what each side cares about. We worked toward “expanding the pie,” rather than fighting over who’s getting the bigger slice. When we try to focus on our common ground, we are more likely to find “win-win” outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the SHARE negotiation Team?

The SHARE Negotiation Team includes the SHARE Executive Board, who are employees of UMass Memorial, elected from among the membership. The Team is led by an experienced negotiator from the SHARE Organizing Staff, and includes other members of the SHARE staff as well.

How long do negotiations take?

The SHARE and Management negotiating teams take the time required to develop an agreement that can be satisfying to everyone involved. It’s difficult to know how long each negotiation takes — sometimes it’s easier than others to understand each other’s perspectives, problem-solve issues together, and work through disagreements. Raises are usually a challenging part of negotiations.

How do I find out what’s happening right now in negotiations?

You can learn more by attending SHARE events, talking with your SHARE Rep, or calling the SHARE office (508-929-4020).

The Negotiating Team has hundreds of one-on-one talks about negotiations with members each week. It’s important for everyone involved to know what matters to the others. We continually calibrate our priorities together.

In addition, general negotiations updates are posted to the SHARE blog and emailed to the membership.

Our previous contract expired: what now?

We have mutually-agreed to extend the date of the existing SHARE-UMass Memorial Contract Agreement. If these negotiations continue, we expect to again extend the terms of the contract until a new agreement is reached.

How is my raise determined?

We negotiate raises. SHARE believes that staff represent the most important investment our hospital can make in providing high-quality, compassionate care. SHARE maintains that raises must recognize each additional year of experience and must allow all SHARE members to make consistent financial progress.

Management’s interests include keeping wages within a range comparable to other healthcare employers in the market, and maintaining equity with other staff groups in our hospital. Everyone agrees that budget questions—including wages—should be handled responsibly: only when our hospital succeeds financially can we all benefit.

The amount, timing, and structure of raises—including “retro pay”— are all subject to the negotiation process. The SHARE Negotiating Team recognizes that SHARE raises usually come in October, and that members rely on the stability of that date for their own finances. In the past, we have negotiated for either retro or traded it for something better.

In these 2018-2019 negotiations, SHARE and UMass Memorial management are finding it difficult to come to an agreement about raises. Both parties are working hard to get to an agreement.

How Long will the next contract last?

“Contract duration” is something we negotiate with management, too.

A longer time period between negotiations allows our union to focus more energy on the day-to-day business of our union, including work on Unit Based Teams. Longer contracts make members better able to project their financial future, since the contract maps out the schedule of raises.

The length of a contract is often dictated by the number of years that the hospital can commit to paying solid raises. In the past, our agreements have lasted two to four years.

What can SHARe members do to help?

Staying in the conversation is the most important thing you can do. Attend SHARE events. Talk with your area Rep. Read the SHARE Blog. Sharing information through our entire network of caregivers makes SHARE strong.

Learn more about supporting the SHARE Negotiating team.