SHARE gets many questions about pay rates and raises. Because there are so many SHARE members in so many different job titles, at all different levels of experience, it’s easy to become confused among all the numbers. Below, we’ve answered many of the most common questions about pay.
CAN I GET HELP UNDERSTANDING THE RAISE?
Yes! You should feel welcome at any time to contact SHARE (508-929-4020) to talk about pay. We’re happy to help you understand how your pay works, and which information is most relevant to you in your job.
HOW DO I CALCULATE MY PROSPECTIVE RAISE?
Visit http://theshareunion.net/findyourpayrate.pdf for full instructions
(To reference the pay grids, please visit http://theshareunion.net/hospitalgraderanges2018-2022.pdf.)
WHAT ARE PAY GRIDS?
Our employer uses a common form of pay structure to arrange the hourly pay rates for SHARE members. The pay grid sets a minimum and maximum hourly rate, otherwise known as a “min” and a “max,” for employees in all SHARE job classifications.
Over the years, SHARE and UMass Memorial have worked to make the pay grids transparent and predictable. The pay grid is designed as a series of “platforms.” These platforms are intended to recognize a person’s work experience in the field, and to help her make financial progress as she grows in her job. In our contract agreements, we have agreed to ensure that each SHARE member makes no less than what’s deemed appropriate for her years of experience.
WHAT ARE THE TWO PARTS OF THE RAISE?
The SHARE raise includes two components:
the “Across-the-Board” (or ATB), and
the “Platform Movement.”
The ATB is provided to all SHARE members; it’s the part of the raise that’s designed to keep employees from losing ground against inflation and the market. The Platform Movement is designed to recognize service to our hospital, and to allow SHARE members to make consistent financial progress.
If you’re working to understand your raise by looking at the pay grid, you can see the ATB raise by moving across a platform from your current pay. To see the additional Platform movement, you would then move down a platform. (See “How to Calculate My Raise,” above.)
WHAT IS THE “FLOOR” DESCRIBED IN THE RAISE?
Most SHARE members would be happy with a one percent raise . . . if their base pay was a million dollars per year. When raises are set as a percentage of base pay, it disadvantages the person who makes a lower hourly rate. To offset this, we’ve made an agreement that the smallest raise that a SHARE member can get is 60 cents per hour. For some SHARE members, 60 cents equates to a 4.5% raise.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY RAISE IS THREE PERCENT *or* IF IT’S THE SIXTY-CENT FLAT RATE?
It’s whichever number is bigger for you, based on your current pay rate.
WHAT IS “MAX?”
If you’ve worked in a SHARE job for very many years, you may know that the SHARE union and our employer have had different beliefs about members’ “maximum” pay amount. In our 2016 Contract, we negotiated a new kind of compromise about the Max, one that has been more satisfying among seasoned SHARE members. We’ll describe more about that in the following answers. Now, the Max applies only to new-hires to SHARE; it’s the highest amount a new member can be paid, regardless of their prior experience.
WHAT IS THE “MAX CAP?”
In our 2016 Contract, we reached an agreement with management that changed how Max would be handled. We both agreed that SHARE members could have the full raise applied to their base, even if they were beyond the Max. We made a new compromise, which set a new, higher limit on the amount that a member could make in her hourly rate. This new limit is called the “Max Cap.”
As SHARE’s agreement with the hospital describes: “The max cap is a hard stop.” It’s the highest amount that an employee can make in her base rate. Of course, from SHARE’s perspective, the amount of the Max Cap will need to increase. We will negotiate future increases to the Max Cap with the hospital.
WHAT IS THE “LONGEVITY ZONE?”
Although this term is not in our contract, it is how we in SHARE refer to the difference between the Max and the Max Cap. There are no pay platforms between Max and the Max Cap. No employees are hired or slotted above the Max. However, SHARE members whose raises fall into this range have their entire raise applied to their base pay rate.
WHY IS THERE A MAX?
Typically in this kind of structure, once an employee reaches the top of her grade, she’s ineligible to get an increase to her base rate beyond usual standard-of-living increases. There’s a limit to how much an employer will have to pay each hourly employee. This obviously helps employers project and cap their labor costs over time, and frustrates employees. The “max” implies that, at some point, the skills and experience that an employee brings to work reach a limit.
WHAT DOES SHARE THINK ABOUT MAX?
SHARE maintains that there’s ongoing, continuous value to the experience each member brings to our hospital. We believe that an employee’s value to our hospital grows over time. The longer a person works in our hospital, the more relationships they can develop, and the more institutional memory they carry. There’s no limit to that. So why would that not be reflected in ongoing raises?
HOW DID “MAX” WORK BEFORE?
Before we invented the Max Cap (i.e. when there was only a max), employees at the Max would receive the negotiated ATB increase to the max hourly rate. The remaining amount of any negotiated increase (i.e. platform movement) was paid out as a bonus. Although the money didn’t all go into the member’s base pay and compound over time, they did receive the raise. It was the best compromise we could reach at the time.
When a member was approaching the max (i.e. their ATB and/or platform increase would result in their pay rate surpassing the max), their pay rate stopped at the max and any remaining increase was paid in a lump sum.
HOW DOES THE MAX CAP WORK?
The arrangement we previously made regarding Max now applies to the Max Cap.
When a member is already at the max cap at the time of any ATB and/or platform increase, their pay rate shall increase only to the extent that the max cap itself increases; any increase beyond the max cap will be paid in a lump sum.
When a member is approaching the max cap (i.e. their ATB and/or platform increase would result in their pay rate surpassing the max cap), their pay rate will stop at the max cap and any remaining increase will be paid in a lump sum.