These are some of the questions we hear most frequently from SHARE members. As always, you can contact us with any questions you may have.
Q: What are the benefits of being in a union?
A: Nothing has improved working conditions for Americans as unions have. And our union is redefining how employees participate in the decisions that affect them.
Together with sister unions at Harvard University, UMass Medical School, and Cambridge Health Alliance, SHARE at UMass Memorial forms the New England Organizing Project, a progressive collective of unions that share a relationship-based approach to engaging members in the decisions that affect them at work.
With its ties to the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, SHARE joins millions of Americans who believe deeply in the value of the employee's voice at work. The biggest wins of collective action are widely known: the effects of unions on labor law are enjoyed by everyone in the American workforce, including overtime laws,
SHARE officially became the union for support staff at UMMS and UMMHC in 1997, when employees voted overwhelmingly “yes” for union representation. The primary reason employees had for organizing SHARE was to have a voice in issues that affect them. We even had a slogan: “Don’t make decisions about us, without us.”
In what ways does having a union give SHARE members a voice?
- In contract negotiations, we have a voice in our pay, benefits and work policies
- In union meetings and individual conversations, we have a voice in the direction and priorities of the union
- Through the problem-solving process, we have a voice when individual problems/conflicts come up at work
- In union elections, we have a voice in who our representatives will be
- Through committees and ad-hoc negotiations, we have a voice in issues that face groups of SHARE members
q: How do i sign up for the union if i haven't already?
A: In order to sign up for SHARE, you will sign a union card that authorizes us to deduct dues from your paycheck. Contact the SHARE office or your SHARE organizer, and we can bring you a card in person or send it in the mail.
q: Who is my union rep?
A: SHARE has staff organizers who cover multiple areas and departments in the hospital. We also have union reps--SHARE members who are leaders in the union and are available as resources for their coworkers. You can find a full list of SHARE reps here; if you know your SHARE staff organizer you can find their contact information here. And you can always contact our office to figure out who your organizer or rep is.
Q: HOW CAN I GET A CURRENT SHARE CONTRACT?
A: The full SHARE contract is online. You can download and print or search the whole document. Or call the SHARE office (508) 929-4020 if you would like us to bring or mail a hard copy to you.
Q: CAN I TALK ABOUT THE UNION WHILE I'M AT WORK?
A: Absolutely. We value our patients and our work first and foremost, and when we're talking about other things, we're welcome to discuss union issues and events. At times, it would be impossible to do our work without talking about SHARE. We're working hard together to make our work systems work better for us with projects we've set up through our union.
Q: CAN I GET REPRESENTATION FOR A MEETING I'M GOING TO?
A: Yes. If you are attending a meeting that is discipline-related (management and HR are present), you have the right to union representation. Contact your union rep, SHARE organizer, or the SHARE general line to request representation.
Q: WHEN ARE ELECTIONS?
A: Elections are held annually in the Spring. Learn more and read the latest on the SHARE blog with posts tagged [Elections]
Q: HOW MUCH ARE DUES?
A: The standard current dues rate for SHARE members is $8.97 per week. (Members in 20-hour/week jobs pay $6.72 per week.) Read more about dues here.
Q: WHEN DO WE GET RAISES?
A: The timing and amount of raises is determined through negotiations with our employer. We have not yet completed negotiations about the next raise. To learn more about the current negotiation process, please check the SHARE blog for posts tagged [Negotiations.]