Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What Does a SHARE Rep Do?

SHARE leaders have a special role in our community. Together, we work to create one of the most important relationship networks in our hospital.

SHARE Reps discussing Unit-Based Teams
The main role of a SHARE Rep is to aid communication between members and the SHARE leadership. We continually share information to better understand what is happening across our workplaces, and to make our work better.

As a result, SHARE Reps do all kinds of things, depending on the needs and interests of our union and our members. Ultimately, if you become a SHARE Rep, you decide what to take on . . . each Rep has a different level of involvement. In the beginning, you should simply be prepared to meet new people, and to learn a lot of new things from others throughout the UMass Memorial community.

A SHARE Rep always has support. The SHARE organizing staff and experienced Reps are here to help. We provide training and individual coaching to help you develop new skills. Here’s a list of the kinds of projects that some SHARE Reps commonly do:

  • Meet and develop relationships with every person in their work area
  • Come to the monthly SHARE Rep Meetings
  • Provide information to co-workers, and to the EBoard and Organizers
  • Help other SHARE members to find help when they need it
  • Improve work processes and solve departmental problems
  • Lead and participate in Unit Based Teams
  • Bake for events
  • Participate in a web of support for other members in the unfortunate event of a layoff
  • Serve as a “witness” at a disciplinary meeting for a member
  • Distribute and collect surveys
  • Sign up new members on membership cards
  • Negotiate

There’s a whole lot more. The activities that SHARE Reps do are extremely important, and often a lot of fun. When new challenges arise, we figure things out together. And we know that important things get built just like anything else: one little brick at a time.

If you have questions about what SHARE reps do, please contact the SHARE Office (508-929-4020), or talk to a current SHARE rep.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Acute Care Inpatient PCA Staffing Guidelines: Info Meetings & FAQ

SHARE members on the nursing floors have begun to implement the newly-negotiated Patient Care Associate (PCA) Guidelines.  This exciting new wave of improvements will help PCA’s better care for patients, and allow them to focus on the most meaningful aspects of their work.

The initial roll-out is being pioneered on the Memorial Campus on West 3, and on the University Campus on 6 East.

UMMC Associate Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Gillum and SHARE Co-President Bobbi-Jo Lewis will host the first of many informational discussions about the new guidelines. All staff on the Inpatient Floors are invited.

Acute Care Inpatient PCA Staffing
Informational Discussions
Friday April 21st
West 3 Breakroom
6:30a-7:30a & 2:30p-3:30p

Acute Care Inpatient PCA Staffing

1.    What does this new language mean in our contract?
To work collaboratively with the RN and the unit team which will improve communication and provide quality patient care
2.    Who chooses how we do our assignments?

The PCA model at Memorial Campus is decided shift to  shift based patient needs and available staffing resources. The model will be reviewed at the start of the shift with the Unit Staff on the unit.

The University Campus will be decided by the Unit Staff that best meets the patient needs.  It will either be an assignment or geographical locations and/or tasks
Concerns about your assignment should be discussed with the Resource Nurse, Nurse Manager, Clinical Coordinator and/or Nursing Supervisor
3.    When is it going to start?
The first step is obtaining information of the assignments and tasking responsibilities on the PCAs on the unit.
The next step will be deciding the model for the unit by the unit team. Implementation should be completed by Mid-Summer (July 2017).
4.    Does this affect all PCA’s work?
The new language is currently for PCA’s on the acute care inpatient floors.
5.    Who is on this team that is making decisions about my work?
Since each inpatient floor has unique patients with special needs, the decisions should be decided through a joint effort between the  Unit Staff,  Nurse Manager, Clinical Coordinators.

The PCA’s and volunteer RN’s who will work together to roll-out the process, help problem solve and listen to concerns when a problem arises.   

6.    I want to be able to give good quality care. What if my assignment is still too much? And the patients aren’t getting the attention that they need from me?

Everyone’s goal is to provide  quality care to our patients.  If your assignment is too heavy and demanding then you should speak to the Resource Nurse and/or Nurse Manager to facilitate a discussion about the issues with the assignment.
You can also reach out to your SHARE organizer  and ask that the situation be followed up by  the committee listed in question 5. This committee’s goals is to  make sure that things are going smoothly and thoughtfully.
7.    Some will think that I can still do it all. What should I say?

You should say that "I want to give our patients the best care and I don’t feel that I am able to complete the delegated assignment/tasks. Is there another way that the work can be distributed?”

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SHARE Representative and Executive Board Nominations Are Now Open

The nomination period for SHARE leaders is now open. If you would like to nominate yourself or a co-worker, you can read full details online. Current SHARE Reps who wish to continue to be Reps need to be nominated again this year. To be eligible, any nominated SHARE member must have paid dues for at least six months prior to the election, and must be nominated in writing by 5pm on Friday, April 28th.

(A version of the nomination letter has also been mailed to your home address. Please note that that version contains misprints regarding odd- and even-years, which have been corrected in this email.)

The Executive Board positions to be elected this year include:

  • 306 Belmont Street (Region A)
  • Memorial Locations, Nursing Floors & Emergency Department (Region B)
  • Memorial  Locations, Ambulatory Clinics (Region D)
  • University Locations, Technical & Diagnostic (Region C)
  • University Locations, Clerical & Other (Region E)

Additionally, all SHARE Representative positions are open for nominations. The full breakdown of regions can be found in the online copy of the nominations letter.

If there are too many candidates for the number of positions, elections will be held on Wednesday, May 31. If you have any questions, please call the SHARE office (508-929-4020).

Support the United Way with Chocolate and Adorableness!

You could
a lot of

Join SHARE and UMass Memorial in supporting the United Way by purchasing raffle tickets. SHARE will be hosting a table where you can enter to win either (or both!) of these exciting prizes:

  • A basket brimming with chocolate treats
  • A basket featuring a diaorama with one adorable handmade mouse (see photos below)

Contents of these gift baskets have been donated by members of the SHARE organizing staff. Raffle tickets cost one dollar each, with all proceeds going to support the United Way. You can enter to win at one of the following locations and times:

University Campus Cafeteria Thursday, April 13th 11:30-1:30

Memorial Campus Cafeteria Friday, April 14th 11:30-1:30

If you have questions, or work on another campus and can't come to our table to enter in person, please call the SHARE office (508-929-4020).

Handmade Mouse by Tracie Cahan
This could be yours!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SHARE Presents: Lunchtime Piano Performances, April 3-7

SHARE invites you
to celebrate Spring
with music.

Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and Rachmaninoff

performed by
Orvill Delatorre

Free and open to the public
UMASS School of Medicine Lobby
From Monday, April 3rd - Friday, April 7th
Playing from 11 - 1 pm
(unless other activity is scheduled at the area)

Orvill is a graduate of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Boston, MA, and is currently a student of Cornell University's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Class of 2019.

His mother, Elsa, is a hospital interpreter and member of SHARE

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Union Member Audrey King on Unit-Based Teams at Kaiser Permanente

I met Audrey King during a recent trip to Washington DC. The visit continued SHARE's study of union-management partnership in the Kaiser Permanente healthcare network, and how participation makes things better for front-line employees.

Audrey has worked at Kaiser Permanente for 36 years. She has seen the change that Unit-Based Teams has brought to her work there. I thought Audrey had some great things to say, so I asked her if I could record her so SHARE members could hear what she had to say. (Sorry about the noise in the background of the cafeteria!)

Here's a little more about who Audrey is: She's a member of OPEIU Local 2 (one of three union locals representing employees at Kaiser Permanente in the Mid-Atlantic region). Together with the regional quality manager for the KP Labs, Audrey made a presentation to us at their Capitol Hill Medical Center about how the union and management co-sponsors help to make the UBTs successful. (It was cool that every presentation in our day-long visit was made in pairs: a union person and a manager.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SHARE Field Report from Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center

In early March, eight SHARE leaders and nine UMMHC management leaders visited Kaiser Permanente's Capitol Hill Medical Center in Washington DC. SHARE has been studying the Kaiser Permanente unions’ progress in transforming culture. And we’ve been negotiating ideas from their model with our own hospital leadership.

This trip, however, was our first opportunity to see the work at Kaiser Permanente firsthand, up close, in partnership. Together, we got the chance to meet with our Kaiser counterparts (union leaders with union leaders, HR with HR, surgical and clinical management with management.) One of the key themes of the day was that partnership, and the benefits of partnership, are only as strong as its unions: "I've worked in a lot of different ways. And labor management partnership is the best," one labor leader told us. "But never forget you're a union."

At Kaiser Permanente's Capitol Hill Medical Center:
Shenita Stewart (Pharmacy UBT Co-Lead, OPIEU Local 2),
Cliff Lovett (Pharmacy Manager & UBT Co-Lead),
and Wendy Williams (Improvement Advisor, UFCW Local 27)


The cornerstone of our 2016 contract agreement, Unit-Based Teams, is based on a model that Kaiser and its unions pioneered a decade ago. We have launched our first six here at UMass Memorial in the last few weeks, and co-sponsors of those new Teams got to look under the hood at some established, long-running UBT’s in Washington.

Our contingent met directly with the co-leads of the Unit-Based Team from the Pharmacy at their Capitol Hill location. The two co-leads of the UBT, Shenita Stewart, a Pharmacy Technician and union member, and Clifford Lovett, the manager were proud of two highly successful improvement projects their department had worked on: getting prescriptions more quickly to patients, and increasing sales of Over-the-Counter drugs. For each project, their team experimented with improvements, systematically. They tried some things that didn’t work . . . and when they realized those ideas wouldn’t pan out, they quickly stopped. They landed on some things that really worked. 

Shenita told us that some of her co-workers didn't believe that UBT would make a difference at first. She acknowledged that their department still has issues to work on, but says that morale is much higher, attendance is better, and she’s seen a lot of improvement in the culture.


Some SHARE and UMass Memorial folks got to sit-in on a UBT meeting in the Pediatric Subspecialty Clinics. "It was fascinating to see consensus decision-making in action," said Bobbi-Jo Lewis from SHARE. "The co-leads went around the group, asking what each person thought, before they went forward. The group agreed to take on a project to explore sending thermometers home with families, even though it was only important to some of the sub-specialties, because they decided to support each other."


Some Kaiser Permanente UBT’s involve patients directly in their Improvement Projects. For example, they might invite a patient with a particular complaint to come talk to the department. Lu Casa, a UFCW Local 400 union member and UBT Co-Lead in the Adult Medicine Department, described her department’s efforts to manage blood pressure rates at the population-level in their community. You can see about that for yourself in the video below. It’s a fun one . . .


In DC, we learned much more about how to start a UBT on the right foot, and to ensure that it is genuinely co-led by management and labor.  We also learned about the things the Kaiser unions have been able to achieve in partnership that they were not able to do through adversarialism.  

SHARE Co-President Rita Caputo said that her biggest regret about the trip was that they couldn’t stay longer and dig deeper into how the employees there go about solving particular problems. She really appreciated how open the staff were, “They were so efficient and thorough and knowledgeable, and completely willing to let us pick their brains.” It was apparent to Rita that their experience showed them what worked. “They’re normal, like us,” she said, “and they’ve figured out for themselves how to keep making things better.”

One of the side benefits of the trip was spending so much time with our management partners.  We returned to Massachusetts with a deeper appreciation of one another’s strengths and challenges, as well as a stronger sense that we can achieve more for our members and the people they care for if we approach one another as allies rather than adversaries.

SHARE and UMass Memorial manager Co-Leads and Sponsors with Kaiser Permanente management and union leaders