Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One-on-one Meetings with Fidelity about your 401K

In case you missed it, Fidelity is making one-on-one appointments available at UMass Memorial locations for people who want information about saving for retirement with a 401K.

Remember: Starting this month, the UMass Memorial "match" on the money you contribute to your 401K doubles, from $.25 on the dollar to $.50 on the dollar, up to 4% of your pay.

To schedule an appointment with Fidelity, call 800-642-7131 or register on-line at getguidance.fidelity.com. Fidelity suggests you bring any relevant account statements with you if that will help get answers to your questions. They require an appointment, and say they won't take walk-ins.

January 18 
Hahnemann Campus 
2nd Floor Conference Room 
January 19 
Memorial Campus 
Memorial 1 Conference Room 
February 1 
University Campus 
Goff S2-309D 
February 9 
306 Belmont Street 
Conference Room 1 
February 13 
Memorial Campus 
Memorial 1 Conference Room 
February 15 
Biotech 1 
Hospital Labs, 2nd Floor,
Conference Room B 
February 21 
Worcester Business
Worcester State Conference
March 1 
University Campus 
Goff S2-309D 
March 9 
Milford – 91 Water
2nd Floor Conference Room 
March 14 
Worcester Business
Worcester State Conference
March 22 
Hahnemann Campus
2nd Floor Conference Room 

Friday, January 13, 2017

January Is National Blood Donor Month

Sara and Jen at the University Campus
Blood Donor Center
The Blood Donor Center at UMass Memorial accepts the important gift of blood year-round, and January is a great time to resolve to give. Already in 2017 the American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donations in response to a severe winter blood shortage. Blood is required for a number of medical conditions, including, of course, transplants, cancers, and traumatic injuries. UMass Memorial uses about 31,000 blood products each year to meet the needs of patients. The Blood Donor Center is located on the University Campus, downstairs from the Emergency Department. Walk-ins are welcome for whole-blood donations, or to schedule an appointment, please call 508-421-1950. To find other locations to give, visit the Red Cross website.  

SHARE Staff Organizer Will, giving some platelets.
[Not pictured:Will's normal smile]

Friday, December 30, 2016

Bonus Questions

If you have questions about the bonus negotiated in the contract, please call the SHARE office, or email us at share.comment@theshareunion.org. We will collect up the questions, answer the ones we can answer, and then take any unresolved issues to HR. Below are some of the questions that people have been asking. If you have other questions or issues, please let us know.

Please do not call HR or Payroll about these questions right now -- they are working hard on processing our January 1 raises, and have asked us to handle questions about the bonus for now. Thanks!

How is the pre-tax bonus amount calculated?

The amount is based on the number of hours that you were paid for between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. 40 hours/week  x 52 weeks = 2,080 hours. Anything less than 2,080 is pro-rated.

  • If you work 40 hours/week, and you were paid for all your time off, then you get $1,000
  • If you work an average of 32 hours/week, and you were paid for all time off, then you get $800
  • If you work an average of 24 hours/week, and you were paid for all time off, then you get $600
  • Unpaid leave could reduce the number of hours, and the amount of the bonus
  • OT can increase the number of hours, and the amount of the bonus, but not above $1,000
If the bonus is for this year, why is it based on last year's hours? Why not use my hours this year?

Lots of SHARE members are on the books for 24 or 32 hours but regularly work more than that. We wanted to make sure that they got credit for their real hours, not just the "budgeted" hours. We didn't want to wait until the end of this year to get the bonuses, so we used last year's hours. It is not a perfect system, but it was the best we could come up with.

Why use hours paid instead of hours worked?

We didn't want the bonus to be reduced because people took vacation or sick time, had jury duty, bereavement time, etc.

I started part-way through last year, will I get a bonus?

Yes, but it will be pro-rated to reflect how long you have worked here. If you started full-time on July 1, then you worked 3 out of the 12 months in FY16, and you will get 1/4 of the bonus. You will also get the full 2% raise on January 1. (Any hours paid as a UMass Memorial employee in FY16, including per-diem hours, count for the pro-rating.)

Why do they withhold so much of the bonus in taxes?

The IRS requires UMass Memorial to withhold about 38% of any lump sum for taxes. This does not mean that you will end up paying 38% in taxes -- when you file your taxes for 2016, you will get back the difference between what you paid and what you actually owed at your real tax rate.
Example: I get $1,000 pre-tax. UMass withholds 38% ($380) in taxes. If my normal tax rate is 20%, then I really only owe $200. When I file my taxes, I will get the extra $180 back (or else the amount that I owe at tax time will be reduced by $180. Either way, I pay what I really owe, not the amount they withhold up front.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays from SHARE

Happy holidays! SHARE members have done another year of wonderful good for medical research, patient care and all the support behind the scenes, and the local community . . . and that's just while you're on the clock.
We're very grateful to you for your all of your efforts, and for the ways that you've connected with SHARE in 2016 to amplify the effects of your hard work.
We're looking forward to SHARE's twentieth anniversary in 2017, and have more ambitious work to do. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.  Right now, we'd like to wish you a very joyful holiday season. Warmest thoughts and best wishes.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Small SHARE dues increase in 2017

How much will SHARE union dues be in 2017?

For 2017 dues will increase for most SHARE members by 17 cents per week. The old and dues new rates are below. The new rate will be effective on the first pay check you receive in January 2017.

Per Week
2016 rate
2017 rate
Regular dues rate

Where does the money go?
The money from dues supports the work that SHARE does. It pays for the organizers' salaries, office rent and supplies, phones, printing costs and postage for mailings –  all the things we need to negotiate good contracts, keep people informed, help members to solve problems if they come up, and to support members in having a voice in the workplace. A portion of the dues also goes to our national union, AFSCME, in Washington, and helps to pay for other groups of employees forming unions in their workplaces, and for research and lobbying.

How is the dues increase determined?

Our national union, AFSCME, calculates the annual increase based on the average raise for AFSCME members across the country. The new rate goes into effect each January.

Are my SHARE dues eating up my raise every year?

No. The dues increase is 17 cents per week, so one hour of your 1/1/2017 raise more than pays for it. Every year SHARE members get bigger raises than non-union employees. The difference between a union raise and non-union raise is small some years and bigger in other years, but the difference definitely adds up over time. In addition, SHARE has worked hard to keep the employee share of the cost of health insurance low, which saves money for SHARE members. Each year the advantage of being in SHARE grows by having a voice in issues that affect 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 or 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. 


You can talk to any of our E-board members or local reps who are active with SHARE, or call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020 or email a SHARE organizer (click here for a directory).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SHARE Members Vote Yes

SHARE members voted to ratify the proposed contract today, in a landslide:

  • 1446 Yes votes
  • 39 No votes

The contract will go into effect. For more info about what's in the contract, click here.

Congratulations, SHARE members!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Vote Today!

Tuesday, December 20 is the day to vote on the contract!

The contract goes into effect only if the majority of SHARE members who vote, vote Yes. Voting is easy: Just check Yes or No on your ballot. You must be a SHARE member to vote, but you can sign a SHARE member card at the voting place if you need to join.

See the new SHARE Contract Agreement Website for details.

Here are the times and places. See you there!
Tuesday, December 20

Hallway by the
Prescription Center
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Outside the Amphitheater
across from the Cafeteria
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
306 Belmont
Meeting Room I
9:00 am -11:00 am
67 Millbrook (WBC)
Thom McAnn conference room
11:30 am-2:00 pm
2nd Floor Conference Room
11:30 am-1:30 pm
Biotech 3
Old Secretary’s Room, outside Cytology
11:30 am-1:30 pm
Community Room
9:30-10:30 am
67 Belmont
8:00 – 8:30 am
Cancer Center Conference Room
8:30-9:00 am
South County
9:00-9:30 am
Shrewsbury Family Medicine
Break room
11:30-1:00 pm
Shrewsbury XRay
Break room
1:00-1:30 pm
1st floor conference room
2:30-4:00 pm
1 West Boylston
Conference room
2:00-2:30 pm
Vote count
University S2-307 E&F
4:30 – 6:00 pm