Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nominations Open 
April 7 – April 21, 2015
for SHARE Union Representatives 
& Executive Board Members

[This notice was also mailed to SHARE members' homes.]

On Wednesday May 20, 2015 there will be an election for SHARE Union Representatives and Executive Board members.  The back of this page includes a list of positions open for nomination.

To run for Union Rep or Executive Board Member
1.      You must have been a dues paying SHARE member for at least the last 6 months. 
2.      You must be nominated in writing by a SHARE member (either a co-worker or yourself).
3.      Current SHARE Reps who wish to continue to be Reps need to be nominated again this year

To nominate someone for Union Rep or Executive Board Member
1.      Please send nominations by email to share.elections@theshareunion.org; or by fax to (508) 929-4040; or by U.S. mail to SHARE, 50 Lake Ave, Worcester, MA 01604. However you send the nomination, it is a good idea to call to confirm that it arrived. The phone number at the SHARE office is (508) 929-4020.
2.      Nominations should include:
·         the name, department and phone number of the person being nominated;
·         the position for which they are being nominated; and
·         the name and phone number of the person submitting the nomination.
3.      Nominations must arrive at the SHARE office by 5:00pm on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.  We cannot accept late nominations.
4.      Nominees will be offered the opportunity to decline the nomination. Anyone who does not decline is then a candidate.

Descriptions of the Different Roles
Below are brief descriptions of the roles of Union Reps and Executive Board Members. If you want to talk about what it would be like to be a SHARE Rep or to be on the Executive Board, or if you have other questions, please call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020, or talk to someone you know who is involved with SHARE.

SHARE Union Representatives
There is a Union Rep for approximately every 50 SHARE members.  A union rep is a contact person for their area. Union Reps get training from SHARE to move information between co-workers and union leadership.  They can also get training in helping co-workers solve problems (for example, with discipline or work schedules) if they want to. They are elected for 1-year terms.

SHARE Executive Board Members
There are 13 positions on the SHARE Executive Board: A Co-President from University-connected locations and a Co-President from Memorial-connected locations; a Secretary and a Treasurer elected at large (by all SHARE members); and 9 others who are elected by location and region (based on the kind of department they are in). They are elected for 2-year terms. Executive Board members have responsibility for the whole union, and in particular for their region (several hundred people). They make decisions about the direction of our union and participate in contract negotiations.

Positions Open for Nomination

Rep and Executive Board positions are divided by location and by region. Your region is based on the kind of department you are in, not what kind of job you do. For example, a secretary in a technical department is in the Technical region, and an LPN in a clinic is in the Ambulatory region. If you need help figuring out what region you are in, or have other questions, please call the SHARE office at 508-929-4020.

SHARE Union Representative Positions:

On the Memorial Campus

Mem Nursing Floors & ED - 4 Reps
Mem Technical & Diagnostic - 3 Reps
(includes Sleep Center and Shrews Rad)
Mem Ambulatory Clinics - 2 Reps
(includes 67 Belmont & Shrews Fam Med)
Mem Clerical & Other - 1 Rep
On the University Campus

Univ Nursing Floors & ED - 8 Reps
Univ Technical & Diagnostic - 6 Reps
(includes Milford Radiology)
Univ Ambulatory Clinics - 6 Reps
(includes So. County Pediatrics)
Univ Clerical & Other - 4 Reps
(includes 306 Belmont St.)
Other Memorial-affiliated locations

Hahnemann - 4 Reps 
(includes Hahn Internal Med, Chadwick St.)
Barre - 1 Rep

Other University-affiliated locations

Central Business Office - 5 Reps
Worcester Business Center - 4 Reps
Tri River - 1 Rep
Queen St. - 1 Rep
Biotech 3 - 1 Rep
SHARE Executive Board Member Positions:

The SHARE Executive Board members are usually elected for 2-year terms, with five members elected in odd-numbered years (e.g. 2015) and the four officers plus four other members elected in even-numbered years (see below). The election committee has decided to open nominations for all Executive Board positions this year because a number of positions are currently vacant. Those positions that are usually elected in even-numbered years will serve a 1-year interim term and be up for re-election in 2016.

Positions elected in odd-numbered years will serve a full 2-year term

Central Business Office (Region A)
Mem Locations – Nursing Floors & ED (Region B)
Mem Locations – Ambulatory Clinics (Region D)
Univ Locations – Technical & Diagnostic (Region C)
Univ Locations – Clerical & Other (Region E)

Positions usually elected in even-numbered years will serve an interim 1-year term

Co-President University locations
Co-President Memorial locations
Mem Locations – Technical & Diagnostic (Region C)
Mem Locations – Clerical & Other (Region E)
Univ Locations – Nursing Floors & ED (Region B)
Univ Locations – Ambulatory Clinics (Region D)

Monday, April 13, 2015

SHARE Benefits Survey Results

A big thank you to the 700+ SHARE members who participated in the 2014 SHARE Benefits Survey -- the results are now available for viewing online.

SHARE and the UMass Memorial HR Benefits department designed the survey together, because a union-management Health Insurance Committee was talking about possible changes to SHARE members' benefits in the future. We wanted to document clearly what SHARE members care about.

Here are some interesting results:
  • It is no surprise that benefits are a very important part of the employment package for most SHARE members -- 89% of SHARE members who took the survey agree that benefits are an important reason that they continue to work here.
  • Which benefits SHARE members value most are probably not a surprise either: Medical insurance -- 96% said Very Important, Vacation/earned time -- 87% said Very Important, and Dental insurance -- 86% said Very Important.
  • When we asked which new benefits people might be interested in, the most popular answer was help with retiree health benefits.
  • More SHARE members said that they would rather have a predictable amount of money come out of their paycheck than pay less towards their health insurance premium but take the chance of unpredictable out-of-pocket expenses. We asked these questions because HR Benefits was exploring the idea of offering a high deductible health plan, in addition to the HMO plans. 
  • When asked which wellness programs people would participate in, if the programs were offered, 43% said a weight loss program, 43% said exercising in a gym, and 38% said stress reduction or meditation.
  • 46% of the SHARE members who responded said that they suffer from some kind of chronic condition (like diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression).
We're not sure what's next for the union-management Health Insurance Committee. Donna Hilliard was leading those discussion for HR, and she has now left UMass Memorial. The survey results will be very useful whenever and how ever we start talking with management about benefits again.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

HIPAA Violations to Be Monitored Electronically

UMass Memorial's new system for enforcing patient privacy went into effect on April 10th. The new software system, called FairWarning, will police patient files, looking for signs of suspicious access. If the system catches an employee going into a patient file without a legitimate work reason, it will be flagged. Then managers will investigate. If it turns out that the employee didn't have documented permission or a work reason, they will be subject to discipline.

In accordance with federal guidelines, the hospital has long monitored patient records, including randomized audits. Earlier in the year, we included a blog post here about HIPAA, and some things that SHARE members should know. No policies or penalties have changed since then, only the monitoring system.

Up until now, most of the investigatory meetings that SHARE Reps have gone to about possible violations have involved a patient complaining that someone was in their files. Either that, or files were monitored because they belonged to someone famous, or because co-workers were talking about private information that might have come from the file. The FairWarning system is intended to perform more thorough monitoring of all Electronic Health Records. Nothing suspicious has to trigger an investigation.

An email from UMass Memorial about the new software says that it will begin by focusing on employees who go into a file with their same last name or address. The system will likely be further designed to monitor in more ways as time goes on.

We value patient privacy. It is important to the patients who trust us with their medical care, including the many SHARE members who are also hospital patients. Please be careful you don't access a file of yourself, a family member, someone you know or anyone else unless you get proper permission to view the record, or you have a legitimate work reason to see the record.

For more information, including a link to an electronic access permission form, please see this article in News & Views.