Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tidbit Time: Week of February 8, 2016

Happy Heart Month! As in, happy Valentine’s. And, more importantly, Heart Health Awareness Month. Here’s our latest roundup of tidbits from our community and the worlds of academia, healthcare, and unions . . .


One former SHARE member, Nancy Whalen, the President of Healing Heart Hospitality House, has just let us know about an upcoming dinner with real heart. And you’re invited! “Our mission is to help families of patients traveling more than 30 miles to be with their loved ones hospitalized in the Worcester area by providing a suite of services that offers emotional and spiritual support and comfort,” Nancy writes. “Just recently a very generous person has offered to buy us a house. After 10 years of working towards this goal, we are excited beyond words. Pub 99 is sponsoring our fundraiser by donating 15% of food purchased on Tuesday, February 9th when anyone presents the voucher from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

Healing Heart Voucher.jpg
You can print your own voucher by right-clicking the above image. Save it to your computer, and you can print it from there.


Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. On Friday, February 5th, many SHARE members participated in National Wear Red Day, wearing red and working to raise research funds and awareness about women's heart health. 
Go Red Raffle in the University Cafeteria

The American Heart Association provides this guide to Well-Woman Visits so that you can schedule, prepare for, and understand the kinds of physician visits that will help you protect your own heart health, and encourage other women to do the same.


The number of union members in the US held steady from 2014 to 2015, according to the annual Department of Labor report on the subject.  Studies show that increased union membership strengthens the middle class.


Did you know that the blue whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds? Or that your heart will beat about 100,000 times today? That will add up to over a million barrels of blood during an average lifetime.


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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that things are off to a very good start for you this week. See you here next time . . .

Monday, February 1, 2016

SHARE 2016 Contract Negotiations Survey: The Results Are In

Thank you again to the 1651 SHARE members who completed the 2016 Contract Negotiations Survey. The survey focused on how to improve the day-to-day experience at work because that is where we want to focus in this year's contract negotiations. The survey results will be extremely helpful to the SHARE Negotiating Team.


  • The great majority of SHARE members find meaning in their work providing healthcare. 
  • SHARE members value their benefits. 
  • SHARE members say they get too little respect and appreciation for the important work that they do. 
  • SHARE members are frustrated about their workload and staffing levels. 

You can see the full results online here

What are SHARE members MOST satisfied with?

SHARE Members Love their Benefits

Satisfaction with benefits was the highest ranked of the items that SHARE members reported their satisfaction with, with 85% saying they were either very satisfied or satisfied with benefits in general. This finding echoes SHARE members’ opinions as reported on the SHARE benefits survey from 2014, where 93% of SHARE members who took the survey said benefits are an important reason why they continue to work here. Over the years, SHARE members and the Negotiating Team have spent a lot of time and energy negotiating to keep and improve these benefits, so it's good to know that SHARE members appreciate them! 

Doing Something Meaningful in Providing Quality Healthcare

Doing something meaningful in providing quality healthcare was a close second in satisfaction, with 79% of SHARE members saying that they were satisfied on that question. People wrote lots and lots of comments about how much they love their patients, and their work with them.

What are SHARE members LEAST satisfied with?


Only 45% said they were satisfied with their workload. On another question, 41% disagreed with the statement that staffing levels are adequate in their department, which was one of the highest negative responses to a question in the survey. Lots and lots of people wrote comments about how staffing challenges affect their experience at work, and patient care.

Only “informed about policies and administrative decisions” came in as less satisfying than workload, with 43% saying they were satisfied with this.

Respect at Work

SHARE members who took the survey were asked to rank a bunch of things in response to “What most important to improving your day-to-day experience at work?” The items you could choose from included: “respect and how my department leaders treat people; job security; feeling like a team in my department; systems, fixing how the work gets done; getting breaks and lunch and vacation time; and learning new things, career development.

Over two-thirds of SHARE members, 69% of those who took the survey, ranked “Respect and how my department leaders treat people” as number 1 or 2 out of that list, considerably more than any other item.

SHARE members report a wide range of opinions about their supervisors and managers: There are positive comments about how some managers seek out and listen to input from their staff, support their staff, and show respect for everyone and everyone’s work. There are also plenty of negative comments by SHARE members who say that their supervisor or manager does not listen to their input, or micromanages their work. When asked to agree or disagree with “I have an opportunity to participate in decisions made by my supervisor that affect my work environment,” SHARE members are evenly split. 34% say they agree with the statement, and 32% disagree with the statement. (The remaining 34% chose “neutral.”)

Job Security

Second in that ranking of priorities for improving day-to-day work was job security, with 53% ranking it number 1 or 2. And 30% agree that they worry about getting laid offs from their jobs.

Many SHARE Members Want to Learn Something New

73% of SHARE members say Yes or Maybe to wanting to learn new skills for a different job, plus 9% who say they are already in school to learn something new. Clearly there’s a hunger out there among SHARE members to keep learning and growing at UMass Memorial.

What's next?

These major themes are not a great surprise--these are issues that come up regularly in conversation with SHARE members. However, having numbers to attach to these stories gives us new insights, and documentation of what we hear day-to-day. We will continue to analyze the data, looking for patterns, and which groups of SHARE members feel most strongly on which issues. Stay tuned.