Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Who Gets the Extra Time and the Overtime?

In some areas of the hospital, confusion about the distribution of extra time and overtime still exists. We want to make sure you know that, in our last contract negotiations, we worked with the hospital to make the policy simple and clear, and to prioritize the ability of SHARE members to get ET and OT.

If you would like help making sure that the policy is applied properly in the department, if you have questions about it, or if the SHARE members in your department would like to negotiate something different from the contract provisions, please contact the SHARE office. (Some departments have negotiated different arrangements, ones that are designed to better suit the specific needs of the staff and the work in those locations.)

Here’s the full contract language clarifying how any extra time and overtime should be doled out:

SHARE staff shall have priority over non-SHARE staff to be scheduled for extra time and overtime for SHARE position work. In the absence of guidelines negotiated in the department with SHARE staff, the following guidelines will be used: Regular part-time SHARE staff will have their schedule requests for additional time granted prior to the scheduling of per diem staff. Part-time workers and per diems may be scheduled for additional straight time hours prior to scheduling full-time employees for work at overtime pay.

Once a unit schedule is posted and additional hours need to be filled, they will be offered as follows:
  1. Part-time SHARE staff on unit
  2. Part-time SHARE staff from off unit
  3. Per Diem staff for straight time
  4. Full-time SHARE staff

This policy can be found in the context of all of the contract agreement language on page 11 of the online SHARE contract.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Reaching Contract Agreement: How Harvard Did It

Members of our sister union, HUCTW, have just ratified a new contract with Harvard University, with over 98% of the members voting to approve it. We are happy to congratulate the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers for voting-in this new contract agreement. 

SHARE and HUCTW have a lot in common. Together, the following unions form a coalition of unions known as the New England Organizing Project, or NEOP:
  • the SHARE unions
    • at UMass Medical School, and
    • at UMass Memorial Hospital,
  • the Union of Social Workers at Cambridge Health Alliance, and
  • the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (or HUCTW)
Our shared vision includes a shared negotiation philosophy. In our negotiations, both HUCTW and SHARE begin by talking with management about what's important to union members. We listen carefully to what management says is important to them. Some of our goals overlap with those of management, and, of course, some do not. SHARE tries to build on our common ground, though we know we will disagree about other things. Before we start arguing what size piece of the pie we are going to get, we first want to figure out what we can do to grow that pie bigger. We look for ways to find solutions that work for both sides.

Union members got involved at Harvard to show their support for the union's ideas about healthcare. The NEOP unions agree: What happens outside the negotiating room, with union members showing their support, is just as important as what happens inside the negotiating room.

HUCTW and Harvard came to a contract agreement after long negotiations. As Harvard’s student newspaper, The Crimson, reports, Harvard’s most recent negotiations were long and frustrating. To focus discussions and hone interests, HUCTW and the University involved a team of professional mediators.

You can visit the HUCTW website to find a summary of the outcomes, as well as the complete language of the tentative agreement which has since been ratified by the members.
Every negotiation is different, from institution to institution, and with each successive contract. The next SHARE negotiations will evolve based on the interests of SHARE members and the needs of our hospital.  The strong success at Harvard inspires us to further develop our interest-based negotiation methods as we work to advance our wages and benefits, and create new and ambitious structures for improving our workplaces.

HUCTW member Noel voting in his first ratification vote at Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks location. Employees at this site, located in Washington D.C., recently voted to join Harvard's union.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

SHARE PCAs, LPNs, and MAs – Do you want to go back to school?

SHARE, Worcester State University and UMass Memorial have put together a program to help you get started at college.

It's affordable, at a convenient time and place, and not scary! This program is designed for people who may not have been in a classroom for a long time. You earn 9 or more college credits, which you can transfer to other colleges if you want. You get coaching and support, and you get help making a plan for continuing your education at the end. Your classmates will be other SHARE members in the same boat.

Convenient time: You can do the classes during the day or in the evening. The first group will meet one evening per week (Wednesdays 4:30-7:30pm), starting in April 13th and going through October. A second group will go to classes during the day, starting September 2016 and going through April 2017.

Convenient locations – All classes located at University, Memorial or Hahnemann campuses.

Affordable – The first "getting started" class is free to you – UMass Memorial will pay for it! For the next three classes (3 credits each), you get tuition remission from UMass Memorial for much of the cost. UMass Memorial has agreed to pay that amount up front so that you don’t have to come up with the money ahead of time, like you usually have to -- which is awesome. (If you start but don’t finish a class, you will have to pay back the money.)

The best way to find out more or sign up that you are interested is to come talk to Amy from Worcester State at drop-in info sessions in the cafeterias:
·       Wed, 3/9 University: 11:30am - 1:30pm and 4:30pm - 6:30pm
·       Wed, 3/16 Memorial: 11:30am - 1:30pm and 4:30pm - 6:30pm
·       Wed, 3/23 University: 11:30am - 1:30pm and 4:30pm - 6:30pm
·       Wed, 3/30 Memorial: 11:30am - 1:30pm and 4:30pm - 6:30pm

To sign up: You can go to OurNet then My HR. Look for "Learning" and click on that. Look for the Direct Care Workers Pathways Program. You can also find it on the Worcester State University website.

If you can't find the information, you can call SHARE and we will get you a brochure -- leave a message at 508-929-4020 ext. 10.

Please note:  A state grant is paying for part of this program, and the state limited the program to people currently working as Patient Care Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Medical Assistants (or Medical Office Assistants). We wish we could make this opportunity available to all SHARE members – if this grant goes well, maybe we can do that in the future!