Thursday, July 6, 2017

Congratulations, 2017 Union Plus Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to all recipients of the 2017 Union Plus Scholarship!


Sam Fountain, SHARE Member
and 2017 Scholarship Winner
We're particularly excited for Sam Fountain, a SHARE member and Research Technician right here at UMass Medical School, who will receive a $1,000 award from the AFL-CIO sponsored organization.

Sam says: I'm humbled and honored to be a recipient of a 2017 Union PLUS Scholarship Award. For the past 18 months, I've been a member of the SHARE Union, working as a Research Technician for Dr. Sanjay and Dr. Peter Rice. I'm beginning medical school here at UMass in the fall of 2017, and will use the scholarship to pay for books and other educational supplies I'll need. The cost of medical school is steep, and every penny counts. For decades my family has been benefiting from and advocating for Unionized Labor, and I'm grateful to continue this trend. Thank you to the SHARE Union for all the work you do and for advocating for workers across the University!

Union Plus scholarships totaling $150,000 were awarded this year to 106 students representing 31 unions. Danielle Boudrow, a member of HUCTW, our sister union at Harvard University, also received a $1,000 scholarship.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018 Union Plus Scholarships.

2018 Union Plus Scholarship

The Union Plus Education Foundation is now receiving applications for their 2018 Scholarship Program. The awards range from $500 to $4,000.

The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2018.

This is a competitive scholarship, and applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. The Scholarship Program is open to current and retired members of unions participating in any Union Plus program (e.g., AFSCME), their spouses and their dependent children (as defined by IRS regulations). At least one year of continuous union membership by the applicant, applicant's spouse or parent (if applicant is a dependent). The one year membership minimum must be satisfied by May 31, 2018. Previous applicants may re-apply.

The applicant must be accepted into a U.S. accredited college or university, community college, technical or trade school at the time the award is issued. Awards must be used for the 2018 - 2019 school year. You do not have to purchase any Union Plus product or participate in any Union Plus program to be eligible.

Applicants should note that the application requires you to list the national or international union name, local union number, local union's address, phone number and the name of the local union President or Business Manager.  You need this information for your union, your spouse's union or your parent's union (if you are a dependent).  If you or your family members are affiliated with multiple unions you must list this information for all.

As a member of SHARE, you are also a member of our parent organization, AFSCME, a qualifying union. Please note that the “local number” for SHARE on the School-side is AFSCME Local 4000. The SHARE School-side president is Kathy Bateman.

For more details, and to access the online application dashboard, please see the Union Plus Scholarship website.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A New SHARE Union: UMass Memorial--Marlborough Hospital

For those of you who haven’t heard, we’re lending support to employees at our sister location in Marlborough who wish to join SHARE. Impressed by what we’ve accomplished, they’ve come to us with a request to join in. If you have friends at UMass Memorial’s Marlborough Hospital, we could use your help connecting them with our union.

A Rising Tide

SHARE believes that everyone benefits when workers have a say. We’re making work better for ourselves, and we want our colleagues up the road to have that opportunity, too. What’s good for Marlborough Hospital is good for UMass Medical School, and for the Central Massachusetts community.

SHARE is a union unique to UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Hospital, tailored to our needs here. Our region is distinct, with its own economic challenges. We know that inequality is hurting us. Without unions to advocate for middle-class wages, employers alone dictate the market rate.

Our connections make us strong, and we want to strengthen and be strengthened by the inclusion of the UMass Memorial's Marlborough location, to enlist the help of our colleagues toward improving the area where we live and work.

Everyone Should Be Free to Participate

We want our friends in Marlborough to know that our SHARE union gives us opportunities to compare notes, to talk and think together, to build structures for making improvements. Like our hospital’s senior administration, we believe in the mission of our institution. We also believe that a labor-management partnership can make our University vibrant and resilient. We can’t do it without each other. We believe that the same is true in Marlborough.

We Want to Share Values and Strength

There are 500 of us (plus 2700 of our friends in SHARE at UMass Memorial Hospital), and our relationships with our employer are extremely complex. As a matter of principle, we maintain kind and respectful conversations with those in management roles. We have support and assistance from in-house SHARE staff organizers who help this happen. Perhaps most importantly, we can have those conversations safely because our union affords us an independent source of power. Our friends at Marlborough need this, too. They deserve to negotiate their own agreements with their hospital leaders.

Let’s Connect

If you can help connect SHARE Organizers with friends who work at Marlborough Hospital, let us know. If you can help us make an introduction, or would like to know more about what we’re doing, please call the SHARE office (508-929-4020) and leave a message on the voicemail for one of the Marlborough SHARE Organizers to call you back.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tell Your Friends: SHARE Goes to Fenway!

Want to let your friends and co-workers know about the upcoming fun?

Use this link to download and print the Boston Red Sox "Union Night" Flyer. Give it to your friends, hang it in your personal workspace, or pin it to your local bulletin board.

For more details about how to join us this Labor Day, check out this earlier blog post, Come Cheer the Sox with SHARE: Tickets Available Now!



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Come Cheer the Sox with SHARE: Tickets Available now

Let's Go SHARE!
Labor Day this year is going to be a lot of fun. The Red Sox will have just swept the Yankees (right?), the weather’s going to be perfect, and SHARE will be a week away from its 20th birthday.

We’re looking forward to it, too, because we reserved a couple nice blocks of seating for Union Night at Fenway, when the Sox host the Blue Jays . . .

  • Date: Labor Day 2017 (Monday, September 4th)
  • Time: 7:10 pm
  • Place: Fenway Park!
  • Cost: $30 in the bleachers, or $15 in the upper bleachers.

Seems like a pretty decent way to round out the Summer and honor the contributions that workers have made to our country. In our section, we’ll be sitting with members our sister NEOP unions, including SHARE at UMass Memorial Hospital, HUCTW (the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers), and USW (the Union of Social Workers at Cambridge Health Alliance).

To sit in our block and take advantage of the discounted union rate, purchase tickets directly from this Red Sox website. Your family and friends are welcome to join in, too. Deadline for purchasing tickets is July 31, 2017.

Questions? Please contact Bobbi-Jo Lewis.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Worcester City Council Votes to Support Increases to the Minimum Wage

President Kennedy popularized the expression that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” the idea that if the general economic conditions of community improve, everyone in that community benefits. Of course, these kinds of economic tides don’t raise themselves.


Khrystian King.JPG
City Councilor Khrystian King presents his
proposal to support an increase to the minimum wage
One of the most difficult aspects of any contract negotiations is the raise. How much should employees make? Most employers rely heavily on the idea of market rates and industry standards in order to develop their answer to that question. There’s a logic to that. And, at the same time, market rates and industry standards aren’t designed to help people lead better lives.

According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a living wage for a family with two adults and two children in Worcester County requires each parent to make at least $15.81 per hour. The success of SHARE and other unions in our community to maintain solid wages and benefits work to benefit Central Massachusetts as a whole, raising the tide, and normalizing a livable income.

One factor in improving the economic climate, the minimum wage, is a relatively recent idea. It has its own fascinating history, its origins involving exploding bakeries, a blue eagle, and a guy who may or may not have been drunk. The minimum wage is designed to increase wages up the scale, expanding and strengthening the middle class. Additionally, proponents argue that, for employers, higher wages mean more efficient workers and less employee turnover, making it easier to recruit and retain workers and helping their bottom line. And, that when workers have more money in their pockets, they spend it at small businesses in their neighborhoods, helping those local businesses grow and create more jobs.

SHARE Staff Organizer Jana Hollingsworth joined others at a recent Worcester City Council meeting to promote an increase to the minimum wage in Massachusetts. A number of residents presented to the Council, describing how an increase to the minimum wage would improve their families' lives. The Council voted to back a minimum wage increase to $15 by the year 2021, a measure that would directly raise the income of 40% of Worcester residents who currently make less than that, according to one figure cited at the meeting.
The increase must still be voted on in the State Legislature, in the form of House Bill 2365 and Senate Bill 1004. The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports that, “under the legislation, the minimum wage would increase by $1 annually, starting Jan. 1, 2018, until it reaches $15 in 2021. The minimum wage would then be adjusted each year to rise with the cost of living.”

Worcester City Council.JPG
SHARE Staff Organizer Jana Hollingsworth's view of the City Council Chamber

Of course, another way to participate in shaping a more favorable economic climate, one that promotes fairness and well-being, is through a union. Research shows that declines in unionization are linked to increasing inequality. At the same time, researchers find that a disproportionate number of women, African Americans, and Latinos currently make less than fifteen dollars an hour.