Friday, February 10, 2017

2017 Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship

The SHARE office recently received the following notice in the mail from Joe Carlson, the President of the Central Massachusetts AFL/CIO, about an annual scholarship opportunity. The lottery for these scholarships will be open to any SHARE members, as well as children and grandchildren of our members, who will graduate from high school this year and attend college next year. The details are posted below.

If you apply as a SHARE-UMMS member, you'll need to include the following information:
  • UNION AFFILIATION: SHARE/AFSCME
  • LOCAL UNION NO: 4000

Please note that applications should NOT be sent to the SHARE office. If you would like a copy of the nomination form, please click here.

***

To: All Affiliated Locals of the Central Mass AFL/CIO,

We are pleased to announce that we will be awarding six $1,000.00 scholarships as well as a number of  $500 Platinum sponsored scholarships.

The scholarship recipients will be drawn by lottery at the May community services committee meeting and the winners will be announced at the Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on Friday, June 2, 2017.

The scholarships will be presented at the Labor Day breakfast September 4, 2017

To be eligible, the student must be a 2016 graduating high school senior and going on to college, and a child, grandchild, or member whose local is affiliated with the Central Ma. AFL/CIO. Union members must live or work in the jurisdiction of the Central Ma. AFL/CIO.

All names must be submitted by April 28, 2017 and returned to:


Paul Soucy
AFL/CIO Labor Community Services
Central Ma. AFL-CIO
400 Washington St
Auburn, Ma. 01501


Fraternally Yours,
Joseph P. Carlson, President
Central Massachusetts AFL/CIO


Monday, February 6, 2017

Notes from the First UMMHC/UMMS Listening Session on Immigration

Addressing the audience at Friday’s “Listening Session on the Executive Order on Immigration,” UMMS Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion, Deborah Plummer, worked to provide reassurances, pointing out that our institutions are firmly committed to supporting our international students and colleagues.


The overfull auditorium hosted an informal question and answer session relating to the recent Executive Order which prohibits entry into the US by people from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. If you missed this one, the entire UMMS community is invited to attend the next

Listening Session on the Executive Order on Immigration
Tuesday, February 7, 12:00-1:00pm
Auditorium, 333 South Street, Shrewsbury Campus


Additionally, to address the great many specific legal questions, the Immigration Services Office and the UMass General Counsel’s office is hosting an


Immigration Law Discussion
Thursday, February 9th at 11:30am
UMMS Amphitheater in S2-102


Vanessa Paulman, UMMS Director of Immigration Services, highlighted that, at the heart of the University’s commitment, the UMass university system has signed on to the lawsuit brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, which directly challenges the legality of the Executive Order.


In this First Listening Session, there were more questions than answers, including:


  • How to best care for those refugee patients who are frightened, for legal reasons, about identifying themselves, and might be foregoing important medical care
  • What to do if you or someone you know about is being treated differently in the workplace as a result of their nationality
  • How to help friends and family who are seeking entry to the US
  • How to keep updated about the evolving legal issues involved


The facilitators promised that both institutions would ramp up communication and provide useful information to members of our community. Some things are already clear. Although permanent residents of the US who were born in one of the above-listed countries are no longer banned from entry, the facilitators still discouraged them from international travel.


Like so many in the room, SHARE leaders are still working to make sense of the legal changes and the effect on our members and our patients. We know that the Executive Order has created anxiety and unease among our members, all of whom work here legally, in service of the missions of our employers.

If you have particular concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the SHARE office. We will be happy to help you find any support and answers that you need. Additionally, we recommend contacting UMMS’ Immigration Services Office, Diversity and Inclusion Office, or the Employee Assistance Program.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Did You Know: Union Dues Are Tax-Deductible

Did you know that you can deduct the dues that you pay for SHARE membership in your taxes?
A complete list of miscellaneous deductions that can be itemized on your 1040 Form can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website.

If you do itemize your taxes, here’s some numbers that you’ll need: In 2016, SHARE dues for members at UMass Medical School were $17.15, paid every-other-week, for a total of 26 times per year. (Members who worked 20 hours per week were charged $12.84 per dues period.)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Union Plus College Scholarship--DEADLINE TUESDAY

The Union Plus Education Foundation is now receiving applications for their 2017 Scholarship Program. The awards range from $500 to $4,000.

The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

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, 2017.

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 2017 - 2018 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 co-presidents are Holly St. Jean and Kathy Bateman.

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

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 members by 33 cents per pay period. Below are the old and dues new rates . The new rate will be effective on the first pay check you receive in January 2017.

Per Pay Period 
(2 weeks)
2016 rate
2017 rate
Regular dues rate
$17.15
$17.48
20-hours/week
$12.84
$13.09

That's a total annual increase of $8.58 ($6.50 for employees working 20 hrs/week). 

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 determine?

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 my raise every year?

SHARE members gain more than non-union employees even taking the cost of dues into account. In fact, from the end of June 2012 to the end of June in 2016 SHARE members got more raises than non-union employees. SHARE members will also get raise at the end of June in 2017.  SHARE members get bigger raises (the difference in any particular year between a union raise and non-union raise is small, but the difference adds up). And 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/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 

Questions?

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 us at share.umms@theshareunion.org

Friday, December 9, 2016

2016-2017 SHARE Leaders

Congratulations to the new and returning SHARE representatives, who are now considered elected! 

Many thanks to those who served last year as SHARE Reps and Executive Board members and have since stepped down because of promotions, new jobs, retirement and other responsibilities. And congratulations to new and continuing Reps and Executive Board members.

Our elected SHARE leaders are listed here below.

EXECUTIVE BOARD
Holly St. Jean, DCS -- Co-President
Kathleen Bateman, Pathology -- Co-President
Erika Rios, DES-OH -- Treasurer
Tammy Brailey, MaPS -- At-large Executive Board Member
A. J. Iaconi, Psych CCU -- At-large Executive Board Member
Valerie Mount, Animal Medicine -- At-large Executive Board Member
Tina Pierce, Office of Undergrad Med Ed -- At-large Executive Board Member

AREA REPS

Main Campus
Christopher Barry, Animal Medicine
Beverly Potts, Animal Medicine 
Karen Lekas, Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology
Heidi Beberman, Bioinformatics & Integrative Biology
Kerry Magoun, Environmental Health and Safety
Sue Collette, Medical Education
Sue Graceffa, Molecular Medicine 

South Street 
Belinda O'Brien, DES
Lidia Miranda, DES 
Stephanie Therrien, Medicare Appeals

CCU
Antonio Jimenez, Psych --CCU
Ashley Richard, Psych -- CCU
Charles Williams, Psych -- CCU

Child Care Fund Coordinator
Dianne Williams, Psych --SPARC

An Area Rep keeps in touch with up co-workers in their area, helping to make sure that members' questions are answered and their opinions and concerns are heard. If you would like to be involved, please let us know -- extra volunteers are always welcome and needed.

Executive Board members help keep in touch with co-workers in their area too, but also with members campus-wide. They also meet monthly about what is going on in the whole union, make decisions about issues facing the union, and participate in contract negotiations when they are happening.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Free Associate Degrees for SHARE Members: An Update from AFSCME

We just received the following update from our parent organization, AFSCME, about the Free College Benefit. The program offers free Associate Degrees to SHARE members. And, the program has expanded to include Early Childhood Education degrees. Read on for more . . .



Dear SHARE members,

Back in July, we announced a new AFSCME benefit available to you and your family: a free associate degree from Eastern Gateway Community College. Your response has been overwhelming, with nearly 20,000 inquiries made, more than 5,000 applicants and more than 2,000 students currently enrolled in classes. We are thrilled that so many of you are taking advantage of this great benefit.
Having a college degree is more important than ever for getting ahead these days, but tuition costs just keep getting higher and higher. That's why the AFSCME Free College Benefit is absolutely free. You, your spouse, your children and grandchildren can earn a college degree without digging into your own pockets or piling on student debt. And because Eastern Gateway is a public, regionally accredited college, the credits you work hard to earn are transferable to other schools. This can literally save you and your family thousands of dollars.
You won’t be left to figure this out for yourself, either. Every student gets to talk to real people who will help you through the process. The classes are online, so they fit into anyone’s busy schedule, and there are tutors and coaches who make sure you aren’t on your own.
Get a Free Associate Degree
An associate degree can be your pathway to new opportunities, greater responsibility, a better job and higher wages. This is a unique opportunity — available only to AFSCME members, your families and retirees. You can find more information about the benefit and available degree programs here.
You work hard for your community, and that work can often go unsung. The AFSCME Free College Benefit is one more way AFSCME helps members secure the opportunities and the respect you deserve.
Enrollment for the first spring session is now open and Early Childhood Education degrees are now offered. Classes begin on January 17. Don’t wait to start this exciting new program and help grow your career!
In solidarity,
Lee Saunders

AFSCME President