Friday, March 13, 2015

College Scholarship Opportunity: Central Massachusetts AFL/CIO

The SHARE office recently received the following notice in the mail from Joe Carlson, the President of the Central Massachusetts AFL/CIO, about a really great scholarship opportunity for our members. 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. 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 5, 2015.

The scholarships will be presented at the Labor Day breakfast September 7 2015

To be eligible, the student must be a 2015 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 May 1, 2015 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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

SHARE Voices: When to Pick Workplace Battles

In this SHARE Blog Review, Union co-president Sherry Nguyen describes a useful article for weighing options in dispute resolution. As a SHARE member you can also use our Problem Solving processes, as well as receive support from SHARE representatives. Please contact the SHARE office for help.

And, if you would like to submit an idea, a request, or a submission for publication on the SHARE UMMS blog, please email your thoughts to


When to Pick Workplace Battles

Submitted by Sherry Nguyen

A few weeks ago I read an informative article in the Wall Street Journal by Sue Shellenbarger, and I’d like to share some of the key points with you.  We’ve all experienced tensions in workplace, whether with coworkers or superiors.  The question is what to do about it.  Although most people try to avoid conflict, this is neither the most productive nor healthiest route.  Avoidance can create more useless tension that has a negative effect on productivity and creates unhealthy stress levels.

So what can be done?  In the article, “To Fight or Not to Fight? When to Pick Workplace Battles,” Shellenbarger emphasizes that the best action depends on the situation.  There are definitely some situations where waging war would be a losing battle and retreat is the most prudent action. Some of these situations include:

  • Picking fights over issues that are not relevant to your work or outside of your area(s) of responsibility
  • Battling over trivial issues based on personality or power
  • Waging war without offering solutions or suggestions
(Read the article at for more situations and details.)

Along with these suggestions as when not to do battle, the article offered winning strategies when you do decide that confronting the situation is the best way to proceed. These winning strategies include planning ahead, talking with your colleagues, and knowing when it is appropriate to disagree.     I highly recommend you read more (link) about these winning strategies.

Conflicts are a fact of life.  While it can be risky to speak up – hurt feelings, a damaged career -- not speaking up, especially if the annoyance is shared by others, can result in simmering frustrations which can lead to passive aggressive behaviors such as slacking off and backstabbing.  While learning when to pick a battle is an art worth learning, you have the benefit of SHARE staff who has the experience to help you through it, either with you in meetings with your supervisor or behind the scenes as a coach

The article “To Fight or Not to Fight? When to Pick Workplace Battles” was written by Sue Shellenbarger, and appeared in the Wall Street Journal on 12/16/14.