Friday, October 30, 2015

Five-Tidbit Frightday: October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween! This week's random roundup has a bit of a theme . . .


Halloween candy is bad for you. Vegetables, on the other hand, are good for you. Beyond these generally accepted facts, there’s a lot of conflicting dietary information out there. This week, the World Health Organization released a report saying definitively that processed meats cause cancer, and that, probably, red meat does, too. Related reports argue that you don’t need to give up those meats altogether. Fortunately, when you’re trying to figure out how to make sense of the varying and contradictory information, the Harvard School of Public Health offers this guide to deciphering media stories about diet.


You know those stories about random, unsuspecting trick-or-treaters being poisoned (or worse) by tainted Halloween goodies? They’re all urban legends, every single one. Or so contends Dr. Joel Best, the world's leading expert on Halloween hostility, in this podcast.  


Need ideas for getting creative to make your kids visible to car traffic? Also, if you plan to offer candies that are free of allergens and cross-contamination, don’t forget to review this year’s list of allergen-friendly candies, especially if you’re participating in the Teal-Pumpkin Project.


This irreverent video guide to trading Halloween candy sums up the Halloween barter system pretty nicely.


And, finally, after you’ve applied the “Mom and Dad Tax” to the kids’ candy stash, and they’re tucked away in bed, you can consult this infographic for pairing candy and wine. (There are still a few studies that hold to the idea that the resveratrol in wine might be good for you, after all.)

See you here next Friday! Hope you have a great weekend.

Monday, October 26, 2015

SHARE Leaders Elected

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 SHARE Leaders!

Nominations closed for SHARE Area Representatives and SHARE Executive Board Members with no contested elections (i.e., we did not have any roles with more candidates than positions), so the candidates are now considered to be 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, and other responsibilities. And congratulations to new and continuing reps and executive board members.

Executive Board
Sherry Nguyen, DES -- Co-President
Dianne Williams, Psychiatry -- Co-President
Kathleen Bateman, Pathology -- Treasurer
Holly St. Jean, Psych CCU -- Secretary
Christine Carrion, Dept Comm Svcs -- At-large Executive Board Member
Matt Gurinian, Psych CCU -- At-large Executive Board Member
Valerie Mount, Animal Medicine -- At-large Executive Board Member
Erika Rios, DES-OH -- At-large Executive Board Member

Area Reps
Christopher Barry, Animal Medicine -- Main Campus
Tammy Brailey, MaPS -- Main Campus
Karen Lekas, Biochem & Molec Pharm -- Main Campus
Tina Pierce, Office of Undergrad Med Ed -- Main Campus
Belinda O'Brien, DES-OH -- South Street
Stephanie Therrien, Medicare Appeals -- South Street
Trisha Fortin, Clinical Pharmacy Services -- South Street
Lidia Miranda, DES -- South Street
A. J. Iaconi, Psych -- CCU

An Area Rep keeps in touch with up to fifty 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.

Executive Board members help keep in touch with co-workers in their area too, but 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, October 9, 2015

Five-Tidbit Friday: October 9, 2015

Did you know you could take free online courses, many of them for credit, from other leading universities such as MIT, Harvard, BU, Columbia, Berkeley, and Berklee at

In this video, Margaret Heffernan makes a compelling case for getting rid of the pecking order, ditching “the superchicken model,” and helping one another at work.

Don't forget! The Fall Open Enrollment period has opened and runs through November 6th. (Please note that the SHARE Child Care Fund and Adoption Subsidy differs from the one mentioned in the Open Enrollment literature. The deadline for SHARE applications is November 2nd.)

Earlier this week, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced The Workplace Democracy Act, an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act designed to undo “Right-to-Work” laws and other barriers to unions. Meanwhile, the White House hosted the Summit on Worker Voice.


See you here next Friday! Hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Five-Tidbit Friday: October 2, 2015

This is the third installment of Five Tidbit Friday, and this week we’ve got news items ranging from near to far and back again.

  • CANCER WALK Congratulations to participants of this year’s cancer walk! The roughly thirteen thousand participants this year have raised nearly $400,000 for cancer research and care. 20150927_093855.jpg

  • RETIREE BENEFITS in the NEWS You may remember the now-defeated House Bill H59, which was designed to cut pension benefits from State Employees. That bill did not pass. However, we’ve been watching a similar situation in Rhode Island for employees of the state there, to better understand potential threats to public employee retirement plans. This week, the New York Times describes how that dispute played out, and the settlement between unions and the State.
  • FREE SPEECH at WORK In national news, an NLRB complaint against Quicken Loans could redefine the rules of free speech in the workplace, reports the Detroit Free Press. The case is likely to have implications for social media. The ruling is expected to uphold current standards, including that "employees have a ... right to discuss wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment with fellow employees, as well as with non-employees, such as union representatives." Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor has continued its emphasis on employee rights with a Worker Voice Summit, which will underscore the value of worker organizing and collective bargaining, as a new #starttheconvo initiative invites frontline voices from around the country into that conversation.
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    INNOVATIONS in HEALTHCARE The Legal Services Corporation recently announced that Community Legal Aid in Worcester, Massachusetts will receive a 24-month $209,524 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant to develop a partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center. The model will address legal needs that can negatively impact the health of low-income and minority communities and interfere with healthcare providers’ ability to improve the health of these patients.
  • MOOSE! We hear that a moose has been recently seen on our local Worcester streets. Drive safe!

See you here next Friday. Hope you have a great weekend.