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Contract Negotiations Underway, Workers at UMass Memorial Excited and Hopeful

Photo Credit: Erik Isakson
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Pictured: Nancy Rolland
Pictured: Nancy Rolland

Workers at UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital in Massachusetts say they are excited and hopeful about making a positive impact on their workplace and the services they provide now that they have a voice on the job. As members of a SHARE union, AFSCME Local 3900, they are negotiating their first union contract with hospital management.

“I feel very positive about it,” says Nancy Rolland, a registered technologist who has worked in radiology for 25 years. “I think it’s exciting that we’re going to be able to share our input with the administration and I’m hoping that we’ll reach an agreement.”

Marlborough Hospital is a small community hospital in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and part of the larger UMass Memorial health care system. Rolland says she’s never been part of a union, but she and her colleagues were ready for it. Workers decided to form a union through AFSCME earlier this year.

“It was amazing!” she says. “I think we were all surprised with the number of votes cast in favor of the union. We’re all hoping it will give us an opportunity to voice our opinions and let the administration know what we think is the best way forward.”

In addition to fair pay and improved working conditions, the workers want to find ways to raise patient care standards.

Pictured: Janice Carter
Pictured: Janice Carter

Janice Carter, a certified nurse assistant with more than 20 years of experience, says she went into this line of work because her job “makes me get outside myself and gives me a sense of gratefulness.”

But struggling with unfair pay and watching benefits taken away has left her “with a bitter taste in my mouth.”

She is willing to focus on the future now and on what the workers and management can accomplish together.

“I’m very optimistic,” she says. “What we’re asking is reasonable and I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t be able to reach an agreement.”  

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Contributing: Justin Lee
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