UMass Memorial labor negotiator is leaving; Nurses union is relieved at McMahon departure.Byline: Shaun Sutner
WORCESTER - UMass Memorial Medical Center's chief labor official, who masterminded a tough negotiating stance during contract talks with the nurses union, has resigned, leaving union officials relieved.
UMass Memorial President and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. John G. O'Brien announced the resignation of John P. McMahon, former senior vice president for human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. , Feb. 15 in an internal memorandum obtained by the Telegram & Gazette.
Mr. McMahon will start a new job March 12 as senior vice president of corporate human resources for Arrow Electronics Arrow Electronics NYSE: ARW is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Melville, New York. This company specializes in products and services of electronic components and computer products. , a 12,000-employee, publicly traded company publicly traded company
A company whose shares of common stock are held by the public and are available for purchase by investors. The shares of publicly traded firms are bought and sold on the organized exchanges or in the over-the-counter market. in Melville, N.Y.
After six months of strained talks over a new three-year pact, the medical center's 840 University Campus nurses walked off the job Oct. 25.
The strike ended up lasting only five hours, even as 175 replacement nurses brought in for the strike went on duty at 6 a.m. The hospital also hired a special crisis communication expert in the latter stages of the negotiations and ran a series of unusually hard-hitting newspaper ads on the union's demands.
After an overnight bargaining session, negotiators for the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the hospital agreed on a deal that gave the nurses raises of 19 percent to 24 percent over three years.
Now, union leaders say they saw Mr. McMahon as an unyielding negotiator who they found tough to deal with.
"Our dealings with him were a low point in our dealings with the institution," said Judy Locke, vice chairman of the union's bargaining unit A bargaining unit in labor relations is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests who are (under U.S. law) represented by a single labor union in collective bargaining and other dealings with management. at the hospital. "We had positive relations with them in the past, but this last period was ugly.
"We're trying to put this behind us and cultivate better relationships," she continued. "He really did come across as someone who was very authoritative and was not the sort of person we were used to dealing with."
Hired in 2005 after stints as a senior personnel executive at several high-tech companies, Mr. McMahon put in place a more business-oriented human resources strategy at the hospital, Mr. O'Brien said in his memo of last month.
"John also led us through significant labor challenges and negotiations, which resulted in three-year agreements with our largest unions," Mr. O'Brien wrote. "These agreements will ensure a more competitive posture for our institution in the long term."
While hospital officials sought to portray Mr. McMahon's resignation as a positive career move for him, his departure likely is a signal that the medical center wants to take a softer approach to its activist union, said Gary Chaison Gary N. Chaison (b. October 21, 1943) is an industrial relations scholar and labor historian at Clark University. Early life and education
Chaison was born in 1943 to Alfred and Ada Chaison, a Jewish family living in Brooklyn. , a professor of labor relations at Clark University.
While unions generally elect their contract negotiators, private companies and institutions hire and fire theirs based on their performance, Mr. Chaison said.
"I think this is a conciliatory con·cil·i·ate
v. con·cil·i·at·ed, con·cil·i·at·ing, con·cil·i·ates
1. To overcome the distrust or animosity of; appease.
2. gesture," he said. "If they don't do the job management wants them to do they either let them go or don't rehire Re`hire´
v. t. 1. To hire again. them. If management wants to get a new tone and start off with a fresh approach, this is a step they can take."
Mark L. Shelton, a spokesman for the hospital, said Mr. McMahon has family in the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of area, where he worked before.
Contact Shaun Sutner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.