Community Health Bargaining Update

An Historic Tentative Agreement

In just over a week, UFCW 1518 healthcare members, and members of seven other BC unions, will have the chance to vote on an historic agreement that will make a big difference in every community health worker’s life. Thanks to the unwavering support of their fellow workers, the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) secured an agreement with the largest general wage increases that we’ve ever seen since the Association formed, and so much more!

Are you a community health member and want to know what you will earn if we ratify this agreement? Find out with the wage calculator!

All eight unions in the Community Bargaining Association —including UFCW 1518 — unanimously recommend ratification of this fantastic agreement. A few of the major improvements that ratification will introduce to the job, include:

  • Average wage increases of 14% to 16% for each step of the wage grid over three years.
  • A significant gain towards wage parity with those working under the Facilities Agreement in hospitals and care facilities, including the elimination of Step 1.
  • A funding commitment from the government to ensure the long-term viability of the Joint Community Benefit Trust. (No cuts to benefits and an improved funding model!)
  • Extension of the CRA vehicle allowance rate to all employees covered by the CBA.
  • Guaranteed-hours positions for regular community health workers in windows of availability.
  • Language that obliges the employer to tell you what a meeting with management is about, before the meeting happens.
  • A variety of improvements to address chronic recruitment and retention issues in our sector.
  • Occupational health & safety (OHS) — language was included to address aggressive behavior, violence prevention training, critical incident debriefing/defusing, ergonomics, and psychological safety and health.
  • Premium increases for weekend and evening shifts.
  • Expanded mobility rights for workers who want to move jobs within their health authority.
  • An additional day of paid vacation for all regular employees.
  • 50% of costs for employer-requested medical certificates to be paid by the employer.
  • New overtime distribution language that includes seniority.

Read more about these highlights and other features of the agreement, in this compact, easy-to-understand review.

You can also view the full tentative agreement here.

Next Steps

Before voting begins, UFCW 1518’s Community Health bargaining representatives and union leaders want to provide members with as much information, in as many forms, as possible. We’ve set up three events for community health workers to attend, so you can ask questions and learn more. The first one is just for Shop Stewards. The other two are for all members. Please encourage each other to attend and to vote!

Shop Stewards—Zoom:

Thursday, January 26 @ 5 pm PST

Stewards, please check your emails for the zoom link. Join UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson and other healthcare activists for an important discussion about your role in the ratification vote.

Telephone town hall:

Monday, January 30 @ 10:00 am—10:30 am PST & 5:00 pm—5:30 pm PST

Get on a call with your Community Health bargaining representatives, UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson to learn more about the details of the tentative agreement and to ask questions. Participating in the Town Hall is as simple as answering your phone. We’ll call you at the specified time!

Zoom information sessions:

Tuesday, January 31—Thursday, February 2 @ 10:00 am—11:00 am PST & 5:00 pm—6:00 pm PST

Join a Zoom call with your bargaining representatives to get all the information you need to make an informed vote when it comes time to hit the online polls. Register for one of six zoom info sessions here.

Voting and More

Online voting will begin on February 1. We will send your voting credentials by email at 12 pm on February 1. If you do not receive your voting credentials at that time, please contact us at reception@ufcw1518.com or call 1-800-661-3708.

If you know of any coworkers who are not receiving UFCW 1518 emails, please tell them to email reception@ufcw1518.com and provide their first name, last name, email, cell phone number, employee ID, and employer name.

Because the Community Bargaining Association comprises seven other unions, whose healthcare members also need to vote on this historic tentative agreement, we won’t be able to provide the results of the vote until March 1.

If you are a community health member, encourage your coworkers to attend the UFCW 1518 Telephone Town Hall and Zoom Sessions – to make your ratification vote really count, everyone needs to get involved.

Thank you again to our members for your resolve, passion and unrelenting support. You made it clear to the CBA what you needed out of this agreement, and you stood behind your demands. Now, thousands of BC workers have an equitable agreement that will support them while they support British Columbians.

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Proposals Exchanged

We are pleased to report that we commenced bargaining this week with Sobeys on January 23, completing this first round of talks on January 26. Both sides have exchanged proposals and are responding to each other’s non-monetary items. We will be meeting again with Sobeys negotiators starting on Monday, January 30.

You can check out the Bargaining Information Page for more information on your bargaining proposals and priorities. 

We know how important this contract renewal is for all of you, and we are committed to continuing to bargain in good faith. As a committee, we pledge to you that we will work every day of this process to ensure that your voices are heard in our collective struggle to make meaningful gains and improve life for all workers at Sobeys across the province.

We need your support in engaging other Sobeys members in this process. Knowledge is power, and we need to be sure that everyone has the information that they need. Please share this email with your co-workers, and if they have not been receiving emails from the union, please tell them to send their full name, store name and number, employee ID, email address, and cell number to reception@ufcw1518.com

Throughout the bargaining process, there will be many opportunities for members to get informed and engaged through:

  1. Email 
  2. Facebook
  3. Tiktok – follow UFCW 1518 President @kimenovak
  4. Instagram
  5. Town halls – stay tuned for any announcements

If you are a Shop Steward, please consider printing this update off and posting it to your union board!

In Solidarity

The UFCW 1518 Sobeys Bargaining Committee

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Union Prepares to Table Strong Proposals

Tomorrow is our first day of bargaining with Sobeys to renew your next contract. Your bargaining committee and your UFCW 1518 staff negotiators, Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne, have met over the last week to strategize and prepare for the fight to win a strong contract that will help all of you build worker power in the retail sector.

Thank you to everyone who filled out your bargaining surveys. Your voices have been heard, and we’re prepared to amplify your message to the employer. Thanks to you, we have a strong mandate to seek the following improvements at the bargaining table:

  1. Fair and Equitable Wages: We won’t beat around the bush—we’re seeking the wage increases all Sobeys members need
  2. Increased Workplace Flexibility: Sobeys workers need more flexibility around scheduling & vacations so they can achieve work-life balance
  3. Improving Store Culture: Members submitted several strong ideas and ways that your contract can help build a better workplace.  We’re looking to build more worker power on the shop floor

Stay tuned for more email updates! Also, check out our new UFCW 1518 Sobeys bargaining 2023 online resource hub — meet your committee members and stay connected to issues and news related to bargaining and grocery worker power.

We will keep you posted throughout the bargaining process on what is happening at the table and any actions that you can take to fight for a strong contract. But we need your help! If your coworkers aren’t getting our email updates or text messages, have them reach out to us at reception@ufcw1518.com with their full name, store number, employee ID number, email address, and cell phone number.
 
In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee:

Bob Milan – General Clerk – Kelowna/Interior – Grid A
Armin Reyes – Reline Crew – Provincial Wide – Grid A
Marlene White – All Purpose Clerk – Lower Mainland – Grid B
Angela Crosato – Cashier – Lower Mainland – Grid A
Peter Dombrowski – General Clerk – Fraser Valley – Grid A
Teresa-lyne Dziedzic – Pharmacy Assistant – Lower Mainland
Matt Rose – Baker – Kootenays – Grid A
Peter Dimond – General Clerk – Grid B – Prince Rupert/North 
Shiela Scarr – Cashier – Grid B – Cashier
 
UFCW 1518 Staff negotiator, Stephen Portman

Community Health Bargaining Update

Tentative Agreement Reached

We are pleased to announce that the Health Services & Support – Community Subsector Association (CBA), which includes UFCW 1518, reached a tentative agreement in the early hours of Sunday, January 15, 2023.

UFCW 1518 and the seven other unions included in this contract unanimously support the tentative agreement. We are encouraging all healthcare members to vote in favour of ratification of this contract, which will preserve your benefits, provide significant wage increases, and strengthen language protections.

In the coming days, we will share more details about the tentative agreement, information meetings that we will hold, and the voting process.

This has been a challenging round of bargaining, and we thank the membership for your continued support and engagement throughout the negotiations. You helped give our committee the clear message to keep fighting for a fair deal, which has led us to securing the best possible deal that we are proud to recommend.

If any of your coworkers are not receiving UFCW 1518 email updates now is the time to contact us! Please have them email reception@ufcw1518.com with their full name, employer, employee ID, and personal email address.

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Meet Your UFCW 1518 Bargaining Committee

On March 31 your collective agreement with Sobeys expires, which means that you and your coworkers have the chance to push for improvements to your working conditions. On January 24, you will send your bargaining committee to the negotiations table to start this process.

Please help us in welcoming your bargaining committee! On the team, we have:

Angela Crosato – Cashier – Lower Mainland – Grid A
Peter Dimond – General Clerk – Grid B – Prince Rupert/North 
Peter Dombrowski – General Clerk – Fraser Valley – Grid A 
Teresa-lyne Dziedzic – Pharmacy Assistant – Lower Mainland
Bob Milan – General Clerk – Kelowna/Interior – Grid A 
Armin Reyes – Reline Crew – Provincial Wide – Grid A
Matt Rose – Baker – Kootenays – Grid A 
Shiela Scarr – Cashier – Grid B – Cashier  
Marlene White – All Purpose Clerk – Lower Mainland – Grid B 

Their job is to take the responses that you provided in your monetary and non-monetary bargaining surveys and craft them into proposals for a new agreement. As your co-workers, these members will rely on you throughout bargaining as the people they’re representing! They cannot do this alone. They need your support and your input so they can best represent you in negotiations.

All of our committee members are Sobeys employees just like you, so they bring a wealth of frontline experience. They come from all over the province and can speak to a wide range of store-and-region-specific issues. Combined with the expertise of your staff negotiators Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne, they’re poised to push for an agreement that advances everyone’s well-being.

Your committee will also be assisted by UFCW 1518 Managing Director Brad Bastien, as well as Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson and me. 

Stay tuned to your emails and please do not hesitate to reach out to your bargaining team at any point during negotiations.

In solidarity,

Kim Novak
President, UFCW 1518

Unionized Pharmacy Workers to Receive Pay Increase

But the real cure for short-staffed counters is permanent wage increases

If we want to fix understaffing, we need fair wages for the important work Pharmacy Assistants and Registered Techs do everyday. After many discussions, UFCW 1518 and Sobeys have finally agreed to a $2/hr premium increase for ALL Sobeys Pharmacy members in BC.

“Competitive start rates are a good thing, don’t get me wrong,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak, “They can certainly attract more resumes, but alone, they don’t guarantee long-term stability—and they don’t recognize the hard work of ALL employees who are working hard every day. To combat turnover, companies must promise their employees a good future so that they stay. And that means fair increases for all employees.

Just as pharmacies will benefit from new staff, they also need seasoned staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge that they’ve built on the job.

During the pandemic, pharmacy assistants’ workload exploded, as the public rushed to get vaccines, leaving UFCW 1518 members who work behind the counter emotionally and physically burnt out.

The new temporary premium that UFCW 1518 negotiated is a good first step towards fairer pay for these highly specialized and educated members. All pharmacy assistants and regulated techs at Freshco/Chalo and Safeway stores are set to receive the $2/hr top-up starting January 1, for all work hours worked between that date and March 31, 2023.

“We are pleased to see that Sobeys has finally agreed to recognize ALL pharmacy members with this program—now we need to push for permanent increases for all employees at the bargaining table,” says Novak.

Bargaining is set to begin between UFCW 1518 and Sobeys later this month. All staff across departments—including the pharmacies—will band together to push for better working conditions and compensation. President Novak says that bargaining is the Pharmacy members’ big chance to make wage increases and other recruitment and retention initiatives permanent.

“This is where our members can win real and lasting protections,” says Novak. “I hope Sobeys sees that these efforts will ultimately benefit their customers, who depend heavily on our members for so many of their needs.”