Save-On-Foods Bargaining Update Feb. 17

Progress Report

We write to update you on our most recent round of bargaining dates, which happened this past week with your Bargaining Committee on February 14 and 16.

Our focus is still on non-monetary issues, including language clarification, scheduling proposals, transferability (movement between locations) and preliminary discussions on unionized-management structure. We have made good progress to date and our focus on the items we have agreed to and those we are still working on is to make the language clearer and worker friendly.  

We’ll continue to push for more non-monetary improvements when we return to the bargaining table, based on the feedback that members provided in the bargaining surveys, focus groups and conversations with us.

Your Union is committed to renewing your collective agreement as quickly as possible. The earliest next dates we were able to secure are March 21 – 23 and we are awaiting confirmation from the employer on several more dates that we are available.  We will continue to keep you updated as bargaining progresses and more dates are confirmed, the contract expires March 31 2023, but the current terms will stay in effect while we continue negotiating. 

As mentioned in our last bargaining update, we need each and every member to be a part of this process. Updates on bargaining and other information can be found on our bargaining information hub.

Want to tell us why Bargaining at Save-On matters to you and have your quote featured on the information hub and social media? Send it to reception@ufcw1518.com 

Please take a minute to share this email with your co-workers and if they are not receiving emails from the union, they can reach out to update their information by sending there name, email and store number to reception@ufcw1518.com 

In Solidarity,

The Save-On-Foods Bargaining Committee

Jaime Emerson – Abbotsford – Pharmacy Assistant

Jimbo Grant  – Maple Ridge  – Cross Classified 

Dave Diamond  – Kelowna – Cross Classified 

Erica Jones  – Pitt Meadows – Cross Classified  

Josephine Bustin  – Tsawwassen – Post-2013 Dept Manager and former Restaurant 

Chris Holowka – Prince George – Cross Classified 

Anita Letendre – North Van – Cross Classified 

Marylou Fonda – Ft St James – Cross Classified 

Joel Simmons – Nanaimo – Post 2013 Dept Manager

Katie Guerin – Kamloops – Cross Classified 

David Gutierrez – Surrey – Cross Classified 

 (liaison to the committee for Pharmacy discussions) Cheryl Vincenzi – Central Fill 

  UFCW 1518 Staff negotiators: Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne

Community Social Services Bargaining Update

Tentative agreement reached

As you probably know, your Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA) — which includes UFCW 1518 — came to a tentative agreement with the employer’s association. You can now review your tentative agreement here:

The wage increases and workplace improvements that we negotiated in this agreement are all thanks to you and your coworkers, who showed us endless support throughout bargaining. Soon it will be time to cast a ratification vote so we need to keep up the momentum. All of the unions in the CSSBA support a YES vote in favour of ratification.

UFCW 1518 is hosting two online information sessions on Wednesday, February 22 from 10-11 am PDT & 5-6 pm PDT. Register now to speak with your UFCW 1518 negotiator Ed Cabral and staff representative Terry Meyer and ask any questions you have about the agreement or voting.

Agreement Highlights

Here’s a recap of some high-priority contract improvements that we achieved in this round of bargaining:

  • Low-wage redress increases, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022
  • $0.25/hour increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022
  • 3.24% increase to all wage grids, retroactive for all employees past and present to April 1, 2022
  • At least a 5.5% general wage increase, effective first pay period after April 1, 2023
  • At least a 2% general wage increase, effective first pay period after April 1, 2024
  • Additional wage comparability increases for all classifications
  • Increase to transportation allowance, effective date of ratification
  • 100% paid sick leave, effective April 1, 2024
  • Improvements to health and welfare benefits, leave provisions, safety and health, layoff and recall, bullying and harassment language.

Voting Process

Voting for UFCW 1518 members opens on Thursday February 23 at 11 am PDT and closes Tuesday February 28 at 11 am PDT. UFCW 1518 will send you an email at this time with your voting credentials. Voting will be done online, so if you know of any coworkers who are not receiving bargaining updates from the union, please encourage them to contact reception@ufcw1518.com with their full name, employee number, worksite name and employer. The more of your coworkers who get involved and vote, the more your own vote will count.

Because there are multiple unions in the CSSBA, we will announce the results of the ratification vote on March 29, after everyone has had a chance to cast their digital ballot.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and resolve. Stay tuned for another in-depth, easy-to-understand summary of the tentative agreement, so that you can make an informed vote.

In solidarity,
 

UFCW 1518 Staff Negotiator Ed Cabral

Save-On-Foods Bargaining Update Feb. 13

Non-Monetary Proposals Exchanged

We are pleased to report that bargaining is well underway. Your Bargaining Committee continued negotiations last week, meeting with your Employer for three days, between February 8 and 10. We’ve now completed the initial exchange of proposals and are working through the non-monetary phase of the process.

Both sides are reviewing each other’s proposals and will present responses next week when we meet to continue bargaining on February 14 and 16.

Our goal in this early phase of negotiations is to improve retention by modifying the existing language in the collective agreement while making gains on flexibility and work-life balance provisions.

For more information on our bargaining priorities you can check out the Save-On-Foods negotiation information page here.

We know how important this contract renewal is for each and everyone of you. We understand the pressure that you and your loved ones face from crushing costs and high inflation. That is why we are pulling out all the stops to negotiate a fair contract that helps ease today’s burdens and secures gains for the future.

What we need right now to build momentum is your support in engaging the membership. 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.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak on Tiktok @kimenovak
If you are a Shop Steward, please consider printing this update off and posting it to your union board! The more workers who engage in the bargaining process the better chance we have of securing an agreement that reflects everyone’s needs and voice.

In Solidarity,

The Bargaining Committee:

Jaime Emerson – Abbotsford – Pharmacy Assistant
Jimbo Grant  – Maple Ridge  – Cross Classified 
Dave Diamond  – Kelowna – Cross Classified 
Erica Jones  – Pitt Meadows – Cross Classified  
Josephine Bustin  – Tsawwassen – Post-2013 Dept Manager and former Restaurant 
Chris Holowka – Prince George – Cross Classified 
Anita Letendre – North Van – Cross Classified 
Marylou Fonda – Ft St James – Cross Classified 
Joel Simmons – Nanaimo – Post 2013 Dept Manager
Katie Guerin – Kamloops – Cross Classified 
David Gutierrez – Surrey – Cross Classified 
(liaison to the committee for Pharmacy discussions) Cheryl Vincenzi – Central Fill 

Your UFCW 1518 Staff negotiators: Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne

Workers Improve Bag Check Policy at Sephora

New Policy Implemented Nationwide

Thanks to workers at the only unionized Sephora in North America, the company has announced that it is adopting a new, more worker-friendly, nationwide bag-check policy, replacing their notoriously unpopular practice that many Sephora workers have spoken out against.

After every shift, Sephora workers are required to go through a bag check before they leave the store. The new policy states that the employer must pay them for the entire time it takes management to check their bags, including wait times. The policy change comes after workers at the Kamloops store spoke out with their union, UFCW 1518, and asked for paid bag checks during negotiations with Sephora. Tomorrow (Feb. 9) the new policy kicks in at the Kamloops location.

“We’re very proud of our members for voicing their concern,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak, “As their union, we’ve heard from our members of situations where they were waiting up to 30 minutes for a bag check after they had clocked out. They weren’t getting paid for this time, even though they were still on the employer’s watch. It was unfair, and we’re glad to see that Sephora is taking steps to build a more respectful workplace.”

Employees at the Kamloops Sephora unionized with UFCW 1518 back in the summer of 2022. They entered bargaining to secure their first collective agreement shortly after joining the union and are still in negotiations.

“We have no doubt that the improved bag check policy is the result of our members unionizing and raising their voices,” says Novak, who adds that this win has been a real morale boost for the members, who are fighting hard to win more respect, equity and better compensation at the bargaining table.

“Our goal is to reach a great contract, but the beauty of joining a union is that your power doesn’t end at the bargaining table, and our Sephora members proved that,” Novak explains. ” Unpaid bag checks are a big point of contention at lots of Sephora stores. Now, because our members pushed back, there’s a new policy that will benefit Sephora employees everywhere in Canada, not just Kamloops. It’s amazing!”

UFCW 1518 represents thousands of workers in BC’s retail sector. If you are a retail worker that is not being paid for bag checks, reach out to the union at ufcw1518.com/join.

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For more information, please contact:

communications@ufcw1518.com

Sept. 30 to Become a Stat Holiday in BC

UFCW 1518 Indigenous Committee Pushes for Justice and Wins

For over a year now UFCW 1518 members Marylou Fonda, Christine Holowka, Anita Letendre, Raven Morningstar, and Laurie Simon have been using their union power to fight for real provincial recognition of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.

Yesterday, BC’s provincial government recognized their advocacy for justice and announced plans to table legislation that will make Sept. 30 a paid, statutory holiday for all workers. This means that if the legislation is passed, Sept. 30 will be a paid, statutory holiday for all of our members, most of whom work in the private sector.

Indigenous communities and activists — including UFCW 1518 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit members — made this reconciliatory step happen. They had to raise their voices and share their stories, and UFCW 1518 wants to recognize them for their strength and their vulnerability. Today’s news, while good, will re-open wounds for many Indigenous Communities, reinforcing the need for a day where all Indigenous workers can take time to grieve, to be with loved ones, and to heal.

The UFCW 1518 Indigenous Committee led a strong, resilient and passionate campaign to make Call-To-Action 80 (of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission) a reality. They wrote to MLAs, BC’s Premiers (former and present), The Yukon’s former premier, and allies. They published a petition, which members across the province supported, and they raised awareness about the atrocities of Canada’s genocidal Residential “School” system. They’ve expanded support for Indigenous rights in their workplaces, and they’ve met with politicians to push for justice.

Today, we celebrate them as a union for their hard work, and the support and solidarity of all our members and allies, and we recommit to supporting the Committee in their efforts to re-Indigenous BC’s lands and workplaces. No one’s healing journey looks the same, and a single statutory holiday is not a salve for the wounds caused by colonization, but it is one critical step towards a more unified and fair province.

To learn more about the origins of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation read our story about Orange Shirt Day.

Want to support an Indigenous organization today? Donate to the Residential School Survivors Society.

Baristas & Bakers at “Grounds for Coffee” Unionize with UFCW 1518 

Positive change is brewing at Vancouver’s own Grounds For Coffee, where staff have joined forces across two locations and organized with UFCW 1518.

“We are very excited to welcome the newest members of our union from Grounds for Coffee,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “They were clear and focused on why they wanted to join a union—stronger workplace protections and recognition for the work they do.” 

One of the staff’s main motivations for joining UFCW 1518 was to win real health & safety protections. The Alma St. Location functions as both a café and production centre, where staff make the pizza dough and cinnamon buns that launched Grounds for Coffee into local stardom. The production centre requires using specialized skills and equipment, for which staff want to get appropriate training and improved procedures so that they can do the job safely. 

“We realized we were working really hard for below industry standard wages, under less than ideal working conditions,” says one worker. “We’re also constantly short-staffed, so taking sick days or general time off becomes really hard to do, often because of how our shifts are booked…if any one person drops out, it makes hell for whoever is left over that day.” 

High turnover is a problem at the cafés, and the new UFCW 1518 members are determined to better their working conditions and improve workloads by prioritizing recruitment and retention. This initiative will include pushing for wage increases, but ultimately, it’s the staff’s commitment to respect and fairness that will win them a strong contract. The workers united on these two fronts, despite differences between the Commercial Drive and Alma St. locations.

At the Commercial Drive Grounds for Coffee, for instance, staff earn slightly more money on average than their Alma coworkers because a larger portion of their work is front-of-house, which is where the tips are made. But that didn’t stop them from showing solidarity with their sister location.

“These progressive workers, many of them young workers, are committed to building a stronger workplace for themselves and their coworkers,” says Novak. “And as their union, we are looking forward to working with them to do just that by amplifying their voices in the workplace to address concerns, make improvements and help build a better workplace for our members working there now and in the future,” says Novak. 

UFCW 1518 comprises tens of thousands of workers in BC’s retail sector. The Grounds for Coffee workers join Matchstick staff in the fight to improve morale and working conditions in BC’s cafes. If you are a cafe worker and would like to join a union, check out ufcw1518.com/join.

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Progress made on non-monetary issues

This week, we completed our second round of negotiations with Sobeys between January 30 and February 3rd. We are making progress and working through the membership’s non-monetary proposals. These are proposals dealing with scheduling, leaves, staffing levels, and similar elements of your contract.

In the bargaining surveys, you spelled out just how important flexibility is to ensure a work-life balance. We all need and deserve time to be with our friends and loved ones. Your Bargaining Committee worked hard on making improvements to store culture and working conditions during this week’s negotiations. We believe we have made significant progress and we hope this continues. 

Trust that your committee remains committed to negotiating contract improvements for the Safeway membership. 

Our next confirmed set of bargaining dates are February 21–24.

It is important for each and every member to be a part of this process. Please take a minute to share this email with your co-workers. If they are not receiving emails from the union, they can reach out to reception@ufcw1518.com with their full name, store name and number, employee ID, email address, and cell phone number.

Updates on bargaining can be found on our Sobeys Bargaining Page.

In solidarity,
The Sobeys Bargaining Committee:

Angela Crosato, Sobeys 4908, Vancouver
Peter Dimond, Sobeys 4928, Prince Rupert
Peter Dombrowski, Sobeys 4920, Surrey
Teresa-Lyne Dziedzic, Sobeys 4920, Surrey
Robert Milan, Sobeys 4960, Kelowna
Armin Reyes, Sobeys 4996 Reline Crew
Matt Rose, Sobeys 4974, Cranbrook
Marlene White, Sobeys 4977, Coquitlam
Shiela Scarr, Sobeys 4912, Langley

& UFCW 1518 Lead Negotiator:
Stephen Portman