Sobeys Bargaining Update March 10

Improving Pharmacy & Expanding Store Outreach

Between March 7 and 10, we completed another round of negotiations with Sobeys. Talks were productive, bringing us closer to completing the non-monetary phase of the bargaining process.

Special Focus – Pharmacy

Two full days of bargaining were dedicated to Pharmacy conversations. The Employer’s spokespeople for these talks included Chris Heitland, Director of Pharmacy Operations; Krystle Pitz, Director of Human Resources; and Michelle Harrison, Pharmacy District Manager.

In addition to Pharmacy Assistant Theresa-Lynn Dziedzic (Store #4920), who sits on the Union’s Bargaining Committee, we welcomed two additional pharmacy representatives to the table: Suzanne Auer, Pharmacy Assistant (FreshCo # 4256) and Irelda Mendoza – Pharmacy Assistant (Safeway 4905). 

All of our Pharmacy members brought their voices, and amplified the voices and experiences of their co-workers from across the province, to assist with negotiating improvements to protections that matter most to pharmacy members.

Having a special focus on Pharmacy with representatives from the employer side and union side facilitated a thoughtful and constructive conversation that we believe led to positive tentative outcomes for Pharmacy members.

Site Visits

On March 7 and 8, those committee members who were not directly involved in the Pharmacy talks toured stores across the lower mainland. This was an opportunity for the bargaining committee to hear directly from you on bargaining priorities. We will continue doing outreach across the province, including the regions outside of the lower mainland, in the weeks ahead. Keep an eye out — we have solidarity buttons and information for anyone wants to get more informed and involved!

Moving Forward

On March 9, the Employer bargaining committees was joined by Andrew Folwell, Sobey’s Vice President of Labour Relations, who provided a high level overview of the Company’s plans and approach to future development of labour relations in BC and across the country.

We will continue negotiations next week with talks scheduled between March 13 and March 17 and will provide another update at the end of next week.

Updates on bargaining and other information can be found on our bargaining information hub.

Check your in-store Union Board for updates and a scannable QR code that will also take you to the information hub.Want to tell us why Bargaining at Safeway 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. If they are not receiving emails from the union, they can reach out to update their information by sending their name, email and store number to reception@ufcw1518.com.

In solidarity,

Angela Crosato, Sobeys 4908, Vancouver
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 Staff Negotiators:
Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne

UFCW 1518 Community Health Workers Ratify Historic Contract

14–16% wage increases, protections against violence, and more

Over 3,000 members of the UFCW 1518 Community Health sector, who provide home care to vulnerable people across British Columbia, are celebrating today after ratifying an historic collective agreement. The new contract will benefit Community Health workers and their clients now and into the future, bringing needed stability into the sector.

The agreement covers Community Health Care workers in eight different unions, including UFCW 1518. Collectively, they comprise the Community Bargaining Association (CBA), whose resolve at the bargaining table has resulted in some of the highest wage increases that community health workers have ever received in the CBA’s history.

UFCW 1518 Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson says that it’s about time. “Our members and other Community Health workers are finally getting the respect and recognition they need and deserve. These significant wage increases are overdue and were desperately needed for these folks who work every day to keep our health care system afloat.”

Over 94% of CBA members voted in favour of the new three-year collective agreement.

Improvements to wages and benefits structure

The new agreement will help bridge the gap that’s been widening between these workers and their counterparts in facilities. Not only does it include, on average, a 14–16% wage increase for all members over three years, but there are also improved premiums for weekends and evenings and guaranteed-hours positions.

The deal also features a significant funding commitment from the government to ensure the long-term viability of the CBA members’ Health Benefits Trust, which features a new and improved funding structure.

“Our members’ jobs are physically and mentally draining enough without the added worry that their benefits could be in danger,” says Johnson. “With this deal, they don’t have to worry—their benefits are secure.”

Much of the stress frontline workers in Community Health Care experience stems from chronic understaffing and intense workloads. The new collective agreement seeks to resolve this serious issue by prioritizing retention and recruitment of talent through improvements to monetary and non-monetary conditions.

From avenues for addressing crushing workload to protections against workplace violence, the new contract is making Community Health and Home Support jobs more attractive, respectful and safe. And Johnson says that this is good news for all parts of the public care system.

“By doing consistent house visits and providing mobility exercises, home care workers like our members prevent overcrowding in emergency rooms and continuing-care centres,” says Johnson, “Their jobs are critical, so when they have the resources that they need to provide quality support and when we have a robust community care system in place, everyone benefits.”