In a ruling published yesterday, Arbitrator Chris Sullivan sided with UFCW 1518 in removing Save-On-Foods 2219 (former IGA – Main St.) from quarterly review and restoring the full terms of the collective agreement.
The decision includes the return to full- and part-time rates of pay for Grid A employees, the restoration of accumulated time off (ATO), 2017 and 2018 wage increases, the removal of vendor stocking as well as the removal of weekly maximization to the 15 percent of the bottom of the schedule. Additionally, all job posting and key personnel provisions have been returned to the full terms of the agreement.
“This is a major win for our members,” said Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak. “They helped the store get back on track financially, went through the difficulty of quarterly review and now they’ve been returned to the full terms of the collective agreement, including the return of ATO, wage increases and all other terms.”
Overwaitea Food Group bought the struggling IGA in April 2016 and invoked the quarterly review language in order to improve the store’s financial viability. Quarterly review is a process under the collective agreement that allows the employer to ask for temporary concessions in order to prevent store closures. In February 2017, the Quarterly Review Committee, which consists of members elected from the store, agreed to accept temporary concessions. Importantly, the agreement contained a wage increase, which members at that store hadn’t seen in five years. But it also froze wages and suspended ATO entitlements until the store reached the target of improved financial performance. This followed months of discussion and an examination of the financial records disclosed by the employer.
“The quarterly review process is often a long one – it takes time to turn a store around. But our members persevered and our committee never stopped fighting. We’re going to continue to fight for all of our members at stores that remain on quarterly review,” Novak added. “I want to thank the leadership of union representative Fred Scott, as well as the hard work of the Quarterly Review Committee, including members Tom Szabo, Melissa Fierro, and Tammy Robinson throughout this process.”