PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 19, 2014

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Sobeys Announces Payroll Changes

Sobeys served written notification today to all of our members regarding their intent to change the payroll system from a weekly to bi-weekly deposit once every 2 weeks.

Sobeys stated in the notice that they intend to conduct the change over starting with 2 pilot stores as early as July 13th, with the first 2 week deposit made on July 31st, 2014; and then in groups of stores in the months after. The pilot stores and other stores to follow on the changeover have not yet been made known.

UFCW Local 247 President Suzanne Hodge stated that a grievance has been filed on behalf of all of our members as this is a violation of article 6.12 of the Collective Agreement. In addition the matter has been referred to the Locals legal counsel for further analysis, with the option of pursuing this matter to arbitration. There will be further discussions with Sobeys in order to attempt to lessen the impact on our members as it is more than likely that a number of stores will be changed to the bi-weekly pay roll system before this case can be heard. We will explore all possible options prior to the changeover, but regardless we will make every effort to have this matter heard and resolved in an expedited manner. We are well aware that this change will be disruptive to our members.

In the mean time we offer some suggestions that may be of practical assistance to you prior to the transition of your store. This is not in any way an acceptance of the proposed bi-weekly pay.

The transition from weekly pay to bi-weekly means that for a 1 week period after your last weekly deposit you would not receive a payroll deposit. The following week you would receive 2 weeks pay and every second week after that.

If you have fixed weekly payments such as a mortgage or any fixed payment, or a normal bill with payment due in the 1 week that you are not receiving a payroll deposit there are several options to consider in order to bridge the 1 week of transition.

  1. If your situation allows, you could float yourself a loan for one week in the amount of your fixed weekly payments or bill/credit card amount due in the week of transition from a line of credit or overdraft. Repay that amount back to your overdraft or your line of credit the following week when you receive your payroll deposit of 2 weeks pay. The interest for 1 week should be very nominal from a line of credit or an overdraft and occurs only once in the 1 week of transition between weekly and bi-weekly pay.
  2. Speak to your bank directly and ask what impact if any there would be in delaying your fixed weekly payment by 1 week to your first week of bi-weekly pay. This would occur only once.
  3. Credit card bills must be paid before the due date or interest will apply for the full statement amount and any outstanding amount from previous statements. Those payments should not be delayed and could also be covered for the 1 week of transition from a line of credit or overdraft. Check directly with your credit company regarding their rules or any interest free periods of grace.
  4. Non-fixed monthly payments not due in the 1 week of the payroll transition should be moved to another week for payment. These are usually payments that you control through your online banking and are not payments that are direct debited from your account.
  5. Your income tax deducted should not vary other than it will be in the amount of 2 weeks deduction on 2 weeks pay. It is not an increase in your weekly income so your tax bracket does not change. All other deductions would also be double the weekly amount on 2 weeks of pay.
  6. All members employed at Safeway are entitled to the EAP (Employee Assistance Program). There are programs available that may be of assistance to you at this time.
    The phone number is: 1.800.387.4765 or TTY: 1.877.338.0275

We will continue to update you as the information becomes available regarding which stores will be done first. Your representatives are available to deal with any additional questions you may have.

Dave Baillie, Northern Region

Nora Butz, Vancouver Island

Elisca Long, Okanagan

Cathy Shannon & Bruce Jackson, Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com