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Why do I pay union dues?

UFCW Local 247 is a union, a not-for-profit organization that exists for the betterment of its members. Your dues pay for the costs of contract negotiations, servicing members, legal fees, organizing new members, education, and grievance processing, just to name a few.

Union members pay dues for the same reason that civic, cultural, business, and professional association members pay dues: It costs money to run an organization, and particularly in our case, it also costs money to defend the best interests of the members.

Initiation fee

New members pay a one-time initiation fee of $50, unless you have previously been a member of UFCW and paid an initiation fee at another UFCW Local. If that is the case, you may apply to Local 247 to be reimbursed for your initiation fee.

UFCW Local 247 Dues Structure

Members' dues are used to meet the needs of the union in providing services directly to members. UFCW Local 247 has two basic types of dues structures, and they are as follows:

Dues Structure A

  • $9.19 per week for less than 32 hours
  • $10.94 per week with 32 hours or more

Dues Structure B

One-half hourly rate of pay + $2.44 per week

Dues Structure A applies to members working for the following employers:

  • City Market (Park Royal)
  • Extra Foods (Grand Forks)
  • FG Deli Group
  • Fresh St. Market # 9 & #33
  • KUTE (Kitimat Recycling)
  • Loblaw Warehouses
  • No Frills
  • Sobeys Campbell Heights RSC
  • Superstore
  • Western Grocers
  • Wholesale Club.
  • YIG

Dues Structure B applies to members working for the following employers:

  • Aramark (Delta)
  • BC Tree Fruits
  • Centennial Foods
  • Extra Foods (Quesnel)
  • Five Corners Meat Company
  • IGA #49
  • Kootenay Market
  • Safeway (Sobeys)
  • Stong's
  • Swiss Water
  • Versacold

Members in some workplaces, for example Superstores/Loblaw, have voted to contribute to the UFCW's National Defence Fund (NDF). The NDF is a special fund designated solely to help contributing UFCW members across Canada who may be involved in labour disputes with their employer. Contribution rates vary from .50 cents to $1.00 per week.

Your Dues Dollars Buy A Lot!

The dues dollars collected are used to provide direct services to you and your co-workers:

  • Processing of grievances and arbitration;
  • Negotiation of Collective Agreements, including Pension and Dental Plans, RRSPs, and other benefits;
  • Access to occupational Health and Safety Specialists;
  • Assistance to members with WorkSafe BC Claims and Appeals;
  • Staff Union Representatives—your advocates who speak on your behalf;
  • Education Programs to train Shop Stewards, Health and Safety Committee members, and Union activists involved in collective bargaining;
  • Union offices located strategically across the province to ensure that members have efficient access to services.

Here are some of the examples of the work and services provided by the union on behalf of our members.

Workers Compensation (WorkSafe BC)
Union staff regularly assist members with WorkSafe BC Compensation matters, including Compensation Appeal hearings. All of this activity on behalf of UFCW Local 247 members generates well in excess of $1,000,000 each year for our members.

The Local 247 Education Centre in New Westminster provides FREE courses and seminars for members from around the province. The Education Centre is continually developing and expanding its program of educational opportunities for Local 247 members.

The Education Centre offers state-of-the-art resources including computer courses and Internet rooms, and provides skills training, union education, and community-based education and outreach.

With the success of UFCW’s webCampus free online computer courses, educational opportunities reach all members and their families throughout B.C.

Arbitrations/Legal Fees
In defending the rights of union members to be treated fairly, Union Representatives often consult or seek guidance from legal counsel to ensure we are achieving the best possible results for members when dealing with grievances and other day-to-day issues. Local 247 processes dozens of arbitration hearings for members each year, and covers all the costs, including legal fees for the Union’s lawyers to represent our members. Successful arbitrations put money directly in the pockets of our members, and even when they are unsuccessful, employers are put on notice that the union will defend its members.

Hundreds of grievances are processed by Local 247 Union Representatives and Shop Stewards each year. While these grievances are settled before the cost of arbitration, it is still an expensive process.

Contract negotiations are one of the union's core responsibilities, and with members from a variety of employers and workplaces, negotiations are an ongoing task for Local 247. The cost of winning good collective agreements is high, and it is not uncommon for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent each year directly on negotiations.

Workplace Servicing Calls
Local 247 Staff Union Representatives make workplace visits to members in all of our locations throughout the province of British Columbia. These services help provide Local 247 members with the security and protection they are entitled to receive.

It pays to belong to Local 247!
Your union dues are tax deductible. Aside from this advantage, national studies of compensation (wage and benefit costs combined), show that the average union member earns 26-30 percent more than the average non-union worker in Canada. The services outlined provide you with an overview of how your dues dollars are spent. Local 247 members receive valuable direct and indirect services from highly skilled, experienced, and professional staff. Local 247 is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our members in the most cost-effective way possible.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com