July 09, 2020
Arbitrator Selects Employer Offer in Sobeys FOS- Update

On June 26th, Arbitrator John Hall heard argument from the Union and Sobeys on their Final Offer Selection positions. Prior to entering negotiations, we knew that many of the aspects of the Ready award would be difficult to avoid. On July 3rd he issued his decision in which he chose the proposal formulated by the Employer. It was a “bottom line” decision with reasons to follow and once we have those reasons, we will communicate them after reviewing with counsel.


There will be an Appendix A & B, breaking stores into two separate categories:

A Stores, stores that have been determined to be profitable. These stores will remain under the terms of the collective agreement.

B Stores, stores experiencing financial difficulties

  • Modified terms shall apply within 30 days of the date of the award and will be in place until a store maintains profitability for one year, when either party can apply to move the store to the terms outlined in Appendix A OR the expiration of the collective agreement.

  • ATO will be suspended. Full-time Grid A can opt for a 36-hour basic work week. The union interprets this as four nine-hour shifts. We are currently working on a protocol with the Company.

  • Part-time employees will be paid at the full-time rate of pay

This listing will be based on the Ready Award issued to Local 1518 and Sobeys. 

Third Party Kiosks 

Add a new Letter of Understanding to read as follows: 

The operation of third party kiosks, including, but not limited to, sushi kiosks, specialty/ethnic meats kiosks and Asian cuisine kiosks, may be carried out by third parties and persons excluded from the bargaining unit. However, the work performed by such persons shall be limited to the tasks pertaining to such kiosks.


Within six (6) months immediately preceding March 31, 2022, or any subsequent anniversary date thereafter, either party may give notice to the other party to negotiate changes to the current collective agreement applicable to Appendix A stores.

Wages and Classifications 

All active Grid B employees at twenty dollars ($20.00) or greater at time of payment shall receive the following off-scale increases: 

January 1, 2021- $0.35 per hour

January 1, 2022- $0.40 per hour

All active Grid B employees earning less than twenty dollars ($20.00) shall be placed at the next highest wage rate on the wage scale.

All active Grid A employees at top rate of pay at time of payment shall receive the following off-scale increases: 

January 1, 2021- $0.35 per hour

January 1, 2022- $0.40 per hour


Some Common Questions:

Will there be buyouts?

The union was more than aware in bargaining the importance for some members to leave with the same buyout as UFCW 1518 members.

The employer was less than enthusiastic about buyouts for any UFCW 247 members, Oriental Kitchen clerks, MDS clerks or Meat cutters. The employer indicated there was a hiring and retention problem in these departments for the company and there was especially no advantage in buying out meat cutters, then having to replace them with other meat cutters, so there were no realized cost savings for them.
The union made one final proposal for severances for members. The employer agreed to meet again through the mediation process and we were able to come to settlement terms and agree that although limited at this time there will be a minimum of 10 meat cutter severances and a minimum of 32 MDS severances offered in the province.

Full time and Part Time (Grid A) – three (3) weeks' pay per year of service to a maximum of $65,000 less statutory deductions. 

This settlement has no “bought hours” which was particularly important for job security and an access to hours by seniority for our members, however, there will be no promotions from Grid B to Grid A under the 75/25 until the end of the agreement.   

When will the employer offer these severances?

The settlement states that the employer will offer these severance/buyout offerings within 6 months of the completion of the reopener process and the FOS decision. We will communicate that specific date once we have agreed to it.

Will there be exclusions to the severance /buyout offer to UFCW 247 members like there were with UFCW 1518?

Yes, Meat Managers/Head Meat Cutters, Assistant Head Meat Cutters, Deli Managers, Assistant Deli Managers, Seafood Operators/Managers, Oriental Kitchen Operators and Oriental Kitchen Clerks will be ineligible to participate in the voluntary severance/buyout offering.

Aren’t the Safeway stores doing better now with all the COVID-19 Sales?

Certainly many of the stores have seen increased sales during the pandemic, however the test on profitability is still unclear. In fact, Local 1518 and Sobeys are headed to FOS on the issue of what determines a stores profitability. Any decision reached will have an impact on us as well. Certainly, with many stores doing better, we will be able to apply to have a B store returned to A status much sooner.

If I am in a “B” Store, when will my ATO be frozen? When do the other changes kick in? 

The language states that the implementation date is 30 days after the award, making it August 3rd. The first Sunday following the implementation date is when the suspension of ATO will occur. The first Sunday is August 9th. From this point going forward, you will not accumulate or be able to use your ATO hours. 

This is not a complete version of the memorandum. There are other changes to the Agreement either through the FOS award or ones that were negotiated that are part of the complete Memorandum of Settlement. We are working with the Company to finalize the language and will post/distribute it as soon as it is available. Union Reps are in the stores talking to members about the changes and we will be announcing a Town Hall Meeting for Safeway members shortly.  

A Stores

#4903/14 Sunshine Hills Delta

#4925/71 Quesnel

#4828/78 Prince Rupert

#4930/82 New Westminster Station

#4939/109 Ocean Park South Surrey

#4941/114 King Edward Vancouver

#4942/115 4th & Vine Vancouver

#4948/133 Nelson

#4952/144 Smithers

#4955/153 Penticton

#4967/191 Seafair Richmond

#4970/196 Castlegar

#4973/820 Fort St. John

Appendix B Stores 

Unless altered or modified by agreement of the parties within 30 days from the date of this award, the terms and conditions of this LOU are applicable to employees at stores operating at a loss, as per the End to End (“E2E”) Operating Profit and Loss (“P&L”) statements, as at Period 05 Fiscal 2019:

#4900/1 Surrey Central

#4901/2 West Broadway Vancouver

#4905/23 Westview North Vancouver

#4908/36 Robson Vancouver

#4909/38 Safeway Caulfield Village

#4911/42 Burnaby Heights

#4912/43 Langley Fraser Crossing

#4913/44 Kensington Burnaby

#4914/47 Peninsula Village South Surrey

#4916/56 Fortune Kamloops

#4917/58 McBride New Westminster

#4919/61 Vernon Square

#4920/62 Fleetwood Surrey

#4924/70 Trail

#4931/84 Collingwood Vancouver

#4936/93 Shaughnessy Port Coquitlam

#4940/110 Oakridge Vancouver

#4946/126 Terrace Shopping Centre

#4950/140 Lynn Valley North Vancouver

#4958/162 Parkgate Village North Vancouver

#4960/170 Downtown Kelowna

#4966/189 Broadway & Commercial Vancouver

#4968/193 Sardis Chilliwack

#4974/2271 Cranbrook Mall

#4976/60 Marpole Vancouver

#4980/76 Austin Heights

#4979/127 Arbutus Vancouver

#4998/90 English Bay Vancouver