The explanation of tentative agreement meetings have all taken place this week via telephone town hall, as scheduled. We want to thank the many members who took the time to participate and ask questions. It’s important that members understand what the negotiated changes mean, how the committee achieved such improvements during negotiations with the Company and why it’s been recommended that the offer is accepted.
The highlights of this final offer of settlement include:
-Elimination of the 75/25 ratio (by far our number one issue going into bargaining).
-Recognition for the people “frozen” at the top of the former trainee scale with potentially larger increases.
-Greater flexibility for members in declaring availability.
-More time off between shifts; an option for members.
-2-week schedules for all.
-112 full time jobs created, including some that are front-end specific.
-No lump sums for food specialists.
-Ability for all members to access more hours through “shift marketplace”.
-Four-day work trial for night crew members.
-Creation of new scale that encompasses Trainees, GM scales and Pharmacy Clerks.
-Ability for part-time members to add, drop and switch shifts with greater ease.
-Access to additional hours through cross-training, as an option for members.
-Personal assurance of full time renewed.
-Expanded access to water.
-Greater opportunity for extended leaves of absence.
-A set seniority date, eliminating the need for seniority credits and ensuring your place regardless of whether you participate in cross-training or shift marketplace.
-Receive your vacation pay as you earn it, for part time employees.
-Option for available anytime members to block time on weekends.
-More chances to change your availability and not making them date specific.
Many member questions were answered during and after the explanation meetings; these are just some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received this week:
What does it mean to eliminate the 75/25 ratio?
With the high percentage of specialists in stores, very few trainees ever get the opportunity to move onto the specialist scale. By removing the 75/25 language and bringing in the new scale, over 6,500 members can now access higher rates immediately, which progress to $20/hr.
There are various options should the offer be rejected by the membership. The employer may choose to return to the table or may emphasize that this was their best and final offer. We will then be forced to take strike votes to try and get them to return to the table. There is also an option that one of the parties may apply for mediation.
If we vote NO, are we ready to strike, if need be?
Absolutely. We will 100% support any decision our members make. We have a picket captain module in place, we will distribute strike information prior to the strike vote and have already been in contact with the UFCW Canada National Defence Fund to assist us, should we require it. Members will be aware of the picketing requirements prior to the actual vote.
If something is not in the Memorandum of Settlement, does that mean we lost it?
No, there are many areas of the collective agreement we didn’t change during bargaining. Existing articles that were not included in the memorandum of settlement are simply “transferred over” to the new collective agreement once it’s ratified. The memorandum of settlement only contains articles that were changed, amended, added or deleted.
Where are some of the other things we wanted and asked for?
We went into these negotiations with a large list of proposals, most of which were monetary or carried a cost. On some of these items, no matter how hard we pushed or argued for it, the position of the Company was that they saw no value to it and that they were not interested. You have to make tough decisions as a committee on where you want the money spent and we focused on areas that provided the greatest impact for the most members.
President Dan Goodman and your servicing union representatives will continue to be available to answer all your bargaining questions until the last day of voting. Members are asked to contact their union representative directly if they have additional questions or need clarification on anything that’s been presented. Alternatively, members can call the union office at 604.535.8329 or 1.800.667.2205, follow the prompts and leave a message for a call back on the dedicated memorandum-specific question line.
In-person voting starts this Sunday April 24, with many locations across the province. Members are reminded that it’s important that your voice is heard; urge your co-workers to join you and come out to vote on the renewal of your collective agreement. The outcome will be determined by the majority of those who vote. Please remember that picture ID is required in order to receive a ballot.
-Chilliwack: Hampton Inn, 8050 Lickman Rd, Chilliwack
-Courtenay: Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay
-Prince George: Prestige Treasure Cove Resort, 2005 Highway 97 South, Prince George
-Port Coquitlam: Poco Inn & Suites, 1545 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam
-Vernon: Prestige Hotel, 4411 32 Street, Vernon
-Victoria: Holiday Inn, 318 Wale Road, Colwood
Monday April 25 8am-8pm closed 12-1pm
-Campbell River: Comfort Inn & Suites, 1351 Shoppers Row, Campbell River
-Cranbrook: Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, 209 Van Horne St South, Cranbrook
-Duncan: Ramada Duncan,140 TransCanada Hwy, Duncan
-Kelowna: Fairfield Inn,1655 Powick Rd, Kelowna
-North Vancouver: Holiday Inn, 700 Old Lillooet Road, North Vancouver
-Surrey: Sheraton Guildford, 15269 104th Avenue, Surrey
Tuesday April 26 8am-8pm closed 12-1pm
-Abbotsford: Best Western Plus Regency Inn, 32110 Marshall Road, Abbotsford
-Burnaby: Delta Hotel Burnaby Conference Centre, 4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby
-Kamloops: Ramada by Wyndham, 555 West Columbia St, Kamloops
-Nanaimo: Grand Hotel, 4898 Rutherford Rd, Nanaimo
-Penticton: Penticton Lakeside Resort, 21 Lakeshore Dr W, Penticton