Members knowing their rights and uniting to enforce the contract makes us strong. When we enforce the contract, we ensure our workplace is fair and safe for everyone, not just corporations.
The grocery contract ratified in October includes new language to improve the lives of members. Nutrition Center employees will be moved up to grocery wages as the nutrition departments are phased out, all members have a 20-hour minimum guarantee, and job postings must now account for seniority. In addition to this and routine contract enforcement, we’re still ensuring everyone has received their retro pay. That can be a heavy lift, but by working together we’re sure to triumph.
Members in the Nutrition Center have been doing the same work as members in Grocery for years. That is why we’re so thrilled members in the Nutrition Center are finally going to be paid the Grocery wages they deserve. For many members this amounts to dollar-plus raises! Members formally in Nutrition should check their paychecks to be sure they’re paid at the right rate once they’re moved over.
Higher wages only mean so much when hours are hard to come by. Our new contract includes a minimum hours guarantee, ensuring part-time employees with open availability are scheduled a minimum 20 hours a week after they complete their probationary period. Anyone who is not getting at least the minimum hours required needs to reach out to their rep as soon as their schedule is posted; there is a short window for correcting schedules.
Job openings will now be filled by the most senior applicant so long as qualifications, skills, and abilities are equal. Members who want to change departments or apply for promotions will no longer be rejected in favor of someone off the street with no experience.
Some employers are still making excuses for why they haven’t paid out retro checks. Reps have been doing a fantastic job filing grievances on behalf of these members. Eligible journeypersons still waiting on their retro check need to reach out to their rep.
Contracts are only as strong as the people who enforce them and we’re stronger united. Again, anyone concerned that their employer is not complying with the contract should reach out to their rep. Your rep is a contract expert and will know all the criteria of each policy. They can explain why your situation is or is not a contract violation, and what can be done. Together we can enforce the contract, and enforce fairness.
-Lisa Loucks, Grievance Director