April 5, 2017 - CVS Negotiations Update
Your Union and CVS had our first bargaining session for your new contract on April 5, 2017. At this meeting your Union presented proposals to improve your contract. These proposals focused on the issues most important to you – affordable and accessible health care, living wages and sufficient hours.
CVS members returned thousands of contract questionnaires and the message is clear: the cost of living in Southern CA has risen considerably but wages have not kept up. Affordable and accessible health care for you and your families is critical, as is a schedule that allows you to make a living while also taking care of personal obligations.
We have several more bargaining sessions scheduled between now and early June. Negotiations can be a long and tough process. The outcome depends on the strength and solidarity of the membership. We will continue to update you on our progress. During this time we urge everyone to remain strong and STAND TOGETHER.
April 1, 2017 - CVS Negotiations Update
Over 1,000 CVS members have completed their contract survey. The results show that the most important issues are wage increases and health care benefits. The "B" stores are particularly concerned about the high cost of their health benefits and the strict eligibility requirements. Other major concerns include: retirement benefits, respect on the job, insufficient staffing, scheduling practices and hours.
The Southern California UFCW Locals will be meeting with CVS next week to begin negotiations.
Please contact your Union Representative if you have questions.
Negotiations: Successes in 2016 and Challenges Ahead in 2017
In 2017, we will have to tackle a number of challenging negotiations as well:
- The Food 4 Less Agreement covering close to 3,000 Local 770 members as well as members of other UFCW Locals throughout Southern California expires June 4, 2017. In 2014, we learned that the Kroger Company, owner of both Food 4 Less and Ralphs, is not always willing to follow the pattern set in the Master Food Agreement. If that happens again in 2017, we are prepared to mobilize an aggressive contract campaign to improve the livelihoods of our Food 4 Less members.
- The CVS Agreement covering both Clerks and Pharmacists expires June 30, 2017. For the Clerks, this will be our first opportunity to negotiate a new contract since we organized hundreds of new stores in Southern California. Wages that keep pace with the increasing minimum wage in California and some municipalities as well as affordable health care in our newly organized “B” stores will be our priorities. These goals may also require an aggressive contract campaign and significant membership involvement.
We also have a number of packinghouse agreements set to expire this year:
- The Cenveo/Nashua Agreement covering a small group of paper processing and printing members expires April 1, 2017.
- The Goldberg & Solovy Meat Agreement and Poultry Agreement expire April 24, 2017.
- The Overhill Agreement covering several hundred food processing members expires September 15, 2017. These negotiations could present new challenges as well because this Company was recently purchased by CP Foods, a large food conglomerate from Thailand,
- The Roger’s Poultry Agreement covering about 100 members also expires later this year on October 1, 2017.
We have a number of challenges ahead in 2017 but we can succeed by preparing for negotiations early and planning aggressive contract campaigns with significant member involvement. If the members stand together, they can achieve successful contracts that protect their livelihoods.
In 2016, we were successful in negotiating some very important contracts:
- Master Food Agreement covering Albertsons/Vons and Ralphs – Ratified on August 8, 2016, this new 3-year agreement protected the members’ health care and retirement benefits while providing substantial wage increases to both senior and newer members. In addition, this Agreement provides a full week’s notice of the work schedule – a substantial improvement over the three days notice required in the expired Agreement.
- Gelsons, Stater Brothers, Red Shell, Vicente Foods – Once the Master Food Agreement was settled, these other grocery store Agreements were also settled with substantially similar wage and benefit packages.
- Super A - Super A members also ratified a new 3-year agreement that protects health care and retirement benefits and provides substantial wage increases. Unfortunately, Super A is the only remaining independent chain operating in areas of the city where their competition is mostly non-union. As a result, the union had to make some compromises to reduce some operating costs on Sundays to make sure that Super A remains in business.
- Food Pharmacy Agreement covering Pharmacists in Grocery Stores – Ratified in October 2016 after a long struggle, this Agreement also protects the Pharmacists’ health care and pension benefits, provides wage increases, including a retroactive wage increase of $2.00 per hour, and increases scheduling notice to a full week.
- Farmer John Agreement – Ratified on August 17, 2016, this historic 2-year Agreement brings union solidarity, strength and fairness back to Farmer John workers after struggling for years under a system where workers could receive union representation without paying their fair share. This Agreement provides significant pay increases to most classifications while also guaranteeing workers the fundamental right to use the restroom when needed, restoring the use of frozen sick leave banks, and strengthening worker involvement in the health and safety committee.
- Baker Commodities Agreement – Ratified in October 2016, this 3-year Agreement protects current health care benefits, improves pension benefits, and provides increases of at least 3% each year of the Agreement for all classifications. In addition, the Company agreed to a new boot allowance and faster accrual of vacation for new employees.
Click here to see past updates