After almost 8 months of bargaining, a tentative agreement has been reached with ARGA. Our bargaining committee worked long and hard on complex issues. This tentative agreement has the unanimous recommendation of our rank and file committee to accept the agreement. Specific language is being written. All agreed upon language changes will be made public and in our members' hands before any vote will take place. No date for ratification has been set, but we are hoping to be able to vote early in October. I wish to thank the bargaining committee and northern division staff for all their hard work in achieving this recommended agreement.
09/10/2014 On Tuesday, September 9 our major retail bargaining committee met with employer representatives from corporate Cub, Kowalski's, Jerry's, Lunds/Byerly's and Festival. During the day we once again reviewed potential changes to our health fund. This has been a very long and difficult process for our committee as we review fund costs and revenue along with the potential for additional revenue that will be needed. Our committee approved a union proposal that included new fund revenue from both the employer and eligible plan participants. Tied to this was a significant wage increase proposal over a 3-year period. This proposal was met with profound silence by the employer group. However, the silence was short-lived and they spent most of the afternoon attempting to come up with a counter proposal. Due to the complexity of costing our proposal versus one that is coming from the employer group, both parties agreed to meet again on September 23 and 24 in an effort to come up with a proposal that our members can vote on. We are nearing the time where, if some of our members will lose eligibility in our fund, they will need appropriate notice to get health coverage elsewhere. This could be on a parent's plan, spouse's plan or the state exchange marketplace. These negotiations have been complicated and difficult. We will again update everyone once the session on September 23 is completed. -- Don Seaquist, President
Valley View Nursing home negotiations began on a tense note.
The proposal presented by the Union was based on the results of survey sent to the membership and reflected the need to increase compensation and incentives in order to keep up with the cost of living and staff the building.
The Administrator responded that the Union's proposals were "not feasible," "not realistic," and as far as a cost of living increase "clashes with the Employer's proposal." Clash indeed. The Administrator presented the employer's proposal, coming to the table with a proposal to roll-back the wage rates 2.7% for all employees making more than $14.00 (this would include nurses), decrease the minimum hours paid for mandatory in-services, eliminate bonuses for picking up weekends, and increase the length and number of mandated shifts employees have to work.
Initial Proposals from the Union and the Employer along with the responses from each side can be viewed by clicking the following attachment: valleyviewnegotiations09042014.pdf Needless to say, we did not reach an agreement in the first day of bargaining.
Ultimately before the day was over, the Employer dropped (withdrew) their proposed wage roll back, agreed to sign an extension of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract), and agree to meet for another day for negotiations on October 23rd.
Our retail bargaining committee spent a full day on Wednesday, September 3 in a bargaining session with all of our major retail employers. The day was spent entirely on health care and how to maintain coverage for the vast majority of our members. We reached a “conceptual agreement” on how to determine members' eligibility for our current health plan. This agreement has many details to work out, but the day resulted in significant progress toward reaching an agreement.
On Tuesday, September 9 we will be back bargaining with economics/wages being on the agenda for the day. We expect this day to be a long one. We have September 23 also on the calendar as we move toward having an agreement to vote on sometime in October.
As in the past, our members WILL have a copy of any proposed voting document prior to voting. In addition, our bargaining committee requested that we hold informational meetings for members prior to any vote, so we will look to schedule these meetings upon conclusion of bargaining. Another update will be done after the bargaining on September 9.
UFCW Local 1189 members at St. Anthony Park Home have ratified a new 3-year agreement.