Save-On-Foods Bargaining Update Feb. 13

Non-Monetary Proposals Exchanged

We are pleased to report that bargaining is well underway. Your Bargaining Committee continued negotiations last week, meeting with your Employer for three days, between February 8 and 10. We’ve now completed the initial exchange of proposals and are working through the non-monetary phase of the process.

Both sides are reviewing each other’s proposals and will present responses next week when we meet to continue bargaining on February 14 and 16.

Our goal in this early phase of negotiations is to improve retention by modifying the existing language in the collective agreement while making gains on flexibility and work-life balance provisions.

For more information on our bargaining priorities you can check out the Save-On-Foods negotiation information page here.

We know how important this contract renewal is for each and everyone of you. We understand the pressure that you and your loved ones face from crushing costs and high inflation. That is why we are pulling out all the stops to negotiate a fair contract that helps ease today’s burdens and secures gains for the future.

What we need right now to build momentum is your support in engaging the membership. Knowledge is power and we need to be sure that everyone has the information that they need. Please share this email with your co-workers and if they have not been receiving emails from the union, please tell them to send their full name, store name and number, employee ID, email address, and cell number to [email protected].

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak on Tiktok @kimenovak
If you are a Shop Steward, please consider printing this update off and posting it to your union board! The more workers who engage in the bargaining process the better chance we have of securing an agreement that reflects everyone’s needs and voice.

In Solidarity,

The Bargaining Committee:

Jaime Emerson – Abbotsford – Pharmacy Assistant
Jimbo Grant  – Maple Ridge  – Cross Classified 
Dave Diamond  – Kelowna – Cross Classified 
Erica Jones  – Pitt Meadows – Cross Classified  
Josephine Bustin  – Tsawwassen – Post-2013 Dept Manager and former Restaurant 
Chris Holowka – Prince George – Cross Classified 
Anita Letendre – North Van – Cross Classified 
Marylou Fonda – Ft St James – Cross Classified 
Joel Simmons – Nanaimo – Post 2013 Dept Manager
Katie Guerin – Kamloops – Cross Classified 
David Gutierrez – Surrey – Cross Classified 
(liaison to the committee for Pharmacy discussions) Cheryl Vincenzi – Central Fill 

Your UFCW 1518 Staff negotiators: Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne

Workers Improve Bag Check Policy at Sephora

New Policy Implemented Nationwide

Thanks to workers at the only unionized Sephora in North America, the company has announced that it is adopting a new, more worker-friendly, nationwide bag-check policy, replacing their notoriously unpopular practice that many Sephora workers have spoken out against.

After every shift, Sephora workers are required to go through a bag check before they leave the store. The new policy states that the employer must pay them for the entire time it takes management to check their bags, including wait times. The policy change comes after workers at the Kamloops store spoke out with their union, UFCW 1518, and asked for paid bag checks during negotiations with Sephora. Tomorrow (Feb. 9) the new policy kicks in at the Kamloops location.

“We’re very proud of our members for voicing their concern,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak, “As their union, we’ve heard from our members of situations where they were waiting up to 30 minutes for a bag check after they had clocked out. They weren’t getting paid for this time, even though they were still on the employer’s watch. It was unfair, and we’re glad to see that Sephora is taking steps to build a more respectful workplace.”

Employees at the Kamloops Sephora unionized with UFCW 1518 back in the summer of 2022. They entered bargaining to secure their first collective agreement shortly after joining the union and are still in negotiations.

“We have no doubt that the improved bag check policy is the result of our members unionizing and raising their voices,” says Novak, who adds that this win has been a real morale boost for the members, who are fighting hard to win more respect, equity and better compensation at the bargaining table.

“Our goal is to reach a great contract, but the beauty of joining a union is that your power doesn’t end at the bargaining table, and our Sephora members proved that,” Novak explains. ” Unpaid bag checks are a big point of contention at lots of Sephora stores. Now, because our members pushed back, there’s a new policy that will benefit Sephora employees everywhere in Canada, not just Kamloops. It’s amazing!”

UFCW 1518 represents thousands of workers in BC’s retail sector. If you are a retail worker that is not being paid for bag checks, reach out to the union at ufcw1518.com/join.


For more information, please contact:

[email protected]

Sept. 30 to Become a Stat Holiday in BC

UFCW 1518 Indigenous Committee Pushes for Justice and Wins

For over a year now UFCW 1518 members Marylou Fonda, Christine Holowka, Anita Letendre, Raven Morningstar, and Laurie Simon have been using their union power to fight for real provincial recognition of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.

Yesterday, BC’s provincial government recognized their advocacy for justice and announced plans to table legislation that will make Sept. 30 a paid, statutory holiday for all workers. This means that if the legislation is passed, Sept. 30 will be a paid, statutory holiday for all of our members, most of whom work in the private sector.

Indigenous communities and activists — including UFCW 1518 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit members — made this reconciliatory step happen. They had to raise their voices and share their stories, and UFCW 1518 wants to recognize them for their strength and their vulnerability. Today’s news, while good, will re-open wounds for many Indigenous Communities, reinforcing the need for a day where all Indigenous workers can take time to grieve, to be with loved ones, and to heal.

The UFCW 1518 Indigenous Committee led a strong, resilient and passionate campaign to make Call-To-Action 80 (of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission) a reality. They wrote to MLAs, BC’s Premiers (former and present), The Yukon’s former premier, and allies. They published a petition, which members across the province supported, and they raised awareness about the atrocities of Canada’s genocidal Residential “School” system. They’ve expanded support for Indigenous rights in their workplaces, and they’ve met with politicians to push for justice.

Today, we celebrate them as a union for their hard work, and the support and solidarity of all our members and allies, and we recommit to supporting the Committee in their efforts to re-Indigenous BC’s lands and workplaces. No one’s healing journey looks the same, and a single statutory holiday is not a salve for the wounds caused by colonization, but it is one critical step towards a more unified and fair province.

To learn more about the origins of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation read our story about Orange Shirt Day.

Want to support an Indigenous organization today? Donate to the Residential School Survivors Society.

Baristas & Bakers at “Grounds for Coffee” Unionize with UFCW 1518 

Positive change is brewing at Vancouver’s own Grounds For Coffee, where staff have joined forces across two locations and organized with UFCW 1518.

“We are very excited to welcome the newest members of our union from Grounds for Coffee,” says UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak. “They were clear and focused on why they wanted to join a union—stronger workplace protections and recognition for the work they do.” 

One of the staff’s main motivations for joining UFCW 1518 was to win real health & safety protections. The Alma St. Location functions as both a café and production centre, where staff make the pizza dough and cinnamon buns that launched Grounds for Coffee into local stardom. The production centre requires using specialized skills and equipment, for which staff want to get appropriate training and improved procedures so that they can do the job safely. 

“We realized we were working really hard for below industry standard wages, under less than ideal working conditions,” says one worker. “We’re also constantly short-staffed, so taking sick days or general time off becomes really hard to do, often because of how our shifts are booked…if any one person drops out, it makes hell for whoever is left over that day.” 

High turnover is a problem at the cafés, and the new UFCW 1518 members are determined to better their working conditions and improve workloads by prioritizing recruitment and retention. This initiative will include pushing for wage increases, but ultimately, it’s the staff’s commitment to respect and fairness that will win them a strong contract. The workers united on these two fronts, despite differences between the Commercial Drive and Alma St. locations.

At the Commercial Drive Grounds for Coffee, for instance, staff earn slightly more money on average than their Alma coworkers because a larger portion of their work is front-of-house, which is where the tips are made. But that didn’t stop them from showing solidarity with their sister location.

“These progressive workers, many of them young workers, are committed to building a stronger workplace for themselves and their coworkers,” says Novak. “And as their union, we are looking forward to working with them to do just that by amplifying their voices in the workplace to address concerns, make improvements and help build a better workplace for our members working there now and in the future,” says Novak. 

UFCW 1518 comprises tens of thousands of workers in BC’s retail sector. The Grounds for Coffee workers join Matchstick staff in the fight to improve morale and working conditions in BC’s cafes. If you are a cafe worker and would like to join a union, check out ufcw1518.com/join.

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Progress made on non-monetary issues

This week, we completed our second round of negotiations with Sobeys between January 30 and February 3rd. We are making progress and working through the membership’s non-monetary proposals. These are proposals dealing with scheduling, leaves, staffing levels, and similar elements of your contract.

In the bargaining surveys, you spelled out just how important flexibility is to ensure a work-life balance. We all need and deserve time to be with our friends and loved ones. Your Bargaining Committee worked hard on making improvements to store culture and working conditions during this week’s negotiations. We believe we have made significant progress and we hope this continues. 

Trust that your committee remains committed to negotiating contract improvements for the Safeway membership. 

Our next confirmed set of bargaining dates are February 21–24.

It is important for each and every member to be a part of this process. Please take a minute to share this email with your co-workers. If they are not receiving emails from the union, they can reach out to [email protected] with their full name, store name and number, employee ID, email address, and cell phone number.

Updates on bargaining can be found on our Sobeys Bargaining Page.

In solidarity,
The Sobeys Bargaining Committee:

Angela Crosato, Sobeys 4908, Vancouver
Peter Dimond, Sobeys 4928, Prince Rupert
Peter Dombrowski, Sobeys 4920, Surrey
Teresa-Lyne Dziedzic, Sobeys 4920, Surrey
Robert Milan, Sobeys 4960, Kelowna
Armin Reyes, Sobeys 4996 Reline Crew
Matt Rose, Sobeys 4974, Cranbrook
Marlene White, Sobeys 4977, Coquitlam
Shiela Scarr, Sobeys 4912, Langley

& UFCW 1518 Lead Negotiator:
Stephen Portman

Community Health Bargaining Update

An Historic Tentative Agreement

In just over a week, UFCW 1518 healthcare members, and members of seven other BC unions, will have the chance to vote on an historic agreement that will make a big difference in every community health worker’s life. Thanks to the unwavering support of their fellow workers, the Community Bargaining Association (CBA) secured an agreement with the largest general wage increases that we’ve ever seen since the Association formed, and so much more!

Are you a community health member and want to know what you will earn if we ratify this agreement? Find out with the wage calculator!

All eight unions in the Community Bargaining Association —including UFCW 1518 — unanimously recommend ratification of this fantastic agreement. A few of the major improvements that ratification will introduce to the job, include:

  • Average wage increases of 14% to 16% for each step of the wage grid over three years.
  • A significant gain towards wage parity with those working under the Facilities Agreement in hospitals and care facilities, including the elimination of Step 1.
  • A funding commitment from the government to ensure the long-term viability of the Joint Community Benefit Trust. (No cuts to benefits and an improved funding model!)
  • Extension of the CRA vehicle allowance rate to all employees covered by the CBA.
  • Guaranteed-hours positions for regular community health workers in windows of availability.
  • Language that obliges the employer to tell you what a meeting with management is about, before the meeting happens.
  • A variety of improvements to address chronic recruitment and retention issues in our sector.
  • Occupational health & safety (OHS) — language was included to address aggressive behavior, violence prevention training, critical incident debriefing/defusing, ergonomics, and psychological safety and health.
  • Premium increases for weekend and evening shifts.
  • Expanded mobility rights for workers who want to move jobs within their health authority.
  • An additional day of paid vacation for all regular employees.
  • 50% of costs for employer-requested medical certificates to be paid by the employer.
  • New overtime distribution language that includes seniority.

Read more about these highlights and other features of the agreement, in this compact, easy-to-understand review.

You can also view the full tentative agreement here.

Next Steps

Before voting begins, UFCW 1518’s Community Health bargaining representatives and union leaders want to provide members with as much information, in as many forms, as possible. We’ve set up three events for community health workers to attend, so you can ask questions and learn more. The first one is just for Shop Stewards. The other two are for all members. Please encourage each other to attend and to vote!

Shop Stewards—Zoom:

Thursday, January 26 @ 5 pm PST

Stewards, please check your emails for the zoom link. Join UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson and other healthcare activists for an important discussion about your role in the ratification vote.

Telephone town hall:

Monday, January 30 @ 10:00 am—10:30 am PST & 5:00 pm—5:30 pm PST

Get on a call with your Community Health bargaining representatives, UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson to learn more about the details of the tentative agreement and to ask questions. Participating in the Town Hall is as simple as answering your phone. We’ll call you at the specified time!

Zoom information sessions:

Tuesday, January 31—Thursday, February 2 @ 10:00 am—11:00 am PST & 5:00 pm—6:00 pm PST

Join a Zoom call with your bargaining representatives to get all the information you need to make an informed vote when it comes time to hit the online polls. Register for one of six zoom info sessions here.

Voting and More

Online voting will begin on February 1. We will send your voting credentials by email at 12 pm on February 1. If you do not receive your voting credentials at that time, please contact us at [email protected] or call 1-800-661-3708.

If you know of any coworkers who are not receiving UFCW 1518 emails, please tell them to email [email protected] and provide their first name, last name, email, cell phone number, employee ID, and employer name.

Because the Community Bargaining Association comprises seven other unions, whose healthcare members also need to vote on this historic tentative agreement, we won’t be able to provide the results of the vote until March 1.

If you are a community health member, encourage your coworkers to attend the UFCW 1518 Telephone Town Hall and Zoom Sessions – to make your ratification vote really count, everyone needs to get involved.

Thank you again to our members for your resolve, passion and unrelenting support. You made it clear to the CBA what you needed out of this agreement, and you stood behind your demands. Now, thousands of BC workers have an equitable agreement that will support them while they support British Columbians.

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Proposals Exchanged

We are pleased to report that we commenced bargaining this week with Sobeys on January 23, completing this first round of talks on January 26. Both sides have exchanged proposals and are responding to each other’s non-monetary items. We will be meeting again with Sobeys negotiators starting on Monday, January 30.

You can check out the Bargaining Information Page for more information on your bargaining proposals and priorities. 

We know how important this contract renewal is for all of you, and we are committed to continuing to bargain in good faith. As a committee, we pledge to you that we will work every day of this process to ensure that your voices are heard in our collective struggle to make meaningful gains and improve life for all workers at Sobeys across the province.

We need your support in engaging other Sobeys members in this process. Knowledge is power, and we need to be sure that everyone has the information that they need. Please share this email with your co-workers, and if they have not been receiving emails from the union, please tell them to send their full name, store name and number, employee ID, email address, and cell number to [email protected]

Throughout the bargaining process, there will be many opportunities for members to get informed and engaged through:

  1. Email 
  2. Facebook
  3. Tiktok – follow UFCW 1518 President @kimenovak
  4. Instagram
  5. Town halls – stay tuned for any announcements

If you are a Shop Steward, please consider printing this update off and posting it to your union board!

In Solidarity

The UFCW 1518 Sobeys Bargaining Committee

Sobeys Bargaining Update

Union Prepares to Table Strong Proposals

Tomorrow is our first day of bargaining with Sobeys to renew your next contract. Your bargaining committee and your UFCW 1518 staff negotiators, Stephen Portman and Ronda Melbourne, have met over the last week to strategize and prepare for the fight to win a strong contract that will help all of you build worker power in the retail sector.

Thank you to everyone who filled out your bargaining surveys. Your voices have been heard, and we’re prepared to amplify your message to the employer. Thanks to you, we have a strong mandate to seek the following improvements at the bargaining table:

  1. Fair and Equitable Wages: We won’t beat around the bush—we’re seeking the wage increases all Sobeys members need
  2. Increased Workplace Flexibility: Sobeys workers need more flexibility around scheduling & vacations so they can achieve work-life balance
  3. Improving Store Culture: Members submitted several strong ideas and ways that your contract can help build a better workplace.  We’re looking to build more worker power on the shop floor

Stay tuned for more email updates! Also, check out our new UFCW 1518 Sobeys bargaining 2023 online resource hub — meet your committee members and stay connected to issues and news related to bargaining and grocery worker power.

We will keep you posted throughout the bargaining process on what is happening at the table and any actions that you can take to fight for a strong contract. But we need your help! If your coworkers aren’t getting our email updates or text messages, have them reach out to us at [email protected] with their full name, store number, employee ID number, email address, and cell phone number.
In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee:

Bob Milan – General Clerk – Kelowna/Interior – Grid A
Armin Reyes – Reline Crew – Provincial Wide – Grid A
Marlene White – All Purpose Clerk – Lower Mainland – Grid B
Angela Crosato – Cashier – Lower Mainland – Grid A
Peter Dombrowski – General Clerk – Fraser Valley – Grid A
Teresa-lyne Dziedzic – Pharmacy Assistant – Lower Mainland
Matt Rose – Baker – Kootenays – Grid A
Peter Dimond – General Clerk – Grid B – Prince Rupert/North 
Shiela Scarr – Cashier – Grid B – Cashier
UFCW 1518 Staff negotiator, Stephen Portman

Community Health Bargaining Update

Tentative Agreement Reached

We are pleased to announce that the Health Services & Support – Community Subsector Association (CBA), which includes UFCW 1518, reached a tentative agreement in the early hours of Sunday, January 15, 2023.

UFCW 1518 and the seven other unions included in this contract unanimously support the tentative agreement. We are encouraging all healthcare members to vote in favour of ratification of this contract, which will preserve your benefits, provide significant wage increases, and strengthen language protections.

In the coming days, we will share more details about the tentative agreement, information meetings that we will hold, and the voting process.

This has been a challenging round of bargaining, and we thank the membership for your continued support and engagement throughout the negotiations. You helped give our committee the clear message to keep fighting for a fair deal, which has led us to securing the best possible deal that we are proud to recommend.

If any of your coworkers are not receiving UFCW 1518 email updates now is the time to contact us! Please have them email [email protected] with their full name, employer, employee ID, and personal email address.