President Ivan Limpright announced in an email to members that he will return to full duties beginning this week. He had been on leave since last month in order to deal with a serious family matter.
“I am pleased and relieved to report that things have improved to the point where I can resume my full duties,” President Limpright wrote in the email. “I will be gradually returning to work over the next few weeks, in time to attend the Bargaining Conference with many of our Safeway and Save On Foods members in November.”
President Limpright thanked members who sent well wishes and kind words while he was away. “Your words of support helped me through a very difficult time. They meant more than you know.” He also thanked Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak, who came back early from her maternity leave to lead UFCW 1518 in his absence. “Kim Novak’s sharp mind and her steady leadership enabled me to focus on helping my family, knowing that our union was in excellent hands.” President Limpright added that preparations for major foods bargaining, which reopens in 2018, are well in hand and that the union is solidly on track thanks to Novak’s leadership.
“I look forward to returning to my full duties as president of UFCW 1518 – as well as my other obligations.” In October, the provincial government appointed President Limpright to the newly formed Fair Wages Commission, which was set up to advise government on how to implement the $15-an-hour minimum wage. President Limpright was selected from among all the labour leaders in BC to be the labour representative on the three-person commission.
The Fair Wages Commission will develop recommendations for how the minimum wage should be increased once $15-an-hour is achieved and review other wage rates, including for agricultural workers, liquor servers and live-in caregivers. It will work with economists, trade unions, the technology sector, small businesses, youth and others from all regions of the province to put forward a plan to bridge the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage in British Columbia. “I am proud to have been selected to represent working people on this very important project. Achieving a $15-an-hour minimum wage is a major accomplishment for working people, and will only increase rate of pay for unionized workers as they climb the wage grid. It means greater leverage for higher wages at the bargaining table. And that’s good news for our members.”
The commission is seeking feedback from the public, with the first phase of consultations taking place in November and December. Public input will inform the findings of the Commission’s first report, which will be delivered to Minister of Labour, Hon. Harry Bains, by the end of the year. Make your written submission here.