UFCW 1518 signed a memorandum of agreement with Hornby Island Co-op this week to increase the wage scale, part way through a four-year collective agreement. Under the agreement, store clerk and senior clerk classifications will see significant hikes, putting the Co-op on the path to becoming a living wage employer.
“This is a fantastic example of the work the union has been doing to use the rising minimum wage to improve our members wages outside of bargaining,” said President Kim Novak. Typically, the only opportunity to adjust the wage scale occurs during negotiations for a new collective agreement. But, explains Novak, scheduled increases to British Columbias minimum wage implemented by the NDP have encouraged employers to improve wages in order to attract and retain employees.
“Hornby Island Co-op approached the union to discuss the possibility of increasing wages to deal with retention problems they were experiencing,” President Novak said. “With the assistance of union representative Ashley Campbell we were able to reach the agreement that brings significant improvement to wages for our members.”
Most steps on the on the new Store Clerk wage scale will see a dollar or more raise, retroactive to June 1, 2019 with further improvements effective December 1, 2019. The Senior Clerk scale remains the same until December 1, 2019, when it will increase by two percent. “Once again, we see how the minimum wage increases implemented by the NDP government have empowered the union to negotiate higher wages for our members. Employers are starting to realize that they need to pay a livable wage if they want to attract and keep skilled workers. “