First contract signed for workers at Island Pharmacy in B.C.

New deal boosts wages, adds paid breaks: UFCW
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 03/06/2018
The contract covers 50 workers including front store clerks, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacists at nine Island Pharmacy locations, said the union. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW), Local 1518 members, working at Island Pharmacy locations on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, signed their first collective agreement on March 5.

The contract was ratified after eight months of bargaining and covers 50 workers including front store clerks, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacists at nine Island Pharmacy locations, said the union.

Prior to joining the UFCW, rates of pay were often determined by favouritism. Some workers received minimum wage, while others — including senior employees — received little or no wage increases, according to the union.

The new contract features wage increases, daily seniority provisions, paid coffee breaks, and increased vacation time, said the UFCW.

Members who are asked to work in locations other than their home store will now be paid travel time, as well as a kilometre allowance. Other gains will help improve working conditions — such as joint labour-management meetings — and language to ensure fairness around job postings, consecutive days off, and requests for time off. Importantly, anti-harassment provisions were negotiated into the contract to ensure a workplace free of sexual and racial harassment, according to the union.

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