More than 190 retail grocery employees at Massine’s Your Independent Grocer (YIG) in Ottawa secured a new collective agreement on Sept. 18.
In this set of negotiations, YIG workers’ concerns included dealing with minimum wage and the existing wage grid. The negotiating committee achieved a new wage grid for part-time employees that ensures rates always stay ahead of the minimum wage, said the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW).
The part-time end rate will improve by $0.60 per hour as of ratification. The rate will increase by another $0.20 per hour over the remainder of the contract even if minimum wage goes up. Part-time staff also receive a lump-sum payment of $250 following ratification, said the union.
Full-time employees receive wage increases totaling $1 per hour over the term of the contract, with a $500 lump sum in year two. In addition, full-time staff also receive a $500 lump sum following ratification, said UFCW.
The employer agreed to guarantee the existing full-time jobs for the duration of the agreement as well, said the union.
Night-shift premiums improve to $1 per hour, up from $0.90 per hour. Plus, the premium for the night-crew lead increases to $45 per week, up from $35, said UFCW.
Starting in January 2019, full-time employees will benefit from a new RRSP program. Previously, the employer contributed a flat amount of $300 per year for each employee. Going forward, the employer will match $0.15 per hour worked for those with between two to five years’ service. Employees with five to 10 years of service receive matching payments of $0.20 per hour worked. Lastly, those with 10 years of service or more will see the employer match $0.25 per hour worked toward their RRSP, said the union.
Optical coverage increases by $25 to provide $175 every two years. The part-time boot allowance improves to $95 every year, instead of every other year. Bereavement entitlement now provides more paid days off for the death of a sibling as well, said UFCW.
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