Southern Division Retail Bargaining Continue to be Complicated and Difficult

09/10/2014 On Tuesday, September 9 our major retail bargaining committee met with employer representatives from corporate Cub, Kowalski's, Jerry's, Lunds/Byerly's and Festival. During the day we once again reviewed potential changes to our health fund. This has been a very long and difficult process for our committee as we review fund costs and revenue along with the potential for additional revenue that will be needed. Our committee approved a union proposal that included new fund revenue from both the employer and eligible plan participants. Tied to this was a significant wage increase proposal over a 3-year period. This proposal was met with profound silence by the employer group. However, the silence was short-lived and they spent most of the afternoon attempting to come up with a counter proposal. Due to the complexity of costing our proposal versus one that is coming from the employer group, both parties agreed to meet again on September 23 and 24 in an effort to come up with a proposal that our members can vote on. We are nearing the time where, if some of our members will lose eligibility in our fund, they will need appropriate notice to get health coverage elsewhere. This could be on a parent's plan, spouse's plan or the state exchange marketplace. These negotiations have been complicated and difficult. We will again update everyone once the session on September 23 is completed.   -- Don Seaquist, President