The Wedge Negotiations Update
Through two productive bargaining sessions, the Employer and the Union have reached tentative agreements on a number of items; however, economic issues still remain. The parties have agreed tentatively to orientation language that will give every new employee information that will help welcome them into the Union and provide them with information to better navigate their career at the Co-op. Other tentative items include clearer job posting language, protection for members if there is ever a relocation of the business or an ownership sale, and language that maintains and protects free food bin usage.
Outstanding items are mostly economical. Proposals on wages, raises, PTO/personal day accrual rates and PTO payouts have been exchanged and discussed but no agreements have been reached.
One of the challenges in this round of negotiations is accommodating timelines set by the new Minneapolis minimum wage law. Minimum wage was raised in July 2018 to $11.25 and will continue to go up each year until July 2022 when the City will finally reach the $15 minimum wage so many hard-working families fought for. This law will no doubt help people live a better life; however, it brings a new set of challenges when trying to negotiate a 3-year contract that gives fair raises, minimizes wage compression, rewards longevity and attracts good, quality applicants.
More updates to come.