Health care and wages at the center of bargaining
Your Union’s negotiating team has been bargaining with the major supermarket employers (Raley’s, Safeway and Save Mart) for new contracts to replace our previous agreements, which expired last October.
Negotiations with these companies have been inordinately slow as the employers grapple with our proposals.
We maintain our positions because our members’ expectations must be met in these negotiations. Accordingly, the two sides have made minor progress and momentum is slow.
Health care issues
A major issue at the bargaining table is health care.
Through the Health Care Partnership program, in which members are encouraged to take a more proactive role in their health and health care, we have become better health care consumers.
As a result, our members are healthier — and the health care fund is healthier, too, because we’ve been able to keep costs under control.
The fund has steadily built up its reserves, which can be directly attributed to the improved outcomes of health care services.
The next step
The next step in our comprehensive plan is to invest in primary-care health facilities to further improve the delivery and quality of care for members.
Currently, we are working to expand beyond the dental and eye-care services now offered directly to members in order to focus on primary-care medical centers, which are intended to provide more and better services at no cost to the membership.
We believe these next steps should be financed in part through the reserves we’ve built in the health care fund.
Of course, we would continue to maintain sufficient reserves in the health care fund to assure your future health care is protected.
At the same time, we are taking an increasingly aggressive stance toward the health care providers who in many cases overcharge for their services.
Wage increases key
We also believe our members are entitled to meaningful wage increases as a reward for your hard work.
We will keep you informed as these critical negotiations continue. In the meantime, always stand strong with your Union, and remember: