In the Winter of 2020, the Brattleboro Food Coop and UFCW Local 1459 agreed to a contract that provided guidelines for wage increases over the course of the next three years, through our fiscal year 2023. Contractual increases were bargained for in good faith based on the best understanding of the economic conditions at the time of ratification. Needless to say, our world has changed significantly since then. COVID 19, civil unrest, war in the Ukraine, and weather disruptions have had a significant impact on supply chain, labor, housing markets and overall inflation. This has materially changed the economic environment that our employees are facing.
At the same time, thanks to support and commitment of our community and our team we have flourished during this time of uncertainty. In our Ends policies we state clearly that the Co-op exists to meet our shareholders’ collective need for a welcoming community marketplace, and a workplace community where cooperative values are modeled. It is clear that our shoppers and shareholders all recognize that the key to our current success is our people.
In alignment with our Ends, and in recognition of our team and our current economic conditions, the Brattleboro Food Co-op and the UFCW Local 1459 partnered on a Letter of Understanding that will amend our compensation scale for the final year of our contract to provide a meaningful increase in pay. Our minimum pay rate will be raised from $13.44/hr. to $15.00/hr. All other employees (with the exception of the General Manager) will receive an increase to their pay commensurate with the adjustment to minimum pay. We feel strongly that this investment in people will enable us to recruit and retain great people who live and work in our community.
As the General Manager, I want to thank each of our team members for everything they do in service to each other and our community. I am excited to see what the future holds!