Bargaining Update 3: More Tentative Agreements Reached

October 24, 2019

The Union and Co-op Management met on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to continue negotiations over the non-economic parts of our contract. We reached agreement on several items, including:

  • Our grievance procedure: This article sets forth timelines on when management must respond to worker concerns and provides for arbitration in case disputes are not resolved.
  • Just cause for all discipline: All discipline can only be for just cause. This means that managers must perform a fair investigation before issuing discipline, work rules must be reasonable, proof must be established, rules must be applied equally, and the level of discipline must be reasonable. Find out more about just cause here
  • Non-discrimination: This clause bars discrimination on the basis of a number of reasons (including union activity) and requires Co-op management to discuss with the union ways to create a more diverse workforce. 

We also reached agreement on employee definitions, seniority, and contract separability (a clause which protects what we negotiate if the law changes in the future.)  We made significant progress on several other issues, including union activity, job openings and customer harassment. Finally, we made progress on an interim procedure to address non-disciplinary grievances that may arise before negotiations are complete.

Several other important issues, however, remain unresolved. These include our proposals on Health and Safety, Leaves of Absence, voluntary payroll deduction for union dues, and Layoff and Recall. These are important issues for Co-op employees, and we’ve made it clear to Co-op management that we expect them to provide meaningful responses to our proposals in these areas.

Also this week, Co-op management gave us a partial response to our request for information regarding scheduling and staffing. They have committed to fulfilling the rest of our request as soon as possible. This information is necessary for us to bargain over both of these critical issues.

We meet again on October 29.

Membership Meetings, Stewards and Contract Support Committee

We are preparing to hold a series of membership meetings soon to review our tentative agreements, answer detailed questions about negotiations, and begin preparing our economic proposals. We expect to have locations and dates nailed down soon for these meetings and will send those out as soon as we have them. 

Also, we are still looking for additional Interim Stewards, and volunteers to help with the Contract Support Committee. If you are interested or want to find out more, please contact UE staff member John Ocampo ( or 312-686-0096)

Public event: Wednesday, October 30th at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 30th at 7 p.m. at Harmony Bar & Grill (2201 Atwood Ave.): Madison Democratic Socialists of America-organized public event on the Willy Street Co-op organizing campaign. Our goals with this event are to both build public support for our efforts to win a solid contract and to get our story out there to help motivate other workers to do the same as we did. Let's make our victory the first of many more to come! This event is open to all. Invite everyone you know.