Message from Joe Chorpenning Local 700 President

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Members of UFCW Local 700 overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year agreement with Kroger tonight. The new contract covers over 6,000 workers in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores.

"Thanks to the efforts of the Bargaining Committee, we reached an agreement that protects affordable health care benefits and livable wages for members of UFCW Local 700," said Joe Chorpenning, President, UFCW Local 700. "Our contract maintains one of the best health care and wage packages in the industry."

Should you have any questions, please contract your Union Representative.

Members of UFCW Local 700 put dinner on the table for Hoosier families in our community, with nearly 13,000 members working mostly in supermarkets and food packing, processing, and manufacturing facilities.

 

Friday, May 31, 2012

Bargaining Committees from UFCW Local 700 and The Kroger Company have reached a tentative agreement for approximately 6,000 workers in Indianapolis Kroger stores. Your Union Bargaining Committee recommends ratification of the proposed agreement.

Thanks to the efforts of the Bargaining Committee, we reached an agreement that protects affordable health care benefits and livable wages for members of UFCW Local 700. The proposed agreement also includes language improvements. Your Bargaining committee worked tirelessly to reach a fair contract that maintains one of the best health care and wage packages in the industry. Member strength and solidarity throughout a lengthy, challenging negotiations process were an integral part of reaching an agreement.

Details of the proposed agreement will be available on Wednesday in your stores. Representatives from the Union and Bargaining Committee will circulate materials and answer any questions prior to the contract vote on Friday, June 7th.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

 

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The full Bargaining Committees from UFCW 700 and Kroger met today in a continuing effort to secure a contract that protects livable wages and quality, affordable benefits for our members.

UFCW Local 700 presented the Company with a comprehensive proposal. We expect the Company to review the proposal tonight in preparation for more negotiations tomorrow.

A Federal Mediator attended our negotiations today and is expected to join us again tomorrow.

The full Bargaining Committee will meet again on May 30th and May 31st.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

 

 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Subcommittees from UFCW Local 700 and Kroger continued health care discussions on May 16th and May 17th. We have spent a great amount of time, resources, and energy working together in order to secure quality, affordable benefits for our members, and both sides are making positive movement in an effort to reach an agreement.

There have been significant changes to employer-based health care over the last year. Workers have access to wellness coverage at 100%, increased major medical coverage (unlimited in 2014), and coverage for dependents up to age 26. However, many non-union employers have been shifting to a health care system where they will no longer offer coverage to part-time employees (working less than 30 hours.) Others have eliminated spousal coverage, or offer it only at a very high cost.

We are working to reach a contract that will protect quality, affordable benefits for our members. Our members will benefit from the expansion of benefits due to the Affordable Care Act, but we still have to reach an agreement on how to pay for it; both sides are continuing to cost more health care options.

The full bargaining committee will met on May 29th, May 30th, and May 31st.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; the health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.

Stronger Together

 
 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Subcommittees from UFCW Local 700 and Kroger met on May 8th and May 9th to continue discussing creative options to protect quality, affordable health care benefits. Often, a big challenge when bargaining health care is that both sides are dealing with projections of modeling, instead of actual numbers. In these meetings, we were able to use some of the actual figures from our plan professionals; these numbers are from the first quarter of this year in order to more accurately cost and analyze benefits.

Using real data in negotiations allowed us to make some progress. All of us know that there are limited resources to pay for the many pieces of any contract, including wages, health care benefits, paid time off, and more. There are also costs associated with each piece of a contract. We have to find smart ways to provide good contracts with livable wages and affordable, quality health care, while living within our collective means.

We are still dealing with tough issues at the bargaining table. Throughout the long process of bargaining a new agreement, our goal has been to reach an agreement that continues to provide members of UFCW Local 700 with some of the best health care benefits in the industry. There are still some questions about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the implications of its requirements. We are still examining the impact of continuing to provide coverage to spouses, and analyzing recently ratified UFCW contracts for their solutions to coverage for members who work less than 30 hours per week.

More negotiations are scheduled in the next two weeks. The health care subcommittee will meet on May 16th and May 17th. The full bargaining committee will meet on May 29th, May 30th, and May 31st.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; the health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.

Stronger Together

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

The process of bargaining a new agreement for members of UFCW Local 700 has been time consuming and challenging, but we are making progress. Bargaining can be a very tedious and frustrating process, so we wanted to give you more background about why it's so important that we pay close attention to the detail of negotiating a new contract.

Members of UFCW Local 700 receive health care benefits through a Taft-Hartley Health and Welfare Fund. This means that instead of a big insurance company taking care of your claims, a group of Trustees (representatives of the Union and the Company) oversees the implementation and administration of your benefits. Your health care benefits are negotiated as part of your UFCW Local 700 union contract with Kroger, so changes in your insurance must, generally, be a subject of bargaining. (Sometimes there must be changes to your benefits in order to comply with the law.)

In order for us to bargain your health care benefits, we analyze countless budget projections during negotiations. Budget projections for health care much like the budgets you may create for your own  household - you see how much you make and how much you spend per year in order to determine what you can afford. As part of that, you must know what you are required to spend in order to meet your obligations. In this case, we look at current resources of the plan (assets), past claims (what we've spent), modeling for the years ahead (what we're expecting to spend), and what we need to spend to meet our obligations (what we must do in order to comply with the law).

A small change in budgets can mean a big change in your health care coverage. This is why we've been working hard with our plan professionals in order to make the best, most well-researched decisions at the bargaining table; our goal is to ensure that our members have quality, affordable health care for yourselves and your families.

We appreciate your patience during negotiations and your efforts to keep our Union strong. Strong contracts are the result of a committed membership, working in solidarity to achieve a fair agreement.

Negotiations with the subcommittee are scheduled to resume on Wednesday May 8th.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative. 

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State. 
 

Stronger Together

 
  

Friday, April 12, 2013

This week, UFCW Local 700 and Kroger continued subcommittee meetings and full negotiations for the Indianapolis Kroger agreement.

Our goal throughout bargaining has remained consistent - a contract that provides livable wages, affordable, quality health care, and retirement security for our members. When negotiations began, there were significant differences between proposals offered by the Union and the Company. We have worked closely with our plan professionals (like actuaries and attorneys) and with the International Union to develop creative, innovative solutions in order to reach our goals. We presented proposals during previous negotiations and we received another Company counterproposal today and are finding some common ground on some items.

The process of bargaining this contract has been time consuming and challenging, but we are making progress. Over the last week, we've also made some progress in health care negotiations. During our meetings with the Committee, we discussed a number of additional options for health care coverage that are still being costed and reviewed. As the regulations and implications of the health care law are examined, it continues to complicate our negotiations; for example, the Company discussed with the Committee their views concerning eliminating spousal coverage and coverage for members working under 30 hours per week.

Negotiations with the subcommittee are scheduled to resume on April 18. Assuming that we receive the necessary data regarding our proposals, we expect to meet on a number of additional dates throughout the remainder of the month.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.  

 

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bargaining Committees from UFCW Local 700 and Kroger met last week to continue negotiations for the Indianapolis Kroger Agreement.

Our goal throughout bargaining has remained consistent - a contract that provides livable wages, affordable, quality health care, and retirement security for our members. We have communicated this goal with our members and with the Company during the entirety of our extension.

Members of UFCW Local 700 have some of the best health care benefits in the retail food industry. And we want to keep it that way. There are lots of options for health care benefits, so we want to maintain plans that have affordable co-pays and provide the coverage that you and your families need.

The Terre Haute Kroger agreement is also on extension; members of UFCW Local 700 working at Terre Haute Kroger stores have the same health care provided by the Indianapolis agreement.

Negotiations with the full Indianapolis Bargaining Committee are scheduled to resume on April 11th. We expect subcommittees to meet regarding the Terre Haute and Indianapolis agreements over the next few weeks in a continuing effort to protect affordable, quality benefits in your contract.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union representative.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Bargaining Committees from UFCW Local 700 and Kroger met last week to continue addressing some of the outstanding issues related to affordable health care coverage for our members.

Quality, affordable health care is a priority over the life of the new contract. We discussed some creative new health care options during the last meeting in order to resolve the ongoing challenges with regard to securing your benefits.

Your Union Bargaining committee has been working hard over the past months in order to secure a new agreement. In addition to our full committee meetings later in the month, we expect to continue our subcommittee meetings to analyze potential changes to your health care benefits.

Negotiations with the full Bargaining Committee are scheduled to resume on March 21.
Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Subcommittees from UFCW Local 700 and Kroger have continued to meet over the last few weeks in an effort to resolve some of the outstanding issues related to affordable health care coverage for our members.

We have been working diligently over the past year to ensure that members of UFCW Local 700 maintain quality coverage over the life of the new contract. Bargaining affordable benefits for our members is always challenging, but in this round of negotiations it has been especially difficult.

Over the years, members of UFCW Local 700 have made difficult choices during negotiations in order to maintain both livable wages and good benefits for you and your family. We are committed to bargaining in a responsible and conscientious way; we are doing the appropriate amount of research and analysis to ensure that members have the security of quality, affordable benefits for the entire life of the agreement.

Because you have a union contract, though, you CAN bargain over wages and health care. That's a good thing. Without a union contract, the company can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with or without notice to you. Sometimes the company likes to compare its benefits to others in the industry, but we already know that members of UFCW Local 700 working at Indiana Kroger stores DO have much better benefits than other workers in non-union grocery stores in our area.

Negotiations with the full Bargaining Committee are scheduled to resume on Thursday, March 7 and March 21. We expect subcommittees to meet over the next few weeks in a continuing effort to protect affordable, quality benefits in this agreement.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis Kroger Agreement is currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; the health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

UFCW Local 700 and Kroger convened Health Care Subcommittee meetings on January 7th and January 8th to further review of benefits contained in your union contract. Our meetings included representatives from UFCW Local 700 and UFCW International Union, from Kroger, and Our plan consultant from Milliman.

We have been working diligently over the past few months to ensure that we reach an agreement that includes quality, affordable health care for you and for your family. This has required a significant amount of time, effort, and resources as the regulations of the Affordable Care Act are clarified and implemented.

You may see information comparing your health care benefits to other employers. We know that there is a significant cost to your benefits. But members of UFCW Local 700 have made tough choices over the years in order to attain and maintain some of the best benefits in the industry as part of your union contract. And we want to keep it that way.

As part of our meetings this week, we explored and discussed creative, innovative ways, including changes to benefits and benefit structure, in order to secure quality, affordable care over the life of the agreement.

We are waiting on additional projections and calculations from our Plan consultant before resuming negotiations.

As always, should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Tuesday, December 11, UFCW Local 700 resumed bargaining with Kroger for the Indianapolis Kroger Agreement.

During our last negotiations session, Kroger gave us a proposal to which we responded today, agreeing to very little as it was littered with concessions. Our objective is to bargain a contract protecting livable wages, affordable health care, and retirement security for our members - we do not achieve this through the concessions suggested by the Company.

In addition to receiving the Company's response to our proposal, we gave them another wage proposal, new pension language that reflects the rules of the new UFCW Consolidated Pension Fund for clerks, and new AUCR rates that will secure pension benefits for the National Meat Pension.

We also continue our analysis of and research regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to secure the highest quality, most affordable benefits we are able. Today we presented a conceptual health care proposal where co-premiums remain the same, earlier qualification for benefits (including ancillary, like dental and vision), and promotion of healthier habits.

While we intend to break from negotiations over the holidays, we scheduled a significant number of bargaining dates in January and February. Although bargaining this agreement may seem slow, UFCW Local 700 has approached negotiations in a consistent, thoughtful, deliberate manner. We want to ensure that we achieve the best contract we can, and that the requirements and details of applicable legislation are throughly considered and addressed. It is our position that a new agreement should include retro pay.

The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW  Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; the health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.

 

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

UFCW Local 700 Resumes Bargaining With Kroger For Indianapolis Agreement

Your UFCW Local 700 Bargaining Committee met with representative from the Kroger Company on Friday, November 9th to negotiate the contract for Indianapolis Area Stores.

We last met for bargaining with the Company on October 2nd, when we presented them with a non-economic proposal. Although the Company had our non-economic proposal for over a month, they have not yet agreed to anything that would significantly benefit Kroger workers. At our meeting on Friday, the Company presented us with their own proposal (excluding wages and health care coverage); many of their proposals were concessionary.

Our goal has been, and remains, to negotiate an agreement that protects fair wages and affordable health care benefits over the life of the agreement. Our contract covers over 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Kroger stores; the health care language impacts these 6,000 workers and an additional 4,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Kroger stores across the state. Thousands of UFCW members working at Kroger stores across the country are also working under extended agreements. Local unions who have recently settled their contract have successfully maintained affordable co-pays, comparable to our current rates.

In order to achieve this goal, it will take diligent research and analysis, creative proposals, a collaborative approach, and a strong membership. We remain hopeful that the Company will also make an effort to collaborate, and when we return to bargaining on December 11th, that we can make some real progress in negotiating a new agreement. On December 11th, your UFCW Local 700 Bargaining Committee will present to the Company a comprehensive proposal of economic and health care issues.

Thank you for all that you do to protect the benefits of our contract and to build a stronger union. As always, should you have any questions, please contact your Union Representative.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

UFCW Local 700, Kroger Reconvene

Your UFCW 700 Bargaining Committee resumed negotiations with the Kroger Company for the contract covering nearly 6,000 workers in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores. Our greatest challenge continues to be the uncertainty of our health care benefits as more regulations are released regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

UFCW Local 700 is committed to reaching an agreement that secures fair wages and quality, affordable health care over the life of the contract. Because of the questions that still exist about your health care, we presented the Company with a proposal for a short-term agreement so that we could bargain next year when the implementation process for the law is clarified.

We want to bargain a fair contract in a timely manner, but will not sacrifice the health care benefits provided by your union contract in order to adhere to artificial timelines.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for November 9th.

Should you have any questions or desire further information, please don't hesitate to
contact your Union Representative.



Monday, August 27, 2012

 Contract negotiations are currently scheduled to resume with UFCW Local 700 and the Kroger Company for the Members covered under the Indianapolis Contract on Tuesday, October 2, 2012.
 
Please check back for further updates.

 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Indianapolis Kroger Contract Extended

The contract covering nearly 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working at Indianapolis Area Kroger Stores expires on May 12; our opening session of negotiations was held on Thursday, April 19. We are committed to bargaining a fair agreement that protects livable wages and affordable health care; you already took a significant step in protecting and securing your retirement by approving the creation of the UFCW Consolidated Pension Fund last fall.

Contracts covering nearly 30,000 members in UFCW Region 4 (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan) expire in 2012. In our Region and around the country, bargaining has been relatively slow and many contracts are being extended. In particular, negotiations surrounding health care, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are complex and require a significant commitment of time and resources. As you may know, the ACA is being challenged in a number of states and in the United States Supreme Court; we expect a ruling regarding its implementation this June. We want to make sure we have as much information as possible in order to bargain affordable, quality care. Therefore, the Indianapolis Kroger agreement is being extended indefinitely.

Should you have any questions or desire further information, please contact your Union Representative. Your ongoing support and participation in the bargaining process are critical as we bargain a new agreement; when we stick together, we win stronger contracts for our members.


To better serve our members, UFCW Local 700 has moved!
Please note our new address and local telephone number:

3950 Priority Way South Drive, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46240
317-814-3285
toll free 800-334-3619


 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today, Thursday, April 19, we held the opening bargaining session between UFCW Local 700 and the Kroger Company for the Indianapolis Kroger Agreement; this agreement covers nearly 6,000 members.  The Union and Company each gave opening remarks including market share and competitive landscape, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act.  

An important piece of UFCW Local 700 President Joe Chorpenning's remarks was the presentation of goals for bargaining.  We've made a lot of progress in our agreement with Kroger, and intend to build on those past successes during these negotiations.  Our primary goal continues to be achieving a contract that protects livable wages and maintains affordable, quality health care that complies with the Affordable Care Act.  You've already taken an important step in securing your pension through the creation of the UFCW Consolidated Pension Plan; during this bargaining, we will also work to secure and protect the meat pension.  We are also working to include language that protects full-time jobs and union market share in our community, and also addresses the changing landscape of our industry.  

When we stick together, we can effectively bargain a strong contract that protects our benefits.  

Should you have any questions or desire further information, please feel free to contact your Union Representative.

 

Please refer back to our Local 700 site for further updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.  

 

 

Like many other UFCW/Kroger agreements across the country, the UFCW Local 700 Indianapolis and Terre Haute Kroger Agreements are currently on extension. The Indianapolis Kroger contract covers approximately 6,000 members of UFCW Local 700 working in Indianapolis Area Kroger stores; the health care language and provisions cover an additional 4,000 Kroger workers throughout the Hoosier State.

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