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.
By Ruth Garbus
We have not provided an update for a while, but we’ve certainly been busy! In October, the Committee met with a couple of staff members to get some “on the ground” perspective about what characteristics would be ideal in the next GM. Normally, due to the strictures of policy governance, Board members do not reach out to employees directly (“The only official connection of the board to the operational organization, its achievement, and conduct shall be through the general manager.” – Policy C.1), so this was a rare opportunity to get a window into staff sentiment that will help ensure our next GM will be a good fit.
Retrocommissioning Update 2.9.2021
What is Commissioning?
When our building was first constructed and the various mechanical components were installed, the contractors who installed them went through the process of ‘commissioning’ the equipment. They filled the lines with refrigerant, set the compressors running, fired the boilers for the first time, established the various temperature points, created the various ‘rules’ for when the building automation system would run the heating, cooling, refrigeration and/or air movement systems as a result of the inputs of the dozens of sensors around the store. Nine years later, many of those ‘rules’ still stand.
Plastic. It really stinks. No seriously, since the pandemic started it has been growing in use and it is not a feasible long-term option for our Earth, oceans, people and animals to survive in a healthy manner. We at the Brattleboro Food Co-op want to do everything that is possible to decrease plastic use. Recently we revamped our Bulk department in an effort to offer more serve-yourself options for bulk food. The main goal was to reduce plastic consumption by allowing you to bring your own clean containers into the Co-op and fill them. Yes, we did the research and it appears that COVID-19 does not exist on surface areas for long periods of time and thus transmission is low if anyone is sharing a surface. We will continue to sanitize and keep the bins clean. However, we ask that you please sanitize your hands or wear gloves before you touch pens, bins and containers. Don’t forget that if you forgot your own containers please use paper bags to purchase bulk food.
In our Deli Hot Case:
Hot and Delicious!
Creamy Potato Leek (Dairy)
Alaffia is a bodycare brand that exists not to make a profit but to fight poverty and increase gender equality. Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde met in 1996 in Togo, West Africa, when Hyde was there as a Peace Corps volunteer. They both grew up without much, though to differing degrees because of their countries of origin: Hyde’s family relied on assistance programs but she was still able to get a great education, while Tchala, one of 42 children (his father had multiple wives), had to drop out of school as an adolescent to help out his family. They married in the mid-90’s and moved to Olympia, WA, Hyde’s home town, and five years later they helped to form a shea butter cooperative in Tchala’s home, thinking they’d create jobs for women.
We’re offering work credit to Shareholders in exchange for making masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here are two patterns two of our employees have been using – if you have a different pattern you’d like to use, go right ahead!