UFCW Local 247 is a union, a not-for-profit organization that exists for the betterment of its members. Your dues pay for the costs of contract negotiations, servicing members, legal fees, organizing new members, education, and grievance processing, just to name a few.
Union members pay dues for the same reason that civic, cultural, business, and professional association members pay dues: It costs money to run an organization, and particularly in our case, it also costs money to defend the best interests of the members.
New members pay a one-time initiation fee of $50, unless you have previously been a member of UFCW and paid an initiation fee at another UFCW Local. If that is the case, contact your union representative to initiate the reimbursement process.
Members' dues are used to meet the needs of the union in providing services directly to members. UFCW Local 247 has two basic types of dues structures, and they are as follows:
Dues Structure A applies to members working for the following employers:
Dues Structure B applies to members working for the following employers:
Members in some workplaces have voted to contribute to the UFCW's National Defence Fund (NDF). The NDF is a special fund designated solely to help contributing UFCW members across Canada who may be involved in labour disputes with their employer. Contribution rates vary per week.
Here are some of the examples of the work and services provided by the union on behalf of our members.
Union staff regularly assist members with WorkSafe BC Compensation matters, including Compensation Appeal hearings. All of this activity on behalf of our members generates thousands of dollars each year for them.
UFCW Local 247, through its education department, provides free courses and seminars for members around British Columbia. It provides skills training, labour courses and community-based education and outreach. Members also get access to UFCW’s webCampus free online computer courses and educational opportunities that are extended to their families.
In defending the rights of union members to be treated fairly, Union Representatives often consult or seek guidance from legal counsel to ensure we are achieving the best possible results for members when dealing with grievances and other day-to-day issues. Local 247 processes dozens of arbitration hearings for members each year, and covers all the costs, including legal fees for the Union’s lawyers to represent our members. Successful arbitrations put money directly in the pockets of our members, and even when they are unsuccessful, employers are put on notice that the union will defend its members.
Hundreds of grievances are processed by Local 247 Union Representatives each year. While many of these grievances are settled without the need for arbitration, it is still an expensive process.
Contract negotiations are one of the union's core responsibilities, and with members from a variety of employers and workplaces, negotiations are an ongoing task for Local 247. The cost of achieving good collective agreements is high, and it is not uncommon for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent each year directly on negotiations.
Local 247 Staff Union Representatives make workplace visits to members in all of our locations throughout the province of British Columbia. These services help provide Local 247 members with the security and representation they are entitled to receive.
Your union dues are tax deductible. Aside from this advantage, national studies of compensation (wage and benefit costs combined), show that the average union member earns 26-30 percent more than the average non-union worker in Canada. The services outlined provide you with an overview of how your dues dollars are spent. Local 247 members receive valuable direct and indirect services from highly skilled, experienced, and professional staff. Local 247 is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our members in the most cost-effective way possible.