Member-Labor Resumes on July 12 and How the Interim System Will Work

07/04/2021

Dear Coop Member,

The Coop’s mandatory member labor system resumes on Monday, July 12.  Please help spread this news by widely sharing it within your own networks and communities.

THREE STEPS TO TAKE TODAY

  • READ THIS EMAIL all the way to the end
  • ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBER SERVICES ACCOUNT, if you have not already done so. Visit https://foodcoop.com/services and “Register.” This step is critical. Member Services will be the primary method for managing your Coop work life.
  • SIGN UP FOR A SHIFT (or shifts!) for July 12 and beyond. In your Member Services account click on Virtual Office and select Shift Calendar. All currently available shifts will be displayed for each committee in the dropdown menu.

As of today, many different types of work shifts are available in the Member Services. Each shift has a description that you should read prior to signing up. Signing up for shifts that meet in the first couple of weeks will help the Coop staff plan for smooth operations during this transition. If possible, please sign up for those shifts before the ones that meet later in July. We are asking all members to consider working during the first cycle, regardless of whether you have banked shift credits or not. The Coop needs your labor now!

INTERIM WORK ACCOUNTNG SYSTEM (IWAS)

The IWAS is based on the structure of our long-standing Future Time Off Program (FTOP). Our pre-Covid membership system did not meet the Coop’s current operational needs and so, with the invaluable contributions of our IT department staff, the Coop developed the Interim Work Accounting System (IWAS) to manage member labor. Flexibility was a key requirement. Why? While the Coop continues to grow its sales volume and gains a better understanding of the size of its working membership, the Coop must be able to constantly adjust the number of member workslots, shift start times, and the types of work members are doing to meet evolving operational needs.

SUMMARY of HOW IWAS WORKS

  • All working members will be required to schedule each individual shift they work.
  • Members can cancel a shift up to 8pm the night before the shift meets.
  • Shifts can be scheduled up to 11:59pm the night before the shift meets.
  • Failure to cancel a scheduled shift will result in an owed shift.
  • Make-ups or Walk-in shifts are not permitted in IWAS.
  • All available shifts are displayed on the SHIFT CALENDAR in Member Services.
  • Each working member will be charged a shift credit on the first day of the work cycle.
  • Members will have the flexibility to work as many shifts in the cycle as meets their schedule needs and availability.
  • Members will need to complete at least one shift per cycle to avoid falling behind and impacting their work status.

DETAILS of HOW IWAS WORKS

On the first day of each work cycle, all members will have a completed shift credit withdrawn from their work account. Members then have the entire length of the cycle to schedule and complete a shift before the next cycle debit date. Members should always attempt to have a completed shift credit in their work accounts in advance of the upcoming cycle debit date. If you have a completed credit in your work account on the cycle debit date, you will remain “active” for work.

Cycle Length

The Coop’s first work cycle will be FIVE weeks. The first cycle starts on Monday, July 12 and ends on Sunday, August 15.

The start and end date of the current IWAS cycle appears on the “Home” page of your Member Services account. While we know that the second work cycle will begin on Monday, August 16, the length of that second cycle has not yet been determined. The length of the work cycle will be determined by the Coop’s current operational needs and size of the working membership.

Member Work Status on July 12

On July 12 all working members, except members working on select committees, will have a shift credit withdrawn from their work for the first cycle charge.

Members who do NOT have a completed shift credit in their work accounts will be on ALERT. Do not worry! Alert is a REMINDER that you need to schedule and complete a shift. It does NOT mean you “missed” a shift. The alert will change to active once you schedule AND complete your shift. Members should aim to work TWO TIMES between now and Monday, August 16 in order to avoid being on ALERT when the cycle debit for the second work cycle happens on August 16.

Members who currently have a completed shift credit(s) will have a credit deducted from their work accounts on July 12 and will remain on “active” status for work. Depending on how many shift credits these members already have in the bank, they may or may not need to work before Monday, August 16.

The number of work credits in your bank are displayed on the “Home” page of your Member Services accounts.

No ABCD Work Shifts or Cycle

No members will be assigned to a regularly scheduled shift as in the ABCD system, except for members working on committees such as the Linewaiters’ Gazette or the DRC. During the initial period of member labor, the repeating 4-week ABCD system will not be used.

 

USING MEMBER SERVICES TO MANAGE YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Member Services – available from foodcoop.com – will be your main portal to the Interim Work Accounting System (IWAS), offering 24/7 online access to view available shifts, to schedule each shift, to cancel shifts up to the day before, to view your upcoming scheduled shifts, to monitor your shift credit balance, to confirm the next cycle debit date (the date on which the Coop will withdraw a shift credit from your workslot account), and to turn on (or off) shift notifications and sharing of information within your household.

IN-PERSON ASSISTANCE STILL AVAILABLE

The Coop will provide in-person assistance to members who cannot use Member Services for whatever reason. Members needing in-person assistance should visit the Second Floor Service Desk and speak to a staff member between 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. Starting on Monday, July 12, at 10:30 am, the Membership Office will be open for in-person or phone assistance. To allow our staff to focus their attention on the members who truly need help, we urge all other members to activate and learn to use their Member Services account as soon as possible.

 

THREE ONE-TIME ONLY ASPECTS OF RESTARTING MEMBER LABOR

  • COOP-WIDE REMOVAL OF OWED SHIFTS: In the next few days, a one-time only Coop-wide amnesty will be applied to all Coop member accounts with owed shifts. If you owed time as of March 22, 2020, those owed shifts will be removed so you can return to member labor with a “clean slate.” The General Coordinators authorized this Coop-wide amnesty in recognition of the difficult 16 months all of us have had and how everyone needs a break right now! And, the Coop needs all members returning to work to not worry about catching up and to focus on the future of our member labor system.
  • MEMBERS WHO WORKED “MAKE-UP” SHIFTS under the VOLUNTARY MEMBER LABOR SYSTEM will RETAIN those credits: If you worked a shift(s) during the voluntary member labor system that were applied to previously owed make-up, those credits will be restored to you as completed shift credits in your work account. The make-ups you previously owed will be part of the Coop-wide amnesty described above. In other words, your make-ups are forgiven, and the voluntary completed shifts will be credits you can see in your Member Services account.
  • STATUS will NOT IMPACT SHOPPING until mid-September: To acknowledge the realities that returning to Coop work is an adjustment and that communicating with our busy and widely disbursed membership is a challenge, member work status will not impact access to shopping privileges until mid-September. This will give the entire Coop community two complete work cycles to adjust to the interim member labor work accounting system.

KEY TAKE-AWAYS

  • Work is starting up again on July 12
  • Shifts are available now on Member Services
  • Sign-up for shifts today
  • Shift credits will be deducted on the start date of each cycle
  • The first cycle debit will occur on July 12
  • Aim to maintain at least one completed shift credit in your account at all times to remain active
  • Member Services is your resource for knowing everything about your shifts and credit balance

 

REQUEST a LEAVE or WORK EXEMPTION if you will NOT be working a shift

If you are NOT available to work when the mandatory work requirement resumes on July 12, please log into your Member Services account, click on “Virtual Office” and select the appropriate leave or work exemption under “Requests and Agreements.” Leaves can be temporary or permanent if you will not be shopping or working, and additional work exemptions will soon be available in Member Services for members who cannot work but would like to continue to shop. Those additional work exemptions are disability, caregiver, new parent, bereavement and retirement.

If you cannot activate your Member Services account for any reason, Coop members can now also request a leave via foodcoop.com: https://www.foodcoop.com/leave/

We recognize it will take the Coop community – staff and members – some time to re-adjust to mandatory member labor and to learn the new procedures. The planned steps over the next several months take this reality into account. The most important thing for all members to know now is this: as of Monday, July 12, working a shift is again mandatory. Your attention and involvement are crucial to making our return to member labor a success.

In cooperation,

The General Coordinators