Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

VFC raises entry-level wage

Posted by Alycann Taylor on Sun, Jan 15, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

Viroqua Food Co-op has served our rural community as a dynamic cooperative grocery for 20 years. We are fully focused on our Mission to support the health of our community and create a work of enduring value.

Being a principled employer is an important part of “...creating a work of enduring value.” It is challenging to meet owners’ requests for both lower prices and fair wages and benefits for staff, but we know it is the right thing to do – you’ve told us so! In every survey we’ve conducted, our owners have expressed their concern that VFC staff have good wages and benefits.

We are proud to announce that effective in October 2016, the Viroqua Food Cooperative’s new entry level wage is $10.00 per hour. Entry level positions exist throughout the Co-op, many of which do not require previous grocery experience. They are essential to the VFC’s success. This entry level wage becomes effective after 90 days of employment.

To determine our new entry level wage we utilized the MIT Living Wage model as a benchmark. MIT Living Wage for Vernon County is $9.46 (Wisconsin State is $10.20).

To transition to our new entry level wage, 28 out of 64 employees received a pay increase. This increase was determined utilizing a model that acknowledged longevity.

While just under half received a pay increase, all VFC staff were in agreement that everyone who works here should receive a wage that supports basic cost of living.2016-Alycann-and-Staff.jpg

In our recent owner survey, VFC owners also expressed their support for staff wages. Here are a couple examples:

“I also am in full support of creating more opportunities for the Co-op to serve the community, both with job increases and potential wage increases…”

“I am a member and even though I would prefer low prices, I would also like to know that employees are receiving a good wage with benefits for themselves and their families...”

Our Cooperative brings an intrinsic value to the community – in responding to the needs of shoppers, making it easier to nourish their families, connecting them to the sources of their food, offering a safe and engaging “third” space, and being principled employers.

For more information on staff benefits, see the VFC employment page.

Tags: VFC Staff