Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op

201 Ethan Allen Ave., Takoma Park MD 20912

301-891-COOP (2667)

Open 8 AM - 10 PM, 7 Days a Week

TPSS Co-op logo

May 16, 2018

To TPSS Co-op Members:

The Co-op strives to be a welcoming place where anyone can join, and everyone can shop for organic, wholesome foods. We serve our shoppers and contribute to the local economy. We are proud that money spent in the Co-op doesn't go to a far-away corporation but stays in the community.

The Co-op has about 10,000 member-owner households plus many shoppers who are not members. We understand and respect that there are different views amongst our members about the proposed development of the Junction.

The Co-op has consistently supported and urged development of the Junction in a way that will allow the Co-op to thrive in this community we care so much about. After studying NDC’s most recently-submitted design drawings, with the help of our management and expert consultants, the Co-op Board finds that the current NDC proposal presents serious operational concerns.

Our concerns include lack of adequate space for the many delivery trucks to unload at the store in a way that keeps the drivers, shoppers, and employees safe while also minimizing the drivers' time. Drivers have told us that if they cannot get goods to the store in an efficient way, they will stop delivering to us. Without goods on the shelves shoppers expect, we won't have shoppers. If we don't have shoppers, we won't have revenue to pay wages, rent, buy inventory, etc., and that's not sustainable.

We are also concerned about waste storage and collection. NDC’s proposal requires that we find a way to store our trash/recycling on the Sycamore Avenue side of our building. The problems with that include: (1) we want to be good neighbors to nearby residents and storing trash in the Sycamore lot will create noise and trash, and (2) it will reduce and interfere with the free parking for shoppers (the new underground lot will be paid parking).

We remain committed to working with the City and NDC to address concerns that are real and serious. The City offered mediation and we have agreed to participate. We have asked the City that the mediation be between the City, NDC, and the Co-op and that the mediator come from outside of Takoma Park.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted City Council members, City staff, and us. Thank you to the independent community groups on all sides of the issue that continue to be actively engaged in this important challenge to our City. We appreciate your attention to the Junction and your enthusiasm.

Let’s keep talking about the issues. Please continue to contact the Council and City Manager to share what is on your mind. You may speak at Council meetings on Wednesday nights during the public comment period or you may email or call your Councilmember, the Mayor, or the City Manager:

Ward 1 : Peter Kovar peterk@takomaparkmd.gov 240-319-6281
Ward 2 : Cindy Dyballa cindyd@takomaparkmd.gov 240-319-6281
Ward 3 : Kacy Kostiuk kacyk@takomaparkmd.gov 240-204-4912
Ward 4 : Terry Seamens terrys@takomaparkmd.gov 301-565-0190
Ward 5 : Jarrett Smith Jarretts@takomaparkpc.gov 301-960-7462
Ward 6 : Talisha Searcy talishas@takomaparkmd.gov 202-339-7914
Mayor : Kate Stewart kates@takomaparkmd.gov 240-339-9333
City Manager : Suzanne Ludlow SuzanneL@takomaparkmd.gov 301-891-7229

See you at the Co-op!

Thank you,
Rachel Hardwick
Board President

TPSS Co-op Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op
201 Ethan Allen Ave, Takoma Park MD 20912
301-891-COOP (2667)
Open 8 AM - 10 PM, 7 Days a Week
Copyright © 2018, Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op. All rights reserved.

To TPSS Co-op Members:

Earlier this year, TPSS Co-op and the union that represents our bargaining unit members, began bargaining in good faith over wages, hours and working conditions.

Today the Co-op is pleased to report that Co-op Management offered, and the union tentatively agreed to accept, wage increases that will bring every TPSS employee, fulltime or part-time, up to $15 an hour or more. The raises will be effective on July 1, once a final contract is agreed to and ratified. Employees who already earn $15 or more per hour will also receive increases ranging upward to $18. This is consistent, we think, with the progressive spirit of both the cooperative movement in this country and the community we serve.

We have made this offer because the Co-op's leadership believes that any worker who does his or her job deserves a "living wage," the ability to live at a decent standard and help support a family.

We recognize that the stores with whom we compete -- big global supermarket giants like Whole Foods, Giant and Safeway -- do not guarantee all their workers $15/hour and rely heavily on part-time workers to keep costs low at their workers' expense. We hope to set an example in the Greater Washington community and we challenge other employers to join us in promoting a $15 minimum wage for all their workers.

Under terms of the tentative agreement on economic issues, employees will get additional increases of 1% in both 2019 and 2020, receive annual bonuses of 2 to 4% contingent on whether the Co-op's fiscal year net income increases, and employee gift card rewards for longevity on the anniversaries of their hire. Employees will also be able to share in a Paid Time Off (PTO) Pool to cover employee emergency leaves. We intend to extend wage increases to Co-op managers, as well, and they will participate in the net income bonuses and PTO Pool. All full-time Co-op employees will continue to receive fully-paid health and dental insurance and reimbursement for deductibles and co-pays and generous paid time off policies.

This economic package remains subject to resolving outstanding non-wage issues. Negotiations with the union resume on May 23.

We hope you agree with us that TPSS employees at all levels are an important component of the Co-op's success over the past 37 years. When you are next in the store, we encourage you to congratulate our workers for the role they play in serving our community.

Rachel Hardwick, President, Board of Representatives
Hussein Choteka, Acting General Manager
Irene Cox, Human Resources Manager

Takoma Park Letterhead

April 25, 2018

Mayor Kate Stewart
Takoma Park City Council Members
7500 Maple Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

RE: Takoma Junction Redevelopment Proposal

Dear Mayor Stewart and Council Members:

Thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony on behalf of the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op, a grocery store with nearly 10,000 household member-owners, regarding redevelopment of the City’s parking lot in the Takoma Junction proposed by the Neighborhood Development Company (“NDC”). As you know, we have testified before the Council on many occasions over the past several years regarding our concerns about the proposed development. Throughout this process, the Co-op has consistently raised the following issues in connection with the proposed NDC development at Takoma Junction:

(1) the need for safe and efficient delivery of the Co-op’s products;
(2) the need for replacement of the customer parking that will be lost when this site is redeveloped;
(3) the need for safe and efficient trash and recyclable materials storage and removal; and
(4) the need to ensure business continuity during construction.

The Board has been clear that “reasonable accommodation” of the Co-op, as set forth in the City’s Development Agreement with NDC, must address these needs.

This particular testimony has three purposes...

Continue reading our most recent letters to the Council
about the proposed Junction development here

TPSS Co-op

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