The contract language in our Master Food Agreement with Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons (Article 6J) along with the language in our agreement with Stater Brothers and Gelsons (Article 6K) allow for the use of a Clerk’s Helper or Combo Clerk work in a higher classification.

What is a Combo Clerk? A Combo Clerk is a Clerk’s Helper that works a portion of his or her shift as either a General Merchandise (GM) Clerk or a Food Clerk. The contract allows this as long as the Clerk’s Helper receives proper pay and credit for such work in the higher classification.

The maximum number of hours per store in one week that Clerk’s Helpers may work in a higher classification shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of hours scheduled in the Clerk’s Helper classification for the week.
For example, there is a total of 200 hours of Clerk’s Helpers scheduled to work for the week. Fifteen percent of 200 hours is 30 hours—that number represents the maximum number of hours Clerk’s Helpers in that store may work in higher category. This includes all GM department work: such as but not limited to service deli, bakery, stocking GM products, GM price changes, Starbucks and service desk. It also includes all Food Clerk work: such as but not limited to cashier, dairy, produce, stocking food products and doing food price changes.

There are very tough penalties for stores that exceed the 15 percent. These penalties include pay for GM and Food Clerks that worked less than 40 hours during the week. In addition to the pay, three violations of this provision in any one store within any 90-day period shall result in that store being prohibited from using Clerk’s Helpers in a higher classification for a period of 90 days.

In the event of a violation, the most senior part-time employee in the classification(s) in which the majority of that work was performed, shall receive pay for the number of additional hours worked over the 15 percent up to 40 hours. If any balance of hours remains, it is then paid to the next most senior employee until that balance is exhausted.
It is important for all GM and Food Clerks to monitor the use of Clerk’s Helpers working in higher classifications. Remind them to clock over or fill out the proper forms to get paid correctly, and report any abuse of this program to your Union Representative.

Remember, these penalties were negotiated to preserve your jobs and ensure that you are working the hours you deserve. This language also protects Clerk’s Helpers from being under paid and stuck in a lower paying classification without the opportunity for promotion.