Local co-op votes to approve wage increase to $15 per hour

Hampshire County

A western Massachusetts supermarket has raised its minimum wage. Employees at River Valley Co-op in Northampton now make a minimum of $15 an hour.

The announcement was made Monday and went into effect immediately. The agreement was ratified with 96 percent approval by workers.

This makes the co-op four years ahead of the state-mandated $15 an hour minimum wage. The state’s minimum wage increased this year to $12 an hour.

“We work together,” Co-op General Manager Rochelle Prunty explained. “I think we really focus on that collective bargaining. It’s really a team effort; we figured out how to do it. We’re just really happy. It’s a great way to start the new year.”

Alice Landon, the co-op’s union steward told 22News, “I’m really happy with the results. It seems across the board that the other employees are happy with it.”

The co-op developed a three-year contract to carry them through the potential opening of a second location in Easthampton.

They hope to open the Easthampton store in 2020.

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