Board News

Last Updated: May 30th, 2024 by Three Rivers Market Communications.

In April, the Board of Directors met at the Birdhouse Neighborhood Center for our Spring Retreat, during which we established our governance priorities for the upcoming fiscal year beginning in July.

We began the day with an orientation presented by an Employee & Labor Relations Consultant who has worked closely with Three Rivers Market since the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union was voluntarily recognized in 2021. We learned more about how the bargaining process works; the legal and process limits on Three Rivers Market and the staff union; the role of the Board; and the importance of adhering to the collective bargaining agreement struck between the staff union and Three Rivers Market. 

Three Rivers Market is committed to prioritizing a positive working relationship between the staff union and store management, with ongoing education helping all involved to better understand the options available to achieve this goal. The Board remains interested in developing a plan for ensuring staff are informed about avenues to engage with governance processes, which the Staff Involvement in Governance Committee has been chartered to explore further this year.

During the second half of the retreat, we discussed Three Rivers Market’s recent challenges, as well as aspirations, within the context of a rapidly changing community and economy, in order to formulate our focus for Study & Engagement during the 2024-25 fiscal year. We identified strengthening our impact as a topic of significant importance at this moment in our story, with strong consideration for locales and populations in our area that would benefit from increased food access and/or education about cooperative business models. 

As Knoxville grows, there is opportunity for cooperative businesses to thrive as an alternative to conventional models. The Board is committed to collaborating with the General Manager in efforts to improve on operational effectiveness with respect to changes in the economic climate,  reinforcing our strong community connections, and envisioning the possibilities for extending our reach into other business endeavors in a sustainable and values-based manner. 

We invite our members to get involved via attendance at monthly meetings, upcoming member linkage events including our summer picnic, and considering candidacy for Board service. As always, please reach out with questions or feedback related to governance of our cooperative.