Union Bargaining Committee Demands More Tech Help, Overlap and Focused Job Duties as Negotiations with Osco Begin
The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee presented a comprehensive contract proposal based on pharmacists’ demands as negotiations with Osco management opened April 12.
The union proposals are aimed at increasing pharmacy technician support, guaranteeing overlap and eliminating superfluous tasks that take away from their primary job duties while compromising patient safety.
“I’ve been with the company for 17 years, and the focus of the company has gone from where you care about an individual person and patient, to where it’s all about money,” said head pharmacist Melissa Henry, a member of the Local 727 Bargaining Committee. “I understand we’re running a business and need to be competitive, but our livelihood depends on how we treat our patients. The new metrics and initiatives required by the corporate office, the extra things we have to do, it takes away from our ability to take care of patients.”
The union’s initial contract proposal includes:
• Guaranteed minimums on tech staffing requirements
• Guaranteed minimums on overlap requirements
• Stricter definition of pharmacists’ work assignments and tasks
• Local 727 Health & Welfare, Pension, and Legal & Educational Assistance Benefits
• Creation of geographic clusters for floaters
• Pharmacists shall not be disciplined based on poor metrics
Meanwhile, Osco management proposed to eliminate head pharmacists from the bargaining unit, require part-time pharmacists to work more hours in order to be union members, and put no limits on holiday scheduling, among other things.
Local 727 made it clear at the bargaining table that management’s demand to bargain over union representation status of future head pharmacists is unlawful, and the union will not bargain over it.
“Unlike during the recent negotiations between Local 710 and Jewel-Osco for warehouse workers, the company failed to acknowledge the contributions our pharmacists made to help them get through a rough financial position three years ago,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “It’s our belief that this is a much different negotiation than three years ago. The company is more successful, and their proposals should reflect that.”
During the bargaining session, Osco management submitted a slideshow presentation about the company’s retail pharmacy competition.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume April 19, with additional meetings set for April 21, April 26, April 27 and April 29. The current three-year contract covering more than 500 Osco pharmacists expires May 7, 2016.
Throughout negotiations, Local 727 will provide pharmacists with timely bargaining updates via email blasts, OscoTeamsters.com and TeamstersLocal727.org. To receive updates in your email inbox, contact Communications Director Maggie Jenkins at [email protected].
If you have questions, contact Local 727 business representative Zach Frankenbach at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].