Osco management rejected all of the union’s initial contract proposals while denying that problems even exist with scheduling, safety and other quality of life issues that the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee has emphasized.
Following six hours of exhaustive discussions, Osco management did not agree to any of the Local 727 Bargaining Committee’s proposals during the second negotiation meeting on April 19.
Bargaining Committee members spent hours explaining to management — in as realistic and accurate terms as possible while including specific examples — the issues facing pharmacists.
“They say pharmacists are the face of the company, but their actions don’t back up that statement,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We have great pharmacists, and they are united now more than they ever have been. Our goal should be not just hammering out a contract, we should be creating an environment of cooperation so we can translate that into customer service and motivation and growing the business. We can’t do that unless Osco management actually listens to the pharmacists and treats them with respect.”
“The morale in our pharmacies is at an all-time low,” said union steward and Bargaining Committee member Dennis Sender. “Every pharmacist I talk to is disgruntled, they’re doing more work than they have the time to do, and that needs to be addressed. We need to make this profession enjoyable again, but the company has put us all in a stressful situation. It’s time to change that.”
The union’s contract proposal includes:
- Minimum tech staffing requirements
- Minimum 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
- Adequate coverage provided for vacation, sick and personal leave
Additionally, Osco management has failed to comply with a full two-thirds of the union’s information requests — information that is essential to the union’s ability to bargain.
On April 19, Osco offered a counter-proposal to uniform allowances, suggesting that new uniforms for pharmacists should be distributed at the company’s discretion and not more than once during the length of any new contract.
During the previous bargaining session, Osco management submitted a slideshow presentation about the company’s retail pharmacy competition.
Negotiations will resume April 21, with additional meetings scheduled for April 26, April 27 and April 29.
The current three-year contract covering more than 500 Osco pharmacists expires May 7, 2016.