The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee opened contract negotiations April 27 by urging Osco management to work with the union to reach a fair agreement.
“We need to change the dynamic of our ongoing partnership,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “Over and over, we have expressed what our six core issues are, and if we can see movement on those issues, we can create a good relationship going forward.”
The union’s six core non-economic demands relate to tech hours/overlap, coverage, breaks, part-timers’ benefits, job postings and floaters’ geographic restrictions.
“They’re treating this list of demands as frivolous and unimportant, and they think we can be bought,” said part-time pharmacist steward Laura Lucafo, a Bargaining Committee member. “They keep wanting to throw money at us when we’ve said repeatedly that money is not the issue. It’s about quality of life.”
For the first time in five negotiation meetings, some real progress was made on a few of these quality of life issues, with tentative agreements on the following:
- Guaranteed uninterrupted breaks and meal periods in a private break or rest area. The company said it will get a screen for each store.
- No pharmacist will be required to clean pharmacy bathrooms.
- The company will provide three uniforms during the term of the contract for each full-time pharmacist who makes such a request.
- Head pharmacists are responsible for creating and implementing work schedules for their respective pharmacies, and scheduling is still subject to the grievance procedure.
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Osco management have one more bargaining session scheduled for Friday, with the majority of the non-economic proposals and all economic issues still unsettled. The union presented its complete economic proposal on the first day of bargaining.
Osco management still refused to respond to many of the union’s information requests — including documentation on misfills, the company’s financial information and back up data on the state of the pharmacy industry it presented on April 19.
“The union made it clear from the start of negotiations that we need this information before bargaining, and we still don’t have it,” Coli said. “Time is running out.”
Negotiations will resume at 10 a.m. Friday, April 29. The current three-year contract expires May 7, 2016.
If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Zach Frankenbach, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].