CVS management made little movement to address pharmacists’ concerns about quality of life issues during another long negotiation meeting with the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee on May 10.
The company is still insisting on forcing pharmacists to work 12-hour shifts without allowing them the time they need to complete their daily tasks, be that with pharmacist overlap or weekly administrative hours.
“Forcing pharmacists to work 12-hour shifts is not safe for customers, and it’s not safe for pharmacists,” said eight-year CVS pharmacist Jeremy Aguila, a Bargaining Committee member. “It’s a sad day when I feel like I have to protect my customers from my company. CVS is putting us in a tough position.”
In addition, CVS has proposed meager 1 percent wage increases and have yet to respond to the union’s last economic proposal from May 3. Meanwhile, CVS Health this month reported its revenue jumped nearly 19 percent to $43.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
Local 727 also filed additional unfair labor practice charges against CVS with the National Labor Relations Board.
“We want to work hard and make the company grow, but we also want to protect customer safety,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “We don’t feel heard, and we don’t feel the company has made any significant steps toward alleviating pharmacists’ quality of life concerns.”
The current three-year contract covering about 150 Chicago-area CVS pharmacists expires Saturday, May 7. The union and management do not have an extension agreement in place, so after May 7, pharmacists will be working without a contract. Under federal law, CVS may not change the status quo of any working condition during bargaining even after the contract expires.
Local 727 representatives took action May 10 by passing out handbills outside Chicago-area pharmacies to inform the public of safety risks associated with CVS management’s mistreatment of overworked and understaffed pharmacists. READ THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE’S COVERAGE
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee has offered to meet with CVS management again in an effort to reach an agreement. The union will update members when additional meetings have been set.
If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Melissa Senatore, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].