After spending 12 hours in federal mediation Wednesday, the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee is no closer to reaching a fair agreement with Osco management on a new contract for about 500 Chicago-area pharmacists.
“Whatever optimism we had about mediation making a difference in pushing Osco management to be reasonable is gone,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “This company has shown time and again that they don’t really care about pharmacists and that they have no interest in working with the union to reach a fair agreement.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Osco management met with a federal mediator Wednesday. Mediation opened with the union presenting an updated contract proposal, which incorporated all open issues and tentative agreements. The rest of the day involved the mediator going back and forth between the Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Osco management.
Pharmacists reiterated their concerns over “quality of life” issues, such as tech hours/overlap, coverage for paid time off and floater geographic boundaries. In an effort to get things moving again, the union made movement on four of the remaining nine open non-economic issues — and Osco management rejected the proposals.
“There’s no respect for the profession,” said Osco floater steward Dennis Sender, a Bargaining Committee member. “I want to take care of my patients, but under these conditions, I don’t feel safe. If this keeps up, somebody is going to get hurt, and no one wants it to be on their shift.”
Local 727 also filed unfair labor practice charges against Osco with the National Labor Relations Board, including their refusal to comply with the union’s request for all information regarding misfills.
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee is scheduled to resume mediation with Osco management Friday, May 20, with the contract extension agreement set to expire at 11:59 p.m. that night.
“The pressure that is on these pharmacists is incredible, and the way they have been mistreated by Osco is disgusting,” Coli said. “The company has made the relationship toxic, and our pharmacist members have had enough. This local union is committed to doing everything in our power to fight for our members, and we will stand behind them no matter what.”
If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Zach Frankenbach, (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].