After some initial, incremental progress on the second day of federal mediation, Osco management reverted to its practice of stonewalling the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee by refusing to make any meaningful movement Friday.
“We started the day with hope, but eight hours later, that hope was gone,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We can’t bargain against ourselves. Negotiations are a two-way street, but clearly Osco management doesn’t see it that way.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee began negotiations on April 12 with about 60 proposals, based on the record number of member contract demands the union collected from Osco pharmacists.
During the last scheduled negotiation meeting on April 29, the Local 727 Bargaining Committee made substantial movement by narrowing its focus to only six remaining non-economic issues like tech hours/overlap, coverage, job postings/filling of positions and floater geographic boundaries. After the union made that substantial movement, the company did not reciprocate. Despite this, the union came into mediation with options for solutions on issues such as scheduling, coverage and floaters in an effort to reach middle ground, but Osco management once again refused to make meaningful movement.
“We’re not asking for anything outrageous. These are all reasonable things they should be doing anyway, if they cared at all about their pharmacists or their customers,” said Osco overnight pharmacist steward Michael Trnka, a Bargaining Committee member.
Local 727 on Friday also filed an additional unfair labor practice charge against the company for bad faith bargaining.
“Throughout this entire negotiation process, Osco management has done nothing but waste our time, forcing the Local 727 Bargaining Committee to wait for hours on end for movement that never comes,” Coli said. “When the company is ready to work with the union and our pharmacists to reach a fair agreement, then they know how to find us.”
The contract extension covering about 500 Chicago-area Osco pharmacists expires at 11:59 p.m. May 20. The union and management do not have an additional extension agreement in place, so beginning May 21, pharmacists will be working without a contract. Under federal law, Osco may not change the status quo of any working condition during bargaining, even after the contract expires.
The union will continue to update Osco pharmacists. If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Zach Frankenbach, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].