Osco management continued its history of out-of-touch proposals Tuesday, presenting the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee with a new contract offer for members to vote that contains no movement on the major issues pharmacists want to see addressed, such as health care and finding coverage.
The Osco stewards and pharmacists on the Local 727 Bargaining Committee unanimously agreed not to recommend the contract for ratification.
Osco management attempted to bribe the Local 727 Bargaining Committee by offering retroactivity on raises if the Bargaining Committee remained neutral on its recommendation, but the Bargaining Committee refused to sacrifice its integrity.
“Over and over and over again, we have talked about pharmacists’ concerns, and once again, the company didn’t listen,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “It appears the only way Osco will listen is if pharmacists take a stand and make their voices heard by rejecting this contract offer.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee opened Tuesday’s meeting — the fourth federal mediation session and 10th overall bargaining meeting — by making movement from its last, best and final offer, based on feedback received from hundreds of Osco pharmacists over the last week. The company did not respond in kind, and instead, only made minimal movement on its wage increases — $1.15 in year one, $1.15 in year two and $1.25 in year three — which still only 1.7 percent. That is less than the wage increases in the previous contract.
“Pharmacists feel insulted. They’re being ignored. But they’re willing to stand up for themselves because they’re not happy with how they’re being treated,” Osco steward Michael Trnka said at the bargaining table.
The company’s contract offer now goes to a member vote, which will be conducted via mail ballot. If the contract is voted down, the Local 727 Bargaining Committee will attempt to negotiate further with the company. This mail ballot vote will not be a strike vote; it will only be a contract vote.
After the union receives the draft contract proposal from Osco that incorporates the company’s final economic proposal, union attorneys then will be tasked with going through the draft line by line to ensure the language is accurate, based upon the tentative agreements reached by the parties during negotiations. The union will distribute the final version via email blast and online as soon as it is complete.
Local 727 will mail a copy of the contract proposal in its entirety, a chart comparing the company’s offer with the union’s last, best and final offer, a ballot and a stamped return envelope to all Osco members. To vote, members can simply mark the ballot, place it in the stamped return envelope.
The union will continue to update pharmacists throughout the process.
“One thing is apparent: Osco doesn’t think you’re strong. They don’t think pharmacists really care about these issues, and they think pharmacists will take whatever they offer, no matter what,” Coli said. “They’re calling your bluff. It’s time to prove that this group is united and stronger than ever.”
If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Zach Frankenbach, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].