Board Refuses Local 727 Members the Opportunity to Speak at IL Task Force Meeting in Alleged Violation of Open Meetings Act

| July 8, 2019

During the last meeting of the Illinois Collaborative Pharmaceutical Task Force on Wednesday, June 19, Task Force members voted to approve several recommendations for reforming the Pharmacy Practice Act (PPA).

Of the motions approved, nearly all recommended reforms that Local 727 representatives and members had advocated for during past Task Force meetings.  These include motions that:

  • Require employers to keep a complete and accurate record of the daily break periods of its pharmacists;
  • Require employers to provide pharmacists with the opportunity to take uninterrupted rest and meal breaks, or face disciplinary action;
  • Require employers to provide pharmacists with an adequate amount of time to complete their professional duties, or face disciplinary action;
  • Require employers to adequately staff pharmacies so as to prevent fatigue, distraction, or other conditions from interfering with a pharmacist’s ability to safely complete his or her professional duties, or face disciplinary action;
  • Clarify that whistleblower protections extend to anyone that reports violations of the PPA to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

In addition to voting in favor of reforming the PPA’s rest break, employer accountability, and whistleblower protection standards, the Task Force also held a vote to determine whether it should recommend a pharmacist’s workday be limited to 8 or 12 hours.  Local 727 members in attendance asked for a moment to speak on the issue so they could share with the Task Force the challenges they have experienced firsthand when forced to work shifts longer than 8 hours. The Task Force denied the Teamster pharmacists’ request.

Despite Local 727 representatives pointing out that the Illinois Open Meetings Act protects the right of any person to address public officials, the Task Force again refused the pharmacists right to speak and proceeded with its vote.  Ultimately, the Task Force voted in favor of recommending a pharmacist’s workday be capped at 12 hours—precisely what Local 727 pharmacists sought to prevent.

Local 727 has called on the Task Force to invalidate its vote in light of the blatant violation of Illinois state law.  The Union has also demanded pharmacists be given the opportunity to share their views before the Task Force votes the issue again.

“The fundamental role of public officials is to maintain and defend the law.  To have the Task Force—a group of officials entrusted with the great responsibility of analyzing and recommending changes to Illinois statute—so readily dismiss the law is alarming,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “Local 727 demands our members be given the opportunity to speak, as is their right.”

The Task Force is next scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9.  Local 727 will continue to update members on the Task Force’s progress.

Members with questions, or those wanting to share their experiences with the Task Force, should contact Local 727 Osco Business Representative Zach Frankenbach at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected] or Local 727 CVS Business Representative Melissa Senatore at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or grievance(s), or as a waiver of any rights, arguments, or defenses under any contract, collective bargaining agreement, or applicable law.  The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.

Category: PHARMACY

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