Chicago Tribune Highlights Union’s Efforts to Reform Pharmacy Work Standards

| July 14, 2017

Teamsters Local 727 represents more than 640 pharmacists at Osco and CVS, and the union has seen first-hand how a lack of adequate work standards can be detrimental to both pharmacists and to the public they serve. That’s why Local 727, in conjunction with Teamster pharmacists and other allies, has been advocating for new pharmacy work standards for Illinois pharmacies to follow.

These new work standards became central to a bill sponsored by Illinois State Representative Mary Flowers. A mirror version of the bill is also being debated in the Chicago City Council.

The new work standards long pushed by Local 727 and incorporated into the Flowers bill include the following provisions:

  • Limits on prescriptions filled per hour not to exceed 10 prescriptions
  • At least 10 pharmacy technician hours per 100 prescriptions
  • Require pharmacists to report dispensing errors
  • Require mandatory staffing levels at Illinois pharmacies that include one pharmacy tech per pharmacist at all times
  • Prohibit pharmacists from working no more than eight hours per day
  • Place a general prohibition on activities such as advertising or solicitation mandates that distract pharmacists from doing their job serving the public
  • Mandatory pharmacist paid rest breaks and meal periods
  • Language added to incorporate “whistleblower protection.”

The history of how Rep. Flowers’ bill evolved into a task force to propose changes to current Illinois pharmacy law was featured in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, July 9. The article details the legislative process, where things stand now and the stakeholders involved, including Local 727.

“We look forward to collaborating with the task force to see that our efforts at reforming pharmacy work standards finally become law,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We also can clearly see by CVS management’s actions in the last bargaining session that they are afraid of the task force fulfilling its mission.”

The task force, the result of the union’s continued efforts and bravery exhibited by pharmacists who spoke out about their concerns, will examine the various provisions the union has pushed for to see if they can be added to the Pharmaceutical Practice Act to better serve the public.

By September 1, 2019, the members of the task force must vote on recommendations to be included in statute. They then must present their recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly by November 1, 2019, where the general assembly will then decide to accept the recommendations of the task force.

Anyone with questions 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].

Category: PHARMACY

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