Osco Finally Acknowledges Rest Break Problems

| October 16, 2018

Teamsters Local 727 met with Osco management on Tuesday, October 9th, to continue discussions on the effectiveness of the new rest break procedures demanded by the Union.  This is the second meeting between the parties since Local 727 demanded new procedures be implemented in an attempt to guarantee pharmacists are able to take uninterrupted rest breaks.  When the Union previously met with Osco in August, the Company questioned the legitimacy of pharmacists’ survey responses.

Teamsters Local 727 would like to thank all of the pharmacists who bravely came forward to share their experiences in the Union’s recent questionnaire.  Pharmacists’ detailed descriptions of ongoing issues effecting breaks were again reported to Osco prior to the parties’ latest meeting.  Because numerous pharmacists came forward to share their experiences and were willing to provide store numbers, Osco finally admitted that pharmacists are not getting uninterrupted breaks and that problems exist.

The Company has vowed to investigate outstanding issues, identify solutions, and hopes to implement those solutions over the next 60 days.  Local 727 has asked Osco to discuss any potential solutions it has identified with the Union prior to their implementation in order to prevent new problems from arising.  During this time, pharmacists who experience problems with taking an uninterrupted break are encouraged to reach out to the Union with details on the issue and store in which the problem is occurring so Osco may address it.  Osco has assured the Union that there will be no negative consequences or discipline for pharmacists who come forward to report issues.

Osco informed the Union that it has instructed Store Directors and Managers to report to pharmacies at the previously scheduled break times when pharmacists are working alone, in order to ensure pharmacists receive their breaks.  If a Store Director or Manager is not following these instructions, please inform the Union immediately.

Osco also stated it will send DPMs to train technicians who pharmacists believe need further instruction on handling interruptions and customers while pharmacists are on break.  Pharmacists who feel techs within their pharmacy require more training are encouraged to inform Osco or the Union.

Should Osco ultimately fail to resolve the issues preventing pharmacists from receiving their uninterrupted rest breaks, Local 727 will file a grievance and call upon pharmacists to testify during arbitration.   While Osco works to resolve outstanding issues, Local 727 will continue to press for reform and state-wide policy changes during meetings of the Illinois Pharmacy Task Force.

“The Union’s contract with Osco is clear—pharmacists have the right to uninterrupted rest breaks.  Local 727 will accept nothing less,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “We’re glad the Company is finally listening to our members and has committed to finding solutions to all outstanding problems, however the Union will not be assuaged by words alone.  We will continue to demand change until Osco has lived up to its promises and taken real action.”

Once Osco has identified and proposed solutions to reported problems, Local 727 will reach out to pharmacists again to check-in on the effectiveness of these solutions.

Any members with questions, or who would like to discuss issues they are experiencing, should contact Local 727 Osco Business Representative Zach Frankenbach 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 additional grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.

Category: Osco, PHARMACY

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