Union Receives Outpouring of Support for CVS Pharmacists

| May 13, 2016

Local 727 Set to Resume Negotiations May 26

Since Teamsters Local 727 representatives began informing the public of the safety risks associated with CVS management’s mistreatment of overworked and understaffed Chicago-area pharmacists, the union has received an outpouring of support from pharmacists and CVS customers from across the country.

“Many current and former CVS pharmacists, from California to Maryland, have echoed our members’ concerns,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “This fight isn’t just about our 150 union pharmacists, it’s about ensuring the ongoing safety and sanctity of the pharmacy profession.”

As one former CVS pharmacist in California wrote, “Pharmacists are forced to knowingly avoid patient contact to keep up with ‘superfluous tasks,’ and angry patients pose much less of a threat to your job than an upset District Manager who asks why you ‘can’t keep up.’ … CVS is an unsafe employer.”

Teamsters Local 727’s Bargaining Committee — composed of union representatives, attorneys and CVS pharmacists — have been negotiating with CVS management for almost two months in an effort to reach a fair agreement on a new contract for about 150 Chicago-area pharmacists. However, the company has made little movement to address CVS pharmacists’ “quality of life” issues such as uninterrupted breaks, sufficient tech hours, preservation of the nine-hour workday, and elimination of superfluous tasks that take away from pharmacists’ primary job responsibilities.

Instead, the company is demanding that pharmacists work 12-hour shifts without allowing them the time they need to complete their daily tasks, be that via pharmacist overlap or weekly administrative hours.

In addition, CVS has proposed meager 1 percent wage increases and has yet to respond to the union’s last economic proposal from May 3. Meanwhile, CVS Health this month reported its revenue jumped nearly 19 percent to $43.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

Local 727 has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against CVS with the National Labor Relations Board as well.

The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and CVS management have agreed to resume negotiations Thursday, May 26.

“We have made it abundantly clear what the pharmacists want from management: to let them be pharmacists, to let them do the job they love and were trained to do. They want to serve their patients, they want to help grow the business, but they need the support to do it,” Coli said. “We are hopeful that CVS management will finally listen to pharmacists’ concerns so we can reach a fair agreement. But no matter what happens, this local union will do whatever it takes to support our members.”

If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative, Melissa Senatore, at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected].


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