Pharmacists Could Strike At Kaiser Permanente

Southern California Kaiser Permanente pharmacists, represented by the Guild For Professional Pharmacists, have notified Kaiser Permanente of the Guild’s intention to strike, following a breakdown in contract negotiations.

The strike would affect over 100 pharmacies across southern California including several in the Coachella Valley. The strike would stop work on Thurday and Friday April 21st and 22nd.

One of the goals of the strike is to prove how important pharmacists are to the hospital. “Oh, very, very important,” said Kaiser member James Petersen. “In this environment here where we have a lot of seniors, everybody needs their pharmacy and it’s going to be a real inconvenience if there’s a prolonged strike.”

Although negotiations are still ongoing, some patients are already dealing with inconveniences. “They told me that I could pick up my prescription on Thursday, and they called me this morning and told me that it wouldn’t be ready until Monday,” said David Schmoll. “That’s not acceptable, this isn’t right.”

One of the major points of contention in the negotiations has to do with a cutting of benefits for pharmacists. “Basically cut in half, actually to a third of what they have now,” said Guild for Professional Pharamcists’ representative Cheryl Asperger. “And, they would be working alongside the other people in the Pharmacy and the hospital who actually have much better benefits and they want us to do this, for the next couple of years. We believe it’s extremely unfair.”

Kaiser Permanente Director of Media Relations Jim Anderson responded with this written statement:

“These pharmacists are valued members of our team. We will welcome them back to the job when their strike is concluded, will continue to reach a fair and equitable contract with them…While our outpatient pharmacies will be closed during this 48-hour work stoppage, we have contracted with Walgreens pharmacies, so that members who need a new or refilled prescription during the strike will be able to have their prescriptions filled.”

3 comments

  1. Howard Lew says:

    I believe that the agreement between Kaiser and Walgreens should never happen. Pharmacists should stay together. If Kaiser gets anywhere close to what they are showing us Kaiser Pharmacists (I am one). The Walgreens pharmacists will be making less than that when it comes to their negotiations. Information coming to us about the strike, was very late, keeping us updated on if they are having meetings or having “timeouts” … that information is not available. Our lives are in the hands of people we truly do not know.

  2. 2112 says:

    Pharmacists staying together is fine, as long as customers don’t end up paying for it in continually higher fees. To many times labor gets too much from big business, who only pass on the “savings.”

  3. CSK says:

    Get the Union/Guild to pay for the what the Pharmacists are looking for. Been with Kaiser before… worked for them too. The union is the biggest problem at Kaiser. They protect all the rotten apples there. There are so many people who have no self respect, but want the everything, they don’t deserve. They should just go on welfare and complain to the politicians:)

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