CHICAGO, May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CVS pharmacists and Teamsters Local 727 representatives took action Tuesday, May 10, by passing out handbills outside Chicago-area pharmacies to inform the public of safety risks associated with CVS management's mistreatment of overworked and understaffed pharmacists.
"Pharmacists are professionals whose top priorities are patient care and public safety," said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. "The public needs to know that when pharmacists are constantly given more work with less help and little down time during their long and demanding shifts, this affects their performance and well-being — and it also can impact customer safety. Simply put, we are calling on management to let pharmacists return their full focus to taking care of their customers."
The three-year contract covering about 150 Chicago-area CVS pharmacists expired Saturday, May 7. Teamsters Local 727 and CVS management do not have an extension agreement in place, so pharmacists are currently working without a contract. After seven negotiation meetings with the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee, CVS management is still refusing to listen to pharmacists' concerns about their diminishing working conditions. Local 727 also filed unfair labor practice charges against CVS (NYSE: CVS) with the National Labor Relations Board last week.
"They don't value any of our concerns. They're trying to get rid of the profession of pharmacy and make it just a job," said longtime CVS pharmacist Chuck Zuraitis. "We're on the front lines every day, and yet, they don't care about our perspective. Really, what they're saying is, they don't care about us."
The week before Mother's Day, CVS management also began denying baby bonding time in order to punish union pharmacists.
Meanwhile, CVS Health last week reported its revenue jumped nearly 19 percent to $43.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and CVS management will meet again Tuesday, May 10, to continue contract negotiations. The union has repeatedly reiterated its concerns over 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.
"This gigantic corporation has been completely unresponsive to the union's proposals, which all came straight from the pharmacists themselves," Coli said. "We hope that CVS is finally ready to listen to their pharmacists so we can reach a fair agreement."
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Greater Chicago area, including about 700 CVS and Osco pharmacists.
Maggie Jenkins, (847) 696-7500
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SOURCE Teamsters Local 727