Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kaiser Permanente pharmacists consider going on strike

See also Kaiser often denies care to paying patients, but then doles out a bit of free care to get publicity and tax write-offs.

Kaiser Permanente pharmacists consider going on strike
Fontana Herald News
April 13, 2014

Kaiser Permanente pharmacists, including those in the Fontana medical center, voted on April 4 to authorize the Guild for Professional Pharmacists committee to call a strike, if necessary, after negotiations reached no agreement.

According to the GFPP, which represents more than 1,400 pharmacists in Southern California, the employees "overwhelmingly" authorized the committee to call a strike after Kaiser’s bargaining team did not offer better health coverage plans and retirement plans for employees who work for less than full time.

“Kaiser has, so far, steadfastly refused to do so and, instead, has sought benefits cuts that would give pharmacists even lesser benefits both wile actively employed by Kaiser and after retirement," said Robin Borden, president of GFPP. “This is outrageous and our members won’t stand for it. While I know no one wants to strike -- least all of our members, for whom patients come first -- our members will not stand by and let Kaiser undermine our economic security, including our security after retirement."

Borden added that if the strike were to be called, it could involve all or some of the following Kaiser medical centers: Panorama City, Woodland Hills, Sunset, West Los Angeles, Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Harbor South Bay, Anaheim, Irvine, Ontario, Riverside, San Diego and Fontana.

Kaiser Permanente released a statement through Jennifer Resch-Silvestri, senior director of public affairs and brand communications in the San Bernardino County area, saying that the company's first priority is “always the safety and care of our members and patients” and that pharmacists are “valued members of our professional health care team."

“It is important to note that all Kaiser Permanente health services are open and operating as usual to serve our members who should continue to come to our facilities for their appointments, lab tests, scheduled procedures, and to see their doctors," said the statement. “With the good faith involvement of all concerned, we are optimistic that we will continue to make

progress toward a contract agreement."

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