May 30, 2024
Health

Historic Milestone: Las Vegas CVS Pharmacy Joins National Pharmacy Union

Historic Milestone: Las Vegas CVS Pharmacy Joins National Pharmacy Union

In a significant development for pharmacy workers across the United States, a CVS pharmacy in Las Vegas has made history by becoming the inaugural location to join a newly formed national pharmacy union. This move marks a pivotal step forward in the ongoing efforts to address concerns regarding unsafe working conditions that thousands of pharmacy employees contend with daily.

The Las Vegas branch of CVS’s Omnicare witnessed a resounding victory as nearly 30 pharmacy staff members overwhelmingly voted, with an 87% majority, to join The Pharmacy Guild. This union will now represent them in labor negotiations with CVS, advocating for their rights and interests.

Shane Jerominski, a community pharmacist and co-founder of The Pharmacy Guild, expressed the union’s commitment to securing the best possible contract for its members, emphasizing the historic nature of this achievement. He highlighted the Guild’s dedication to addressing widespread issues such as understaffing and increasing workloads that endanger both employees and patients.

The formation of The Pharmacy Guild follows a nationwide walkout of pharmacy staff, known as “Pharmageddon,” which drew attention to the pressing concerns within the industry. Collaborating with IAM Healthcare, a union representing healthcare professionals, the organizers launched the Guild to amplify the voices of pharmacy workers and push for legislative and regulatory changes.

The challenges faced by pharmacy staff, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have fueled growing discontent among retail pharmacy employees. The unionization effort represents a culmination of years of advocacy for better working conditions and fair treatment.

In response to the unionization of its Las Vegas employees, CVS emphasized its respect for their decision and pledged to work closely with them to address their concerns. The company reiterated its commitment to fostering a positive and rewarding work environment for all employees.

Looking ahead, The Pharmacy Guild aims to negotiate a union contract with CVS to address the specific needs of Omnicare workers in Las Vegas. Jerominski highlighted the importance of consistent work schedules and guaranteed hours, essential for retaining skilled employees in a demanding field.

The momentum of unionization is spreading beyond Las Vegas, with pharmacy staff at retail stores in Rhode Island also taking steps to unionize under the Guild. This development signals a growing movement for change within the pharmacy industry, with CVS at the forefront.

As negotiations progress and momentum builds nationwide, the formation of The Pharmacy Guild represents a significant stride toward improving the working conditions and livelihoods of pharmacy workers across the country.

With the formation of The Pharmacy Guild and the successful unionization of the Las Vegas CVS pharmacy, the momentum for change within the pharmacy industry is palpable. As negotiations ensue between the Guild and CVS, the focus will be on addressing the specific concerns raised by Omnicare workers in Las Vegas, such as consistent work schedules and guaranteed hours.

Beyond Las Vegas, the Guild’s reach is extending, as evidenced by pharmacy staff in Rhode Island filing for unionization. This expansion signifies a growing recognition among pharmacy workers nationwide of the need for collective action to address systemic issues within the industry.

The challenges faced by pharmacy employees, including understaffing, increasing workloads, and low starting pay for technicians, are not unique to any single chain or location. They are pervasive issues that demand comprehensive solutions.

The Pharmacy Guild’s advocacy extends beyond immediate workplace concerns to encompass legislative and regulatory changes aimed at establishing higher standards of practice in pharmacies. By advocating for safer working conditions and better patient care, the Guild is positioning itself as a transformative force within the industry.

As CVS’s headquarters are based in Rhode Island, the company’s response to the unionization efforts there will be closely watched. How CVS engages with its employees and addresses their concerns will set a precedent for other pharmacy chains to follow.

In the coming months, the outcome of negotiations between The Pharmacy Guild and CVS will be critical in shaping the future of pharmacy labor relations in the United States. Regardless of the outcome, the formation of the Guild represents a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for workers’ rights and workplace justice within the pharmacy industry.

 

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