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Kaiser Pharmacists Picket in Hollywood

The healthcare provider and the pharmacists are negotiating a new contract, with the latter threatening to strike.

Photo courtesy of Guild for Professional Pharmacists.
Photo courtesy of Guild for Professional Pharmacists.

Pharmacists working for Kaiser Permanente picketed outside its Sunset Boulevard facility in Hollywood today.

“Our committee and Kaiser are currently revising the contract that determines wages, benefits, and retirement but have unfortunately made little to no progress,” said Tony Delgado of the Guild for Professional Pharmacists, based in Woodland Hills.

Delgado described Kaiser as unwilling to agree to “any kind of fair compensation for its pharmacy workers.” He said the healthcare provider would prefer to cut benefits.

Spokeswoman Socorro Serrano acknowledged Kaiser is in contract talks with its Southern California pharmacists. During this time, all Kaiser facilities are open and offering healthcare services for all appointments.

“Our first priority is always the safety and care of our members and patients.”

Delgado said if the pharmacists don’t see a satisfactory agreement, they will go on strike.

“That would not only affects Kaiser and pharmacists but most importantly patients requiring medication and prescriptions,” he said.

About the pre-strike pickets, Serrano said: “While we recognize the Guild’s legal right to carry out such actions, we believe the bargaining table is the best place to resolve differences and address the interests we both share.”

Scott Zwartz May 11, 2014 at 04:45 PM
More benefits is better for patients, but employers cannot pay more benefits when the government allows other employers to cheat. Corruption is profitable and allows the corrupt health care provides to lower premiums in order to attract myopic people who purchase health care by the premium and not by the quality of service. Patients are harmed when health care provider underpay their staffs. The reason insurance in general in California is filled with corruption and so many insured people are screwed is that insurance claims are not regulated. The insurance companies just laugh at the Cal Regs. Thus, health care providers (Kaiser is an HMO) who underpay medical claims or provide poorly trained staff make a better profit which they use to lower rates to steal people from other health care plans. As the other plans lose insureds, subscribers, customers (called them what you wish), they lose premium dollars. Thus, they have to cut services and underpay staff or go BK. This nightmare is brought about by a weak government which allows predatory business practices to rule the insurance and HMO industry.

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