Update, Monday night: A planned strike by pharmacists Kaiser Permanente was averted early Monday morning, the pharmacists’ union reports. Guild President John Lee told NBC Bay Area the strike had been called off, but did not proceed, saying more details would be provided later Monday morning.
NBC Bay Area asked for comment from a Kaiser representative, but didn’t hear back immediately.
Negotiations between Kaiser Permanente and the union representing its pharmacists continued late Sunday.
A Kaiser spokesperson confirmed to the NBC Bay Area on Sunday evening that the two sides were still negotiating a pay raise.
If no deal comes, the pharmacists plan to go on strike for eight days from Monday.
The potential work stoppage would come after the health care provider reached a preliminary agreement on Saturday with thousands of Kaiser nurses and other health professionals who also planned to reach the picket line across Southern California and other locations in the United States.
How will Kaiser pharmacies be affected?
Monday’s planned strike by pharmacists could last until Nov. 22, closing Kaiser’s outpatient pharmacies, leaving many patients looking for drugs and refills at retail pharmacies.
Here’s what Kaiser sent to its members:
“In the event of a strike, our outpatient pharmacies will be temporarily closed from November 15 to November 22 in the morning. If you don’t need your refill right away, our outpatient pharmacies will reopen on Monday November 22. Our Mail The delivery pharmacy will remain open during In the event that an urgent prescription is needed during the outpatient clinic closure, Kaiser Permanente staff will provide instructions on how to fill your prescription at a retail pharmacy.There is no charge for Medi-Cal members “For other members, your usual cost share for in-network pharmacy services will apply. Hospital pharmacies for inpatient care and critical infusion services will remain in operation. For more information, see kp.org as of Nov. 15.”
Kaiser’s update on contract negotiations
“At this time, there is no change in Pharmacy Guild’s strike plans for next week in the Northern California region, and our contingency plans remain in effect,” Kaiser Permanente Northern California spokesman Karl Sonkin said in an email to NBC on Saturday. Bay Area. morning. “We continue to negotiate in good faith with Local 39 Operating Engineers and the Professional Pharmacists’ Guild, and hope to reach an agreement very soon.”
Kaiser said in a statement earlier this week that it has an offer on the table that keeps its pharmacists among the highest paid in the profession.
“The proposal includes pay increases over a 4-year period, including a 3% increase in the first year and a 2% increase plus a 2% bonus every year thereafter,” Kaiser said in the statement. “In addition, there is a 120% increase in potential Guild member incentive payments, no changes in Guild member excellent medical benefits, and improvements in Guild member retirement contributions. In fact, the cash value of this contract is the richest contract offered to Guild members by Kaiser Permanente over the past decade.”
Kaiser officials released the following statement on Sunday about the ongoing talks:
“Kaiser Permanente is actively negotiating with the Pharmacy Guild and hopes to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”
Declaration of the Guild for Professional Pharmacists
Pharmacist’s guild president, John Lee, told NBC Bay Area on Saturday afternoon that they still don’t have an agreement with Kaiser, adding that the last time the health care provider’s union heard about it was Oct. 25.
Lee said the guild sent an email to Kaiser on Nov. 8 and received no response. The Guild of Professional Pharmacists said they are not conducting open negotiations with Kaiser. Lee said Kaiser’s claim that both sides are in active negotiations is a “brave lie”.
But later Saturday night, Lee told NBC Bay Area that negotiations between the two sides were back and that they will continue talks with Kaiser Sunday afternoon in Oakland.
Other strikes avoided
A previously announced strike by physical, speech and occupational therapists was set to begin on Nov. 22, but Kaiser said it struck a tentative deal with union leaders on Saturday. The preliminary agreement may prevent thousands of healthcare workers in Northern California from showing up for work later this month.