Kaiser Pharmacists Call Off Plans To Hold Strike Over Benefit Changes
On Wednesday morning, Jim Anderson -- spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente -- announced that about 1,400 pharmacists have called off their plans to strike on Thursday and Friday because progress has been made on benefit negotiations, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 4/19).
Kaiser pharmacists in Southern California previously threatened to hold a two-day strike over proposed changes to employee benefits.
According to Anderson, the work stoppage would have affected pharmacies at 13 of the health system's medical centers and at certain ancillary offices.
Labor Dispute Details
Ralph Vogel, president of the Guild for Professional Pharmacists, said Kaiser wanted to replace the pharmacists' defined benefit retirement plan with one that would significantly reduce the benefits that employees could accumulate in their later work years.
Vogel added that the health system also proposed increasing employee copayments for prescription drugs and physician visits and eliminating workers' retiree health benefits (Smith, Whittier Daily News, 4/19).
The pharmacists' guild recently filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board outlining its concerns about the proposed benefit changes (Torrance Daily Breeze, 4/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.