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Kaiser Permanente, Pharmacists Possibly At Odds (Updated)

Kaiser Permanente
An informational picket is scheduled for April 23 at the Kaiser Permanente in Hollywood. A reported contract dispute could impact pharmacy services at all Kaiser Permanente medical centers. (Image courtesy Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles)

Pharmacists at a major hospital brand in the West Los Angeles area could possibly be going on strike. While a strike has yet to be scheduled as of April 22, a reported labor tussle between Kaiser Permanente and its pharmacists could result in a work stoppage. More information on matter could be made available Wednesday morning at an informational picket line at the Kaiser Permanente medical center in Hollywood.

A representative from Kaiser Permanente confirmed the health care system is currently in negotiations with its pharmacists.

“We are currently in union contract negotiations with the Guild for Professional Pharmacists, which represents Kaiser Permanente pharmacists in Southern California. Our pharmacists are valued members of our professional health care team,” Kaiser Permanente media representative Sandra Hernandez-Millett stated.

Pharmacists at Kaiser Permanente hospitals across Southern California could be resorting to the picket line to resolve yet-to-be-reported disagreements, according to the Guild for Professional Pharmacists.

The Guild represents about 1,400 pharmacists who work at Kaiser Permanente.

Guild president Robin Borden stated its members unanimously voted in favor of a strike, though a date to start picketing has not yet been scheduled; members reportedly voted April 4.

Details of the bargaining issues were not immediately released. However, the Guild stated it will be conducting an informational picket line April 23 at the Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center on Sunset Boulevard between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The Guild made it clear the April 23 informational picket is not a strike. More information about the dispute between Kaiser Permanente and its pharmacists is expected to be made available at the event.

The reported labor dispute between Kaiser Permanente and pharmacists would impact pharmacies at all of the medical system’s health campuses and hospitals across Southern California.

Here on the Westside, Kaiser Permanente has a hospital with pharmacy services at La Cienega Boulevard and Cadillac Avenue. There are also medical offices and pharmacies in Culver City, Playa Vista, and Venice.

Hernandez-Millett added Kaiser Permanente believes it is progressing toward reaching a peaceful accord with its pharmacists.

“Regarding potential activities planned at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, 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,” she stated. “With the good faith involvement of all concerned, we are optimistic that we will continue to make progress toward a contract agreement.”

The Kaiser Permanente media representative added all pharmacies within the health care system are fully operational.

In separate labor disputes, there were strikes involving patient care, service, and technical workers at the UCLA medical centers in Santa Monica and Westwood, including picket lines in May 2013 and November 2013. The labor disputes spilled over into 2014 before an agreement was ultimately reached.

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