We Are Talkin’ REVOLUTION. Must We Unionize Just So We Can Actually Practice Pharmacy?

Jp Enlarged

This is on the Guild for Professional Pharmacists website.  Interesting huh?  See Vee Ess.  Bet you Metrics Hounds didn’t know that.

Recent News (CVS)

December 28, 2012PAYROLL FYI

We were informed today that a payroll error occurred 2 weeks ago in which Guild pharmacists were overpaid.  That error was corrected in the paycheck issued today. If you have any questions, please call the Guild office.

The final version of the CVS Agreement for 2012 to 2015 has been posted.

You may view the document by clicking on “Contracts” and then click on “CVS”


Let’s talk REVOLUTION.

Revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structure that takes place in a relatively short period of time.  Complete change or modifications.

Wendell Phillips:  ”Revolutions never go backward”.

John F. Kennedy:  ”Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”.

The Retail Pharmacy Industry is Ripe for Revolution.  For pharmacists, this is not simply a JOB, but the industry has sat back and watched mid-level managers who, for the most part, are not pharmacists, use the variety-store template as a model for modern pharmacy and treated the job of pharmacists as JUST A JOB.  This is dangerous for them.  Pharmacists are smart, well-educated people.  Pharmacy is not selling diamonds to love-struck young men in a mall jewelry store.  Pharmacy deals in poisons.  There all no laws regarding the selling of diamonds.  Pharmacy is governed by thousands of laws.  A state board of diamond-selling?  A diamond can’t harm you, can it?  Digoxin can harm you.  Methadone can kill you.  Viagra can fuck you up really bad if you don’t get to the doctor within 4 hours.

My point is that to think they can run a medical profession that is engaged in probably 85% of medicine by using a variety store model is laughable.  

So…. how do you get your PROFESSION back (If you even know what you want)?  You start a revolution.   It will have to be violent.  There is no chance of a non-violent revolution for us.  Now, if any idiot out there thinks I am talking about physical violence let me be clear… I am not.  I will not condone it if any of you take an 18 gauge, 1 & 1/2 inch needle and stick it in the ass of a meddling, micro-managing, manipulating and abusive store manager.   I do not recommend or suggest that, with a fever from the raging UTI (No appropriate bathroom breaks) and with a characteristic weakness from the hypoglycemia caused by horrible dietary habits (No meal breaks), that the 115 pound, 5 foot 2 inch blonde scrape her nails across the cheeks of her PIC when he says, “This is not a good time to go pee”.   This revolution will have to be violent.

The violence can include documentation and use of of your information to cause your abusive, company-man Pharmacy Manager explaining to his wife how he came to be on the Float Team with two hour commute times every day.  That is violence.  

The most violent thing you guys can do is unionize.  I have challenged you to research this issue and to report what needs to be done to get this rolling.  Three months later, not a word.  I honestly do not feel like talking about this right now.  So, I will see what I can do to get the information right here.  Watch this space.  



  1. Goose  •  Jul 5, 2013 @11:29 am

    This is important to all pharmacists not just retail. I am a hospital pharmacist and I see more and more signs of our porfession being marginalized in the hospital.
    There are half a zillion nurses that work here. I can tell because they all have “RN” on their name tags, whether they work in patient care or not. Most don’t. They dictate procedure in a lot of cases, no matter what the area is. Translation: we are moving to a model where nurses will dictate what our role is in ambulatory care, which is the future of hospital pharmacy practice.
    Nurses don’t know jack about business and they tend to get real defensive when you try to get in on their turf, which they see as about everything. They also don’t know shit about pharmacy law. Couple with a high percentage of substance abuse among them and you have a storm heading pharmacy’s way. Hard to believe they have become the most trusted profession.
    They have administration’s ear because they are pleniful and they work cheaper than a pharmacist. I would tell hospital pharmacists to wake up before they are working for a nurse, but I think we already are.
    Time to fish or cut bait, think I’ll discretly check with my co-workers how they feel about a union.

  2. me-alone  •  Jul 5, 2013 @9:11 pm

    THE REVOLUTION is in the banker’s hands, not the union- those organizers will just get fired for stupid reasons. There’s just too many of us at this point. When a chain pharmacist can “safely” fill 300 rx’s a day And that’s what they expect of us… $3,000 + a day. who’s the asshole here.

    Move to a small town and start your own pharmacy.Practice THE WAY YOU WANT- use the knowledge you have. Damn the chains and their sign-on bonus. They will kill your soul.

  3. me-alone  •  Jul 5, 2013 @9:28 pm

    Goose, my Mom was a nurse before she retired, my cousin is the pathologist and Head of the P&T. My Sis is a microbiologist. Unless we want to admit defeat- We need to convince these kids who graduate that they can do better.

    They are practioners in their own right. Forget hospital-what can you add to this dicussion

  4. Tom Hanson  •  Jul 8, 2013 @8:19 pm

    Jim — You would think the time is right for pharmacists to unionize across the country. Horrendous working conditions, 12 to 14 hour work shifts, pharmacists working alone in a pharmacy that has a drive-thru window, etc. etc etc. But that is not the case at all. There is an occasional interest from time to time , but it is usually always from a pharmacy manager and rarely a staff pharmacist. There are pockets of unionized pharmacists across the country. The Guild for Professional Pharmacists is mainly in California. There is an independent union in California that has some Raley pharmacists in it. The UFCW represents Walgreens pharmacists in San Francisco only. The United Steelworkers (USW) represents pharmacists in King Soopers and Safeway in Colorado, pharmacists at Express Scripts/Medco in Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, and Walgreens staff pharmacists in the greater Chicagoland, Illinois and northwest Indiana area. The Teamster represent Osco and some CVS pharmacists in the greater Chicagoland area also. There is an independent union in Ohio (AMCP) that represents pharmacists at a Express Scripts/Medco facility. That’s about it. I would guess any one of these organizations would tell you it is virtually impossible to organize the younger pharmacists nowadays. It’s their generation and that sense of entitlement. Many have not grown up in a “union family” or even know what a union is. They just don’t want to belong to a union and pay dues. I believe in the cause but there just is not many of us “old union people”around anymore. Tom Hanson

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