For Your Information. Your Thoughts Please

Jp Enlarged

You can do this, you guys.  You just got to get together.   You need leaders.  You need to contact the Guild.  You need to find out the laws about organizing.  Let’s see what you are made of.  This document is easy ti find on the Net.  Just look.  I find the “rest period” provisions to be very interesting.

(818) 992-0475 (877) 992-0475 TOLL FREE E-MAIL GFPP@AOL.COM FAX (818) 992-6835
APRIL 6, 2012
As you recall, in our negotiation update of March 23, 2012, CVS indicated to the Guild that to consider any additional wages (above their last proposal) would require meetings with their superiors at CVS Headquarters in Rhode Island. On April 4, 2012, the Employer contacted the Guild and stated that Corporate Headquarters had modified their last economic offer. The Company stated that in order to increase the wages of the current pharmacists, they would have to adjust the wages for newly licensed pharmacists hired after March 31, 2013. ALL CURRENTLY EMPLOYED PHARMACISTS WILL REMAIN AT THE TOP RATE OF PAY. The Guild notified the Guild/CVS Negotiating Committee Members of the change and the Committee Members approved the Tentative Agreement unanimously.
In order for the new wage (retroactive to March 29, 2012) to become effective, the membership must ratify the tentative agreement.
Enclosed you will find a ballot to approve or reject the tentative agreement. Ballots must be returned (envelope enclosed) to the Guild office by APRIL 18, 2012 at which time they will be opened and counted. All CVS members may be present at the ballot count.
All other sections in the current agreement remain in full force and effect.
1. TERM: Three (3) year Agreement – 3/29/2012 to 3/28/2015.
2. Guarantees 40 hours per week for full-time regular Guild pharmacists (overnight pharmacist language remains unchanged.)
Article 5.3.1 Full-Time: Change to read: A full-time pharmacist is one who is regularly scheduled to work 40 hours or more per week, or compensated at the equivalent of 40 hours straight time wages per week. A full-time overnight pharmacist is one who is compensated at the equivalent of 40 hours straight time wages per week.
3. Deleted language for scheduling.
Article 5.9 Days Off and Starting Times: Delete To the extent possible, the Employer shall strive to schedule all full-time pharmacists consecutive days off and uniform starting times each workweek.
4. Clarification of current language for discontinued 24-hour Pharmacy Operations.
Article 5.14.6 Discontinued 24 Hour Pharmacy Operations: Change to read: If the Employer discontinues a 24 hour pharmacy operation, the Guild and CVS will meet and confer to determine relocation options for displaced full-time late shift pharmacists who volunteered and were not originally hired for such work may exercise their seniority to obtain a regular full-time position by bumping the least senior pharmacist in the operating district in which the affected 24 hour pharmacy is located, provided the late shift pharmacist’s seniority is greater. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement, the displaced full-time late shift pharmacists may exercise their seniority in accordance with Article 9.2.
5. Clarification of rest and meal period language (see Appendix B for
comprehensive explanation.)
Article 5.11.1 Rest Periods: Change to read: The Company is committed to pharmacists getting their
rest periods and Pharmacy Team Leaders will assist pharmacists in taking them encourages
pharmacists to take their rest periods in accordance with California State Law and the collective
bargaining agreement. The rest period will be taken at the most appropriate time within the four (4)
hour period. Complete rest period details are included in Appendix B.
Article 5.11.2 Rest Periods: Change to read: If the Employer fails to provide permit a rest period, the
Employer shall pay the employee one (1) hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation
for each workday that the rest period is not provided. It is understood and agreed that this language
is not applicable to situations in which the pharmacists are provided with an opportunity permitted
to take a rest period, but decline to do so. It also does not apply to situations in which a pharmacist
has the ability to take a rest period at his or her convenience, without being formally requested to do
so by a manager, and declines to do so.
6. Change of vacation scheduling deadlines.
Article 8.5 Vacation Schedules: Change to read: The employer shall provide a vacation request sheet
by January 15th November 15th of the preceding calendar year each year, to be returned no later than
February 1st December 1st of the preceding calendar year. Pharmacists will submit their vacation
weeks requested and the Employer will assign such weeks available on the basis of seniority within
the Pharmacy Supervisor’s district to which the pharmacist is assigned.
Vacation periods shall be fixed by the Employer to suit the requirements of the business, but as far as
possible and practicable, vacations will be given during the summer months (through October, if
requested by the pharmacist), and for pharmacists with school-age children during the school
Vacation approvals will be communicated in writing to each pharmacist by the end of February
December of each year. Once approved, a Pharmacist’s vacation schedule will not be changed, altered
or voided without mutual consent of the Employer and the staff pharmacist. In addition, the Employer
will provide a list of open vacation dates and allow an additional period of time for pharmacists who
could not be accommodated on the first round to request such dates by seniority. Staff pharmacists
will not be responsible for finding replacement pharmacists for approved vacation scheduling.
7. Clarification of holiday pay.
Article 8.9 Holiday During Vacation: Change to Read: If a holiday named under Article 6.0 of this
Agreement falls within the vacation period of a pharmacist, the pharmacist shall be granted an
additional day of vacation with full pay, or an additional day’s pay in lieu of the holiday paid for the
8. Clarification of work.
Article 18 (b) Pharmacist Dignity and Pharmacist Rights: Change to Read: to enable pharmacists to
focus on professional responsibilities, the Employer agrees that it will not assign unreasonable
maintenance janitorial duties to pharmacists, although the Guild agrees that housekeeping duties
minimum maintenance functions consistent with professional status and emergency clean ups will
continue to be performed by pharmacists.
9. Premium Pay for Overnight Pharmacists.
A. Minimum Hourly Wage Rate – Full-Time and Part-Time Registered Pharmacists
MARCH 29, 2012
MARCH 31, 2013
MARCH 30, 2014
$ 127,712/YR
$ 130,832/YR
$ 133,744/YR
$ 136,760/YR
$136,760 minus $127,712 = $9,048
Minimum Hourly Wage Rate – Full-Time and Part-Time Registered PHARMACIST LICENSED LESS THAN 1 YEAR AS OF 3/31/2013.**
MARCH 29, 2012
MARCH 31, 2013
MARCH 30, 2014
**Company may start at regular full-time and part-time rate at its sole discretion if it deems appropriate.
Minimum Hourly Wage Rate – Full-Time and Part-Time Registered PHARMACISTS LICENSED LESS THAN 1 YEAR AS OF 3/30/2014**
MARCH 29, 2012
MARCH 31, 2013
MARCH 30, 2014
**Company may start at regular full-time and part-time rate at its sole discretion if it deems appropriate.
12. Pharmacist Rest Periods (see Appendix B) – a great deal of discussion was spent during negotiations concerning pharmacists’ difficulty in taking rest periods. Appendix B outlines the procedure for taking a 10-minute break which you are both legally and contractually entitled to take.
CVS #9571/8840
CVS # 8862
CVS # 8881
CVS # 8893
Professionally yours,
Ralph Vogel
Ralph Vogel, Pharm.D.
President, Guild For Professional Pharmacists
TO: Pharmacy Supervisors, Pharmacy Team Leaders, Store Managers, and Pharmacists in Regions 54, 60, 65, and 72
FROM: Michael D. Squire, Area 14 Human Resources Director
RE: Pharmacist Rest Periods
I would like to review and reiterate specific components of the Meal and Rest Period Policy for Non-Exempt California Colleagues as they apply to non-exempt Pharmacists. A copy of this policy is attached.
All non-exempt Pharmacists are authorized and permitted to take a paid rest break of at least 10 minutes in duration during each four (4) hours, or major fraction thereof, that they work. If the Pharmacist’s total daily work time is less than 3.5 hours, however, no paid rest break is required. Non-exempt Pharmacists who work a shift of six (6) to ten (10) hours are permitted to take two paid rest breaks. Rest breaks may not be combined with each other or added to a meal period and should be taken in the middle of each four (4) hour work period insofar as is practicable.
Due to the nature of the pharmacy operations and the work performed by the Pharmacist, it is important that Pharmacists adequately plan to ensure they are able to take their authorized rest breaks with minimal impact to patient expectations.
When the pharmacy is staffed with more than one Pharmacist, those Pharmacists are expected to work with one another to take their authorized rest breaks at the most appropriate times, within the guidelines above.
When a pharmacy is staffed with only one Pharmacist, that Pharmacist is expected to plan accordingly and recognize appropriate opportunities to take his/her authorized rest break(s), within the guidelines above. The Pharmacist is permitted to leave the Pharmacy temporarily to take his/her authorized rest break(s), in accordance with the California Code of Regulations, 16 CA ADC § 1714.1, a copy of which is attached.
If a Pharmacist in either circumstance is required by their Pharmacy Team Leader or a member of store management, or in the event of a patient emergency, to return to the pharmacy prior to the completion of their authorized rest break, the Pharmacist is expected to retake their entire rest break at the most appropriate time, within the guidelines above.
CVS/pharmacy is committed to ensuring that all non-exempt Pharmacists are authorized and permitted to take required rest breaks. As such, a Pharmacist will not be subject to retaliation for compliance with this policy. If a Pharmacist is not permitted to take an authorized rest break by their Pharmacy Team Leader or a member of store management, the Pharmacist should immediately notify their Pharmacy Supervisor. If a Pharmacist feels that they have been subject to retaliation for taking an authorized rest break, the Pharmacist should immediately notify their HR Business Partner or Employee Relations Manager.
If you have any questions regarding the Meal and Rest Period Policy for Non-Exempt California Colleagues, please do not hesitate to contact your Pharmacy Supervisor or HR Business Partner.



  1. anonymous  •  Sep 15, 2013 @10:36 am

    I haven’t seen a contract in almost a decade when I got a job just before graduating. Now, if you are written up, you are referenced to your contract. What this profession lacks-solid facts on paper. You want to spread word of a union, post stuff on the blogs that pharmacists read the most (on Facebook, you know which ones they are I won’t mention them b/c corporate reads this blog I am sure). I no longer work in retail but I can tell you, I still have nightmares about the working conditions this side of the Rockies. I hear about the same metrics we had at Big Stupid now going to Walgreens. CVS copies off of Big Stupid (flu shot quotas, WAGS flavorrx quotas). I remember the flavorrx fiasco. I worked in a very poor town, who had 3 bucks to flavor a rx? No guy that’s who. Got stuck with bags of feel better bears. I gave them to the kids who were crying or in pain. The parents thank you and the kid’s smile were worth it. I just gained a customer for life possibly and lost 3 bucks. That’s marketing. 3 bucks seriously for something that costs less than 50 cents to flavor? Flu shot quotas started at 5 a week then 5 a day then 10 a day. That’s what you have to look forward to then the write ups. This profession is slowly going to hell. I often ask why. Why would you copy metrics from a company billions in debt and top heavy with management (resumes give them away-multiple jobs lasting two years or less). Why CVS? Why WAGs? I am doing my part and remember being threatened with termination if I attended the meeting for a unionization of the local rphs two years ago. Yes, we were watched and techs would report you. So do things the way young people would. Facebook, twitter messages on popular sites only. Put a link for an online union signup. Message your local congressman or representative and let them know of the violations, oversupply of H1Visa and new grads. Tell them you pay 1/3 of your paycheck to support the rest of this country and it’s about time someone did the same for you. I have and continue to do so. I am also going the legal route. Good luck to you all.

  2. Peon  •  Sep 16, 2013 @8:59 am

    Regrettably, Wal-Mart is following in the foot steps of Big Stupid. They measure EVERYTHING. They just love the metrics. The folks up the line that are not pharmacists are clueless about everything related to pharmacy that does not involve some metric. At my store, we got tired of them hassling us about partially filling rx’s when we did not have enough of a drug to fully fill the rx. So, we just stopped partially filling them. Patient can either wait for drug shipment or we will phone their rx to another pharmacy. By the way, their ordering system is not very good and we frequently run out of drugs that we use all the time. We have all complained but they will not fix it. Their ‘central data’ is down half the time, which makes it impossible to electronically transfer rx’s from one Wal-Mart to another. It is ironic that they are after us about all these dipsy little metrics while they have so many major issues that they never fix. We have old printers that are constantly jamming. Why am I complaining here? Because it is useless to complain to corporate.

  3. bcmigal  •  Sep 16, 2013 @10:07 am

    I am convinced these companies hate pharmacists. Heck, they hate all their employees. Just yesterday, we were told “if you can’t handle it, we can find someone who will”. That goes for store and pharmacy. Techs are jumping ship and the remaining techs do not want to work extra (for straight time) or even go to certain stores for OT. It’s a friggin’ gulag.

  4. Broncofan7  •  Sep 16, 2013 @10:15 am

    bcmigal, they do hate us to the extent that we are high wage earning employees. These big box retailers and grocery chain stores see us as a necessary evil in being able to compete in their respective retail markets with TODAY’s store model.

    The WAGS/CVS’s of the world have created such a fast food restaurant mentality in the chain drug stores and are utilizing some of the same measurable metrics to define a stores performance. The value of the MBA >>> value of a Pharmacist in today’s drug store, big box retailer Pharmacy management structure.

  5. pharmacyslave2000  •  Sep 16, 2013 @7:53 pm

    Exactly Broncofan7! We are a high priced liability to the chains. We are the only thing left in the way of obscene profits for the corporations. We are going to have quite a battle on our hands for the foreseeable future. All it takes is one stroke of the legislative pen and we are finished. Don’t think for a second that the chains are not trying to do exactly that. With us out of the way, the money will roll in. For now, they will just focus on making us miserable. Then, when we quit or they find a reason to fire us, they will replace us with a cheaper version and run them into the ground. Repeat indefinitely.

  6. Pharmaciststeve  •  Sep 16, 2013 @9:27 pm

    Just look at all the states increasing Tech/RPH ratios… Who do you think is behind this ?

    Just this week.. on my state pharmacy association facebook page.. they asked if techs should be allowed to take verbal Rxs over the phone from prescriber/staff..

    So far only 14 comments.. ALL NEGATIVE !!!

  7. anonymous  •  Sep 17, 2013 @8:41 am

    Pharmaciststeve, the comment about the techs taking verbal rxs made me laugh. In my old district, a long time tech has not only been doing that but also taking copies (transferring prescriptions). Her background, been a tech for over 20 years (not an intern, no pharmacy school). I caught numerous calculation mistakes from her and she nearly overdosed two children had I not caught her mistake. Would I trust a tech to do these duties? No. Oh and the state where I live does not allow techs to do this and they don’t accept anyonymous complaints. For those of you who do live in states where you can file anonymously charges against staff that do this kind of thing, do so.

  8. broncofan7  •  Sep 17, 2013 @9:11 am

    Furthering my point: “The Texas State Board of Pharmacy has proposed changing the Pharmacist Technician Ratio from 1:3 to
    eliminating the ratio in all classes of pharmacy, except where it is required in statute”

    No more 3:1 Ratio Tech: RPh ratio…I wonder who was lobbying for that?

  9. Red_No_4  •  Sep 17, 2013 @9:40 am

    @broncofan — Walgreens, that’s who! Their goal here is 6:1. Not that I wouldn’t mind having more hands on deck. However, considering these techs would have to be paid, I don’t see this happening anytime soon.

    Just had a meeting with the RxDM who wants 7 flu shots a day. 80% of my total flu shot ‘target’ must be met before the end of October. This despite the HD no longer being made — can’t find it for love or money. And I work in a very old part of town. Lots of cranky old folks lately. Well, crankier than normal.

    Was also told by the same RxDM that my salary is what prevents the store from making a profit. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a pay cut if they would hire another staff and more techs. Two full-time RpHs and one part time, capped at 75k and 50k, respectively actually saves them around 10 k a year to devote to getting me some GD tech help. I might actually get a damn vacation.

    Meanwhile, various system updates means that we have had to type our own rxs (yes, I know, but if you’ve grown used to POWER, this causes tons of problems. The system in POWER stores has no designation for ‘prescriptions to be typed,’ which means that you have to pull every prescription that you’ve taken in, pull the patient’s profile and type it. No problemo with paper prescriptions I’ve personally handled, but you have to do that with eRxs, too. Try remembering every names and the number of eRxs that have come in over a 12 hour shift and you start seeing double.)

    Basically, in my short career as a retail pharmacist, I have come to realize several truths.

    Just because it can be measured doesn’t mean that it’s important. I am not going to go into a tizzy about some damn number that I can’t even remotely begin to control.

    You can’t force someone to get a shot, or bring you a script. Provide good customer service and maybe you have a new patient. Focus on that, and screw the rest.

    Corporate will ALWAYS try to get you to do more with less (my staff pharmacist still begs me to ask for more hours. I tell him that we should be glad no one from corporate is demanding that we stand on one leg with a hand tied behind our backs while filling).

    Despite everything, my goal is to be the best pharmacist I can under these circumstances. I will not promise a script in 15 minutes if there are 50 labels on the printer. I will apologize to the patient when I have to call about some horrible handwriting, but I damn well let them know that I will not jeopardize their safety for their convenience. I will counsel those that need it.

    And the day that I can’t do these things I leave.

  10. bcmigal  •  Sep 17, 2013 @10:11 am

    Red…we also got the 7 flu shots/day “target” and a 3 pneumonia/week. The company does not even try to sell this as patient care. Vaccinations are a high profit item, especially those billed to Part B. But even at 10 minutes per shot, this is over an hour out of the day. We are pressured,no, harassed to do more with less help. Sadly, we are coming to accept this as the new normal. That is the real tragedy.

  11. Red_No_4  •  Sep 17, 2013 @1:34 pm

    I hear you. In my state the BOP lowered the age at which a pharmacist can give the shingles vaccine to 50. Still haven’t seen the script bump, have we?
    Last year most MPD advantage plans didn’t cover the flu shot until September. So, people were holding back on the flu shots this year, even though the insurances reversed policy and were covering the shot as soon as it became available. I know we didn’t reach our ’5 a day for 5 days’ at the end of August.
    Honestly, I believe in vaccination, and I believe that pharmacists are often the best equipped to give vaccinations. BUT it seems the head honchos have no idea about diminishing returns. For the grand majority of patients, one pneumo and one shingles shot per lifetime is it. Done, finito. I had to convince a woman the other day that she does not need another pneumonia vaccination since she got one last year (can you imagine the chargebacks on that?)
    What about the MTM? Do you ever find yourself being nicer to those patients you can get a 50 buck CMR out of? How about that new call list that borders on harassment? (I’ve had a handful of patients remove their phone numbers from their profiles because the system calls them so much.)
    I’ve already reached the point that when I get pushed on something, I push right the hell back. No, can’t do any MTMs because we have to retrain to use the new system (RxDM had no clue). No, I am not going to spend tech time making 67 phones calls on the 3/5/7 day call list when I have three people in drive thru and 5 in line up front and the system has crashed again. As it is, the people we do reach don’t bother picking up their prescriptions until the day after they are put back even if we do call them to remind them. Jerks.
    My goal is simple — be a competent pharmacist. Not a corporate retail pharmacist, just a pharmacist.

  12. anonymous  •  Sep 17, 2013 @5:14 pm

    All these quotas, we had at Rite Aid nearly two years ago. Wait for the write ups. I am reaching out to newspapers, lawyers, state representatives, anyone who will listen and want to do something about the dangerous conditions set up by not only corporate,but your immediate supervisor. I know many rphs, and it’s not all doom and gloom. It depends on the DM. If they are greedy or haven’t been performing, they will threaten your job to make themselves look good. I never give up, neither should you.

  13. pharmacyslave2000  •  Sep 17, 2013 @7:14 pm

    “anonymous” is correct. We’ve had all these metrics and more at RAD for awhile. It truly all comes down to your PDM. They determine your working conditions. They can add/subtract tech hours, write you up or just generally make your life miserable should they choose to do so. Your best bet is to try and fly under the radar. Do the best you can and don’t complain unless you have a very good reason to. It seems everything is going to hell in a hand-basket but I just got the best rate increase I’ve gotten in the last 10 years! Go figure.

  14. broncofan7  •  Sep 17, 2013 @10:48 pm

    Well at least the rate increase is good news pharmacyslave! Out of curiosity can you give the ball park range for RPh’s in your region?

  15. YoungGun  •  Sep 18, 2013 @5:51 pm

    You guys sound surprised that pharmacy is full of cowards. Have you called a big box company for a copy recently? What are the odds that you end up speaking to a H1-B visa holder Rph? 40%? 50%? Maybe it’s different where you are from. Where I am from I am the exception to the rule being an American born, American educated Doctor of Pharmacy Practice. I’m not making a character judgement against H1-B visa holders but do you really expect an indentured servant, non citizen to stand up to their sponsor when they are making 5-10 times more here than they can back in India or Vietnam? My pharmacy manager district meetings look more like a United Nations convention than a corporate event. If you expect any of these indentured servants to stand up with us and join a union or go on strike you are living in a fantasy world. The ship isn’t sinking, it’s already sunk; we had the chance to enact change 7-10 years ago but we missed our chance and now we are on death row eating our last meal. I have been away from the blog for awhile as I have been making my own preparations for the future. Basically I have been moonlighting for the one retail company that stills seems to know how to run a pharmacy the right way, on top of my regular staff Rph position. I have spent the last 6 months working 60+ hours per week but I have gotten my foot in the door and am in the on-deck circle for the next full time position that opens. So basically doing the waiting game at this point, was well worth the extra time, stress, and extra taxes I will have to pay to practice pharmacy like it should be practiced. I was tired of being a “shooter” and a glorified cashier. My point being, the profession is dead. Make your moves now before the corpse really starts stinking and everybody has jumped ship.

  16. Boone  •  Sep 19, 2013 @3:54 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with YoungGun’s comments. This profession is in it’s last death throws. Damn shame really but it is what it is. My symapthies to those who pursue this profession. All I have to say to them is when your’re dumb , you gotta be tough; when you’re stupid, there is no hope for you.

  17. pharmacyslave2000  •  Sep 20, 2013 @7:44 am

    Broncofan7, I would estimate the average retail pharmacist salary in my area to be between $52-60/hr. However, RAD has just rolled out a “performance based” model which determines pay rate based on a number of factors, number one being rx volume, so pay rate will vary greatly within the chain and the area. I have heard, and I don’t know how true it is, that new grads. are starting in the mid $40′s/hr. It has been my experience that all chains in the area, and there are many, try to stay within 25-50 cents/hr. of each other. Regardless, the profession seems to be trending downward for most.

  18. Pharmacist Bob  •  Sep 20, 2013 @11:57 pm

    We and our profession are so fucked unless “you” do something-I am done

  19. Pharmaciststeve  •  Sep 21, 2013 @9:02 am

    I spoke with one Rite Aid PIC and the “performance based” program that you refer to.. the RPH has to sign a contract and according to this PIC.. the RPH’s salary could go DOWN if Rx volume goes down.. I am not sure what other things that could make the RPH’s pay go down..
    Imagine that one of the other BIG BOYS opens across the street from a existing Rite Aid.. you know the volume is going to go down.. and the RPH’s have to take a “hit” because of that… totally out of their control …

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>