A strike by pharmacists against Kaiser Permanente was postponed this morning.
Members of the Guild for Professional Pharmacists agreed to delay walking off the job until June 2 even though no agreement has been reached with the healthcare provider, said Robin Borden, the guild’s president.
“We felt like we made enough progress to justify the postponement,” said Borden, who said negotiations broke up about 3:30 a.m. today. “We don’t have an agreement, but there was a little bit of movement.”
If it happens, the walkout would affect an estimated 1,430 pharmacists at 14 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Southern California, including three Inland facilities in Riverside, Fontana and Moreno Valley.
The guild members are negotiating a three-year contract. Major issues include better working conditions and full medical benefits for part-time pharmacists.
Twenty-two sessions have been held since the contract talks began March 5 at an undisclosed location in Downey. The contract between the guild and Kaiser Permanente expired March 31, but union members agreed to keep working under the terms of that agreement so that the talks would not break down.
Kaiser Permanente has reportedly made arrangements with other pharmacies, including Walgreens , Target and Walmart, in case of a strike. Members would also be able to fill their pharmacy orders at www.kp.org.