The Rank & File Reporter Update 19

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On May 18, 2022, CWA 1168 and 1199SEIU rank and file members met with the Kaleida bargaining team at a scheduled bargaining session. The members wanted to express their deep concerns and disdain for the discontinuation of the contractually negotiated benefit of the Family Pharmaceuticals. This is the second time our rank and file members have met with administration to express how we have been affected.

Members presented to Kaleida’s administration showing how the family pharmacy cuts have negatively impacted us. A short video was played that gave a snapshot of the meeting that occurred almost six months ago expressing the negative impact of this decision. Additionally, there were three CWA and four 1199SEIU members who gave very moving testimony about how the move has absolutely negatively impacted each of them, their family members and other union members. There were stories about the inconvenience, the increase in prices, the delays through Express Scripts, the confusion, and the inability to speak with a trusted pharmacist. There was testimony about going without needed meds for extended periods of time, the amount of additional money being spent by members who can least afford it, about scripts being changed without notification, and not being able to get medications in a timely fashion. The testimony given by the members was only a sampling of the issues that many members throughout Kaleida are now experiencing because Family Pharmaceuticals no longer exists. We have made it clear that Kaleida’s decision has had negative impacts..

Our Unions have followed our grievance procedure and it continues into arbitration. Kaleida reminded the Unions that they have offered a proposed solution at Step 2 of our grievance procedure. The resolution proposed was unacceptable; it would result in continued loss of benefits and far greater complexity to our members. During the meeting it was particularly interesting that President, and COO of Kaleida stated that he was unaware of the meeting six months ago where members met with management to relay their concerns. He did indicate that there was “room for further discussion.”

The Unions clearly stated that both sides were still very far apart. The Unions will continue to follow up on this issue as it is a negotiated benefit, and it is so important to so many of our members. If an adequate solution is not found during bargaining the case will proceed into arbitration.

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