Save-On-Foods Pharmacy Update June 9

Bargaining Progress and Priorities

We are writing to provide you with a special pharmacy-focused update on the recent bargaining sessions between UFCW 1518 and Save-On-Foods, and the outcome of advisory meetings we held with pharmacy members.

UFCW 1518 negotiators and representative pharmacy members, including Pharmacy Assistants, a Script Care Pharmacy Assistant, and a Pharmacy Technician met with the employer, including senior management of the pharmacy division, for a day of discussions.

The discussions centred around enhancing the language in the collective agreement, with a specific focus on addressing the evolving demands placed on pharmacies due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the expanded scope of practice approved by the College of Pharmacists of BC. Pharmacies are now tasked with handling minor ailments, vaccination services, Opioid Agonist Treatment (OATs), and other clinical-based therapies. As a result, our members have experienced an increase in workload and responsibilities. At the same time, the employer has reaped the rewards of this expanded workload in increased profit.

In light of these changes, along with ongoing increases in the cost of living in BC, we are actively fighting for significant improvements to a new wage scale for both Pharmacy Assistants and Pharmacy Technicians. It is imperative that our members’ compensation reflects the increased workload and the educational investments they have made in their pharmacy careers.

Furthermore, we are advocating for the re-classification of Pharmacy Assistants who have completed Registered Pharmacy Technician certification. It is only fair that they are recognized and compensated for the roles that they are trained to perform, reflecting their acquired skills and expertise.

Another key priority for us is to secure enhanced funding for education and training opportunities. We firmly believe that investing in our members’ professional growth is crucial for their career advancement within the pharmacy at Save-On-Foods. By creating a clear pathway for development, we aim to empower our members and provide them with the tools necessary to build successful and fulfilling careers.

We understand the dedication and commitment our pharmacy members demonstrate in their service to customers and patients. We will continue to keep you informed of the bargaining progress and any further developments that arise. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Your input and engagement are vital in this process.

In solidarity,

Kim Novak
President, UFCW 1518