Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pharmacists face Rexall lockout

From the Edmonton Sun:
A potential move by Rexall that would see dozens of highly specialized pharmacists locked out could have negative impacts on the patients they serve, some terminally ill, one expert says.

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the organization representing the workers, says the pharmacy giant has applied to the Labour Relations Board to lock out pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working at outpatient pharmacies at the U of A and Royal Alexandra hospitals, following a breakdown in contract negotiations.

Elisabeth Ballermann, HSAA president, says pharmacists working for Rexall have historically been paid on par with their counterparts working for the provincial health board.

However, things turned sour when the non-Rexall employees got a significant pay increase, which Rexall is not prepared to match.

"The message was pretty blunt at the bargaining table that Rexall doesn't feel that they're making enough of a profit. They are, in fact, making a profit, they just don't think they're making a big enough profit," Ballermann said, adding the gap will be in the neighbourhood of $8,000 over two years for workers. ...more

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