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Pharmacists At Kaiser Hawaii ‘Choose To Build Union Power’ Through AFSCME

Published Friday, June 14, 2019
by Jashua Bane/AFSCME News
Pharmacists At Kaiser Hawaii ‘Choose To Build Union Power’ Through AFSCME

(HONOLULU, HAWAII) - More than 100 In-Patient, Out-Patient and Ambulatory Pharmacists at Kaiser Hawaii in Honolulu have chosen to Go Union by voting to join the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)-affiliated United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP). 

With more than 800 Members in Hawaii already, the Pharmacists decided to build power through AFSCME as they seek more accountability, respect and the resources they need to continue to provide exceptional care to their community.

Pharmacists from Kaiser in California volunteered to help organize in Hawaii.

Facing some of the same issues when they joined AFSCME in 2015, the California-based Pharmacists could speak to how a Union could help address these problems

“They wanted a Union for all the reasons our other Members do, starting with a way to protect their patients - in their case, against ever-growing, unsupportable workloads.  They want security, better wages and benefits.  They were so Pro-Union from the beginning of their campaign,” said UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan, a Registered Nurse (RN).

“Then they talked to our Southern California Pharmacists, heard about the journey they’ve traveled, and saw where they need to be.  Now that they’re UNAC/UHCP Members, they’ve got a path to get there,” Duncan said.

The Officers of United Pharmacists of Southern California (UPSC) sent them a congratulatory e-mail, welcoming them the Union: "We encourage you to stand together and stand strong.  You will succeed based on your professionalism, integrity, unity and hard work. We are supporting you, along with 32,000 other UNAC/UHCP Members."

Jake Elsbernd, a Pharmacist at Kaiser Hawaii, thanked AFSCME: “We overcame the fear and made it happen.  We couldn’t have done it without everybody’s participation and willingness to take this small step that’s going to turn into a lot of progress for pharmacy in our State.  Kaiser Hawaii Pharmacists finally having a voice is going to make all the difference.”

The newest Members of UNAC will soon begin the process of negotiating their first contract by choosing their bargaining team, filling out bargaining surveys and going to the negotiating table.

To Read This Labor News Report In Its Entirety, Go To: www.afscme.org/now/pharmacists-at-kaiser-hawaii-choose-to-build-power-through-afscme

Photo Credit: UNAC/UHCP

 

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