Ralphs Professional Relations Committee meeting 10-4-22

In attendance (*= via zoom):


Kathy Finn, (770 Acting President);  Andrea Zinder,  (324 President), Kristen Merritt (Pharmacist Local 324), Janteen Yeftadounaee* (Pharmacist Local 770), Nicolette Santilli*(Pharmacist Local 1442); Isaac Cheng (Pharmacist Local135)*, Bella Montesa (Pharmacist 1167)*,Matt Bruno*, (1167 Secretary Treasurer);  Rebecca Adame (1167 Union Representative)*;  Julian Gonzalez, (1442 Union Representative); Kelly Tanaka* (135 Grievance Director)


Danny Ly (Pharmacy DM), Rachel Hakakzadeh (Pharmacy HR), Linh Lee (District Health Leader), Sean Luhring (Labor Relations)

Issues Addressed:

  • Tech Coverage
  • SB 1442
  • Vaccine Scheduling
  • Closing for Lunch

Tech Coverage : 

Rachel and Linh explained some current efforts

  • Financial assistance for employees to become tech [FeedMyFuture]
  • Recruiting from store level, external sites (LinkedIn, Indeed) and technician schools
  • Union/Pharm addressed the challenges of taking staff from the front end.
  • Corporate posed the question of what the Union can do to help identify in-store candidates
  • Union Concerns
  • if we convert pharmacy clerk to tech, now we need to hire clerk;
  • This is a long term solution (and how we already recruit in general); this is not a solution that provides coverage right now.
  • Pharmacists providing tech coverage are at risk of getting pulled and this is dangerous (*patient safety*) for pharmacists fatigued by multiple 12 hr shifts consecutively.

SB 1442:

  • Linh: Seeking guidance from BOP
  • The union explained intent is not to leave pharmacists alone so if store cannot comply within 5 minutes, they need to address the overall staffing shortages.

Vaccine Scheduling:

  • Union Concern: Creating more slots for vaccine appt than vaccines available in the fridge. Appointments need to be scheduled based on what vaccines are available for the period opened in the scheduler.
  • Corporate solution:
    • Move vaccine between stores.  Store to contact Ops or PCC if anticipate running short and appointments already scheduled

Closing for Lunch

  • Close 1:00 – 1:30 in 12 hour stores. The pharmacist takes an on call lunch.  They can leave the pharmacy but must stay in the store. Do not punch out.
  • Discussed store-level autonomy with regard to break timing, signage, the choice to have lunch in the pharmacy or breakroom, and what functions the techs are able to do while pharmacist is out.  Corporate acknowledged that the inconsistency between stores and individual pharmacists may be problematic and are open to a more specific policy.
  • Linh mentioned that they will create a reminder/document reminding everyone of the policy every period in conjunction with/ or around the time that the schedule is turned in from the stores to corporate.
  • Corporate stressed the importance of communicating with the front end that the pharmacy is closed for lunch to help them inform patients etc.
  • Further discussion about dinner break (second 30 minute on call meal period) and phone system modifications so that MD and patients know that pharmacy is closed.

Follow Up

  1. Tech coverage

Company to provide data on how many times shifts aren’t covered?

  1. 1442:

Rachel acknowledged that Ralphs could work on a better process for training and better communications with store leaders

  1. Clinical Schedule:
  2. Can contact the coordinator if appt doesn’t match up with the availability of supplies or capability.
  3. Lunch:
  • 2 X 30 min breaks
  • Communicated every period
  • Next Meeting scheduled for 1/25/23 at 10:00 am