Kaiser Permanente reaches deal to avoid strike involving 1,200 pharmacists

SAN FRANCISCO -- Kaiser Permanente has avoided a strike involving 1,200 pharmacists serving their Northern California network, including facilities in Fresno and Clovis.

An agreement was reached in the overnight hours to avoid a strike that would have lasted a week.

RELATED: Kaiser employees might go on strike from Monday

Kaiser says they are "bargaining in good faith" with both the Guild for Professional Pharmacists and Local 39, which includes the Kaiser engineers who have already been on strike for at least 58 days, and who were outside of Kaiser on Sunday.

"Kaiser is pushing everybody to take less than other people doing the same job," says Tim Butler who is a Kaiser engineer.

But those with Kaiser say the strikes are being used "despite excellent proposals put forth by Kaiser Permanente that would keep pharmacists and engineers among the highest paid in the nation."

RELATED: California Kaiser nurses picket over patient home care program, but it's not a strike
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Bay Area Kaiser nurses are protesting a program called Medically Home, which provides care for a patient in their home rather than in the hospital.



A strike was also averted for nurses, pharmacy workers and lab technicians at Kaiser in Southern California, after reaching a tentative labor deal Saturday with the Alliance of Health Care Unions.

Late Sunday, our sister station KGO-TV reported going in and out of Kaiser Permanente's pharmacy in San Francisco in an effort to get medicine before the possible pharmacist strike on Monday.

"I made it a point to come here before five," says patient Ramsey Dunlap.

While everything went smoothly for patients getting their medicine when KGO-TV talked with them, a Kaiser contracted employee said that is not always the case.

"We have no toilets working, no elevators working, things that are falling apart throughout Kaiser due to the fact that the engineers are not here," said that employee who didn't want to give their identity.

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