"WHY WE MUST STRIKE"
Voices Of UPSC
TESTOMONIALS SPOKEN FROM THE HEART OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES.
Stephanie Ellis, PharmD
Kern County-Bakersfield AmCare
“KP is currently comparing our wages to a flawed market study, claiming we are overpaid. If we accept a 2-tier wage system, they will be able to say we are overpaid compared to our very own coworkers in EVERY future negotiation. (And why wouldn’t those future pharmacists vote away our retirement to earn themselves pay increases? If we don’t stand up for them now, do we expect them to stand up for us in the future??)
This contract is NOT JUST about future employees, it is sets the stage for ALL of OUR contract negotiations to come.
KP has never “given” away great benefits packages. Our unions have fought for them, time and again, through the years. It’s OUR turn to fight for our profession.
Let’s keep KP the best place to work by asking them to invest in patient care! Please join me on the picket line at 7am November 15th!!”
Zdenka Manthei, PharmD
“To help Kaiser stay affordable we agreed to let them take away our Retirement Health Care in the 2015 negotiations. Now the Employer tells us we are still not doing enough to help them save money!? How far will the taking go? It’s time to stand with our Union!”
“This fight is not just for ourselves and other pharmacists. We’re also fighting for the nurses and other health care professionals, just as they fought for us when we were bargaining our first UNAC contract.
The challenges the nurses have faced during Covid is humbling.
Unity in withholding our labor on November 15th is critical!”
Downey Area, Cudahy Outpatient
“We were applauded as heroes, even before the pandemic.
And how are we being thanked and compensated? This is what Kaiser came up with?
This antiquated two tier pay that will introduce a host of disasters.
Nelson Soohoo, PharmD
San Diego Vandever Outpatient
“I believe in peace and above all doing what is right.
Then why are we striking? What are we fighting for? We are striking so that our message is taken seriously.
Who are we fighting for? I’m fighting for me, you, and all healthcare providers. This fight is about promoting the value of all healthcare providers. This fight is about protecting the safety of our patients.
Together our voices will be louder when we unite so that we can come to a fair resolution.
Join me and we unite on November 15, 2021!”
“We work at Kaiser because we all believe in its vision and purpose.
This strike is not about us against them. It’s about having a voice in our future and preserving the value of our profession for us and those who come after us. We must stand together to fight for ourselves and each other.
Honestly, I am saddened and shocked after a perilous 20 months that we all been through, it has come to this.”
Eddy Pak, PharmD LAMC Inpatient NICU
Francis Ang ,
Mail Order Processing Center
“It is not fair for the new employees to get lower wages. Recent consumer price index (CPI) shows a 6.2% increase, and Kaiser wants to cut new employees salaries. The inflation is here to stay and it is not transitory.
These new employees will also carry huge chunks of student debt. All the parents would understand. Our next generation will work hard in healthcare to give back to the community.
Healthcare workers were called heroes during pandemic and now we are being pushed aside. I do not support the 2 tier system.”
Downey Area, Garden Outpatient
“I fully support our union because we are already under a lot of stress of insufficient staffing at work. If they cut wages for the new employees, then it would be even harder to find people.
We need to protect our patients’ safety. KP needs to hire more staff, and it is not fair to cut new employees’ wages. Thus, I do not support the 2 tier system. KP is trying to divide or break the union which is not acceptable.
Without the support of UNAC/UPSC we will never have any say or any justice or fair practice at KP.
Rumors say Managers and MDs are getting a higher % increase in wages. We, as pharmacists, were also in the front line during the pandemic and we should deserve a good % raise in wages as well.”
Lynette Varghese, PharmD
West LA AmCare
“I was part of the 2015 negotiation team, when we negotiated our first contract with UNAC. I was there when the other Coalition members willingly allowed their ER copays to go up in exchange for our pharmacists to have their pension restored. It was quite an amazing thing to see complete strangers make a sacrifice to help us.
Every pharmacist who had their pension restored owes a debt of gratitude to the other members of the Alliance and this is our chance to give back by supporting the strike.
During that negotiation, we also thought about our future colleagues and fought to ultimately secure a higher % contribution from Kaiser towards their retirement.”
Tuyen Nguyen, PharmD
Woodland Hills Outpatient
“We support the strike because we are deeply concerned with the direction of Kaiser in regards to patient safety.
As a seasoned pharmacist at Kaiser, I am being pushed beyond my limits. My commitment is to provide the best care and do no harm to my patients. When there is a potential for patient harm, it is my corresponding responsibility to involve other healthcare professionals. However, my performance is evaluated on how fast and how many prescriptions I dispense. It is reasonable to conclude that this work environment can lead to mistakes and patient harm.
We strike because we are exhausted with the understaffing due to the inappropriate work ratio.
We strike out of fear for our patients’ safety.
We strike to support our colleagues’ calls for Kaiser to treat us with professional respect, fairness and dignity.”
Christina Lin, PharmD
“It’s so important we stand in solidarity for this strike, as this will be a defining moment in our history. Other large health care systems are closely watching to see how KP and our 30,000 strong union will handle this strike. Kaiser is a leader in the healthcare industry and is very influential in setting industry standards and wages.
If we let KP create this 2 tier system, other employers will follow suit, which will lead to a domino effect and eventually drive down wages for all healthcare workers across the industry. This is especially important for pharmacists, in light of the now 15 pharmacy schools that have opened in California, eventually leading to a surplus of pharmacists looking for employment and driving wages down even further.
This is one of the best chances we have to secure and prevent these lowered wages — we must stand next to the front line nurses and other health care professionals, who have sacrificed so much, in solidarity and as long as it takes, just as they stood next to us to win our pensions back.”