The Pharmacy Guild Files for First Union Election as National Attention Grows at Industry Conference

“There is power in numbers,” Dr. Shane Jerominski said in a recent front page USA Today article. Jerominski is one of a committee of co-founders who came together in late 2023 to launch The Pharmacy Guild (TPG) with the backing of the IAM.

A plumb spot on the front page of a national newspaper used to signal attention money cannot buy, but Jerominski and the other three co-founders of TPG find themselves even more popular on social media. Their attendance at the recent American Pharmacists Association (APhA) expo in Orlando for pharmacy professionals was more of a fan fest for these champions for safe pharmacies.

“It’s time to move away from the system of abuse and intimidation,” TPG co-founder Dr. Bled Tanoe told USA Today. 

Tanoe started the #PizzaIsNotWorking movement, an online community with thousands of followers. Some of those followers showed up at the Pharmacy Guild’s booth, which was staffed by TPG’s founders and IAM Healthcare staff. It was enough to stop traffic around the booth.

A main attraction was a Pharmacy Guild ”Petition for Safe Pharmacies” calling on large retail pharmacy chains to improve staffing, pay fair wages, and to respect the rights of employees to organize.

Retail pharmacy chains routinely short staff locations. At some locations, one licensed pharmacist is leading and relying on six or more pharmacy technicians to fill hundreds of prescriptions per shift. One mistake or overlooked detail can mean harm to a patient. Some pharmacy technicians at retail locations make two to three dollars less an hour than the cashier at the overall store. That leads to many jumping to higher paying cashier jobs, and constant turnover and training needs of a retail pharmacy.  It creates unnecessary risk to patients and licensed pharmacists that could lose their license if serious mistakes occur.

TPG Co-Founder Dr. Maurice Shaw said looking for different jobs in the industry is not always a good answer.

“It doesn’t matter where you go [in the retail pharmacy setting], what you experience at one place is probably going to be what you experience someplace else, so really you’re changing locations but you’re not changing the working conditions,” said Shaw.

The popularity of the founding members of The Pharmacy Guild is rooted in the ‘pharmageddon” walkouts in 2023 at CVS and Walgreen locations. Social media attention and support of the walk outs turned into news media attention of the worker actions. The point was made, and a mini rebellion began.  Those leaders brought that social media movement to the IAM.

That is why the The Pharmacy Guild was excited to announce on March 25 that it had filed with strong majority support from the CVS Omnicare pharmacy professionals in Las Vegas to earn an upcoming NLRB election.

“This is people’s livelihoods we’re talking about.” said Pharmacy Guild Co-Founder Dr. Lannie Duong, who spoke out for her patients and colleagues at a previous workplace. “We can only take care of our patients to the best of our ability if we are taking care of ourselves.”

The Pharmacy Guild was founded under the umbrella of IAM Healthcare, which already represents more than 12,000 healthcare professionals across North America.  

It’s estimated that 12,000 pharmacy professionals attended the conference in Orlando, including students nearing graduation and seasoned professionals.

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