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President’s Message

Mickey

MICKEY KASPARIAN
President

CVS: Another Successful Contract Negotiation

On August 15, UFCW Local 135 CVS Pharmacy members overwhelmingly ratified their new contract. I’m proud to say that our members lost nothing and gained a lot after nearly four months of extremely complex negotiations which included locals from all over Southern California, the UFCW negotiating team reached a great agreement for our members.

Contract talks are never easy, especially with the continuous changes that go on between us and the company. As usual, we sent out a questionnaire to all of our CVS members to find out how we can make their lives better in negotiations. We keep you all in mind when negotiating and we remained steadfast and stuck to our proposals. CVS ended up taking on a lot of new costs – and we got some nice wage increases and we protected your health care and pension.

CVS Shift Supervisor Debbie Clint has been with the union since 1981 said she is extremely happy that we retained their retirement and medical and she has fewer worries for the future. She’s pretty happy with the raises as well.

And just a couple of years ago, we had only seven stores in the Local 135 jurisdiction, and now we have more than 65. So there were a lot of questions coming from our new members as they have never been through contract negotiations.

New members Kelly Dawson (10 years with CVS), Dave Glassner (9 years with CVS) and Frank Perez (15 years with CVS) asked a lot of questions. Since this was their first time, they said, they had nothing to compare it to. They asked about scheduling, about the overnight differential and about medical coverage.

One of the more interesting gains we got is the right to talk to our members during their new employee orientation meetings in the stores. Many new workers don’t have a good understanding of unions – and some even had negative impressions, so this contract and our representatives’ visits has embraced so many of those members. We will let them know how they can help themselves and what we do for them as well. Of course, everyone loves the discounted tickets we sell here in the office.

Negotiations are never easy but when workers stand together they win together! Our members united and demonstrated their strength and solidarity during the process.
And, after all, unions are working people standing together to bargain for better pay, safer working conditions and decent benefits. When workers stand together, we have power. And that power makes the American Dream more possible for everyone.

And now that all is said and done for CVS workers (for the next four years), we continue to negotiate and fight for a good contract for our Food 4 Less members. As your president, I am proud to represent you at UFCW Local 135.