RITE AID TELEPHONE TOWN HALL
Last night the union held a Telephone Town Hall with union negotiators in order to update members about contract negotiations, and answer your questions.
If you were one of the more than 500 people who participated, thank you. If you missed it, you can listen to a recording of it here:
Union negotiators, including your President Mickey Kasparian and Secretary-Treasurer Richard Barrera, answered many questions about the contract, including:
1. Negotiations: The next round of negotiations begins the week of August 27th.
2. Wages: Because of the hidden small-print in Rite Aid’s offer, virtually no members will actually receive an increase. Members at the top rate get nothing. Anyone who’s wages are affected by state and local minimum wage increases (almost all members) will get nothing.
3. Health Care: Rite Aid’s proposal would take you out of a plan that is jointly supervised by your union, and would allow Rite Aid to reduce your benefits and raise your premiums any time they want, without your input.
As one of the members on the call pointed out, “I pay $44 for healthcare, while non-union Rite Aid members pay as much as $300-$400 per month.”
4. Pharmacist pay: The company wants to remove starting salaries for pharmacists, instead of paying them “whatever the market will bear.” As President John Grant pointed out, “This is the first step to making everyone work for the least amount possible, for the same salary as the most desperate person in the store.
5. Retirement: The Rite Aid proposal would strip CURRENT senior citizen retirees of their health care. As one of the panelists said, “If they are cruel enough to take health care away from seniors on a fixed income, imagine what they’ll do to you once they have complete control of your health care plan.”
Members on the call were also asked questions they could answer in a phone poll, including:
What is most important to you?
Pension and retirement 14%
More hours or scheduling 6%
Do you feel respected by your management and Rite Aid?
Knowing what you know now, do you still support giving negotiators the power to strike if necessary?