A Voice for Pharmacy Professionals

We stand at a critical moment in the history of the Pharmacy profession. Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians at corporate chain retail giants have recently staged unprecedented walkouts to protest unsafe staffing levels and dangerously high workloads. These are not new problems, but they have intensified exponentially due to rampant corporate greed and consolidation, as well as increased workload and job responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In taking collective action, these courageous Pharmacy professionals have put their professional and ethical obligations to patients first, pointing out that dangerously low staffing and inadequate resourcing of pharmacies increases the risks of mistakes and compromises patient care. These walkout actions, organized entirely by employees, sent a powerful message to the industry and to fellow Pharmacy professionals that fundamental changes must be made to ensure patient and employee safety.

The question is what those changes will be, who will decide what they are, and how far they will go. Already we are seeing the corporate giants respond in small ways to try to placate protesting employees. Inevitably, some resources will be freed up to hire too few additional staff, executives will hold listening sessions with aggrieved employees, and other changes will be made around the margins.

When such damage control measures are taken, it is important that we draw the right lessons from them. Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians have exercised just a fraction of their true collective power and corporations have been forced to start listening, but we know fundamental change will not happen without persistence, organization and accountability.

That is why leading activists and influencers behind the popular Pharmacy-related social media communities The Accidental Pharmacist, #PizzaIsNotWorking, and RxComedy, are coming together to support the launch of a new worker empowerment project called The Pharmacy Guild. We are initiating this effort in collaboration with IAM Healthcare, a union of health care professionals within the powerful International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Together we will work with grassroots leaders of the burgeoning movement of pharmacy professionals to organize for:

  • Staffing and workload standards to ensure safe patient care;
  • Representation and collective bargaining for pharmacy professionals in workplaces across the country;
  • Legislative and regulatory action to protect patients and to advance standards of professional practice.

This is more than a union organizing effort. It is a call to take this powerful social movement of Pharmacy professionals to the next level by developing the organizational infrastructure and institutional influence necessary to make real change. If you want to be a part of this effort, complete the confidential contact form below.