WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2023 – An alliance of influential online communities with a combined social media following of more than 300,000 individuals is teaming up to support the launch of a new worker empowerment project called The Pharmacy Guild. The effort aims to unite pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to address unsafe staffing levels and dangerously high workloads throughout the industry.
The influential social media accounts, The Accidental Pharmacist, #PizzaIsNotWorking, and RxComedy, are collaborating with IAM Healthcare, a union of healthcare professionals affiliated with the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Today they took the effort public with the launch of PharmacyGuild.org.
“Now is the time to regain control of our profession in the name of patient safety,” said Dr. Shane Jerominski, PharmD, who runs The Accidental Pharmacist account on Facebook. “Unless we unionize, pharmacists and technicians will continue to be exploited for profits while mega-corporations underinvest in the needs of our patients.”
The launching of The Pharmacy Guild comes as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have staged unprecedented walkouts across the country to protest rampant corporate greed and consolidation, as well as increased workload and job responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is more than a union organizing effort,” states the Pharmacy Guild’s founding statement. “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.”
The Pharmacy Guild aims 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.
“For years, pharmacists and technicians have been speaking out about unsafe working conditions to upper management, only to have those concerns fall on deaf ears” said Dr. Maurice Shaw, PharmD, of the RxComedy social media account. “Now is the time for the profession to make our voices heard.”
“With the multifaceted problems of corporate pharmacy, we have to explore all avenues to improve conditions for the profession,” said Dr. Bled Tanoe, PharmD, creator of the #PizzaIsNotWorking hashtag. “That means giving support to pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy interns who are organizing for their rights in chain retail stores, where conditions are the most challenging. By taking this step, we are giving our profession a fighting chance.”
IAM Healthcare represents healthcare professionals across the U.S. and Canada, including clinicians, technicians, and caregivers. IAM Healthcare members stand together for quality patient care, essential staffing levels, safe working conditions, and the development and advancement of our professional practice.