Kaiser Permanente Pharmacist Strike Canceled as Negotiations Continue

A planned strike involving more than 1,000 pharmacists from Kaiser Permanente was postponed just hours before it was set to begin on Monday morning.

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A sign outside the Kaiser Permanente medical center in Woodland Hills is seen in this file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

“We’re pleased to announce that The Guild for Professional Pharmacists… has cancelled a work stoppage that was scheduled to begin Monday, May 19, 2014,” the health care provider said in statement. “We remain in contract negotiations with The Guild and hope to reach an agreement soon.”

The health care provider had previously warned that some 1,400 pharmacists represented by The Guild for Professional Pharmacists could being striking on Monday, something that would have impacted patients looking to refill prescriptions.

However, the strike — which was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. — was canceled early Monday, and negotiations between the two sides would continue until at least June 2, according to Robin Borden, the guild’s president.

The negotiations center around three issues, according to a post on the guild’s Facebook page.

Pharmacists have demanded that the company restore their pensions, which were taken away three years ago. They have also asked for part-time employees to receive health care benefits. And finally, pharmacists would like more time to fill prescriptions and work with patients.

If a strike does take place, millions of Southern California Kaiser Permanente will have to go elsewhere to get their prescriptions filled. A statement released before the work stoppage said Kaiser told patients they could visit local Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Ralphs, or Vons to get their medications.

More than 3.7 million Southern California residents have health plans through Kaiser Permante, according to the medical provider’s website.

KTLA’s Wendy Burch contributed to this report.