3,200 Rexall & Pharma Plus Pharmacies members secure new agreement
April 5, 2021
On March 30, 2021, the members of UFCW Local 175 working at Rexall and Pharma Plus stores across Ontario voted on a new collective agreement.
The five-year contract, which members voted to ratify, will provide protections for the 3,200 unionized employees at 205 stores province-wide.
“I’m proud of this committee for their commitment to achieving a good contract for their co-workers,” said President Haggerty. “Our members at Rexall and Pharma Plus, like so many workers on the frontlines of this pandemic, have worked hard to keep serving their communities over the last year, and that dedication continues today. Thank you for all of your hard work.”
The Union Negotiating Committee for Rexall Pharma Plus members faced a challenging set of bargaining to achieve this agreement. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on many businesses, including drugstores such as Rexall and its banners. Despite the tough circumstances, the Committee achieved an agreement with improvements to a number of working conditions, and zero concessions or rollbacks for the members.
A flexible workweek now allows full-time employees to make an annual selection of whether to work 32 or 40 hours per week. Those employees choosing 32 hours will still be considered full-time, be entitled to full-time benefits, and are assured to be scheduled four days of eight-hour shifts.
The Committee achieved language that guarantees the employer will maintain 100 full-time Keyholder jobs for the life of the agreement. Previous language provided for the implementation of these classifications but had no assurance of maintaining them.
All members at Rexall and Pharma Plus will benefit from improved health and safety language relating to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well.
Effective the date of ratification, full-time employees will receive a $400 lump sum payment, and part-time will get a $200 lump sum payment. Employees in the Postal Clerks classification will be added to the Grade 2 pay rates which will immediately increase their rates of pay. In addition, the new position of Pharmacy Assistant – I.V. will be added to the contract on a grid with Minimum Wage Plus language.
In the second year, all full-time at the top rate will receive a $200 lump sum payment. All part-time at the top rate will receive $100. Any employees not at the top rate will continue through the wage grid which continues to ensure rates stay ahead of minimum wage.
In year three, a new wage scale will be implemented. All full-time and part-time employees will be placed on the new scale so that they receive an increase in pay. Each step in the new scale provides wage increases, ranging from 1.5% to 7.5%. Any employees paid more than the top rate will receive a lump sum of $500 for full-time and $250 for part-time.
For the fourth year of the agreement, full-time and part-time employees at the top rates will receive lump sums of $400 and $200, respectively.
In the fifth year, all employees at the top rate will receive a raise of 2%. Any employees paid more than the top rate will receive a lump sum of $500 for full-time and $250 for part-time.
Part-time employees now have the option of joining the pension plan if they meet eligibility requirements after two years of employment. Previously, five years of employment was required.
All premium costs for full-time benefits are frozen with no increases for the term of the agreement. In addition, the company will continue to pay the full cost of Tier 1 benefits and the premiums associated with providing these benefits.
Improved Bereavement entitlement will allow employees to save unused leave for a later interment. In addition, if bereavement occurs while an employee is on vacation, they can request paid bereavement and use any remaining vacation days at another agreed upon time.
Rexall & Pharma Plus Pharmacies Union Negotiating Committee
Cathy Amyotte, Stacey Bart, Brittany Farr, Bea Ford, Patti Kastoff, Janet Luff, Cibelle Paquette, Irene Pauls, Cathy Simmons, Tara Turgeon, Servicing Representatives Jennifer Hanley and Nabeela Irfan, and Director John DiNardo.
Catch up on all the negotiation highlights from across the province here.