UPSC Newsletter: August 2020

Issue 2 / August 2020 (Click here to view the PDF version)


01: Officers/Staff Reps
02: Announcements
03: Local/Regional News Roundup
04: Political/Legislative
05: Community Service


Need to file a grievance? Have a contract question? Has there been a violation of the contract at your pharmacy? Has a manager asked you to attend a meeting that may lead to corrective action (“Weingarten meeting”)?

Contact your Staff Rep or Officer
Lawrence Louie – (President)
Nancy Magnante – (VP-Amcare)
OPEN – VP Central Refill/Mail Order
Daniel Szeto – VP-Inpatient
Michael Mattes – (VP-Outpatient)
Robin Borden – (Secretary)
Susan Chmait – (Treasurer)
Rebecca Myung – (Steward Coordinator North)
Kathie Varisco – (Steward Coordinator South)
Fred Aziz (Staff Rep)
Sheri Gotanda (Staff Rep)

Contact Lawrence Louie if interested in any open officer positions.

Join our Facebook group: United Pharmacists of Southern California (UNAC/UHCP-UPSC)

Need a copy of your CONTRACT? Login to your Memberlink account.


New CE requirements for license renewal – CCR title 16, section 1732.5(b) requires that at least 2 of the 30-hours of CE required for renewal of a pharmacist license be completed by participating in law and ethics courses provided by the Board of Pharmacy. The requirement applies to pharmacists whose licenses expired on or after July 1, 2019. Click here for the Law and Ethics Webinar page on the BOP website for approved webinars. Keep your CE certificates for four years in case you are asked for evidence of completion.

2020 Budget and Constitutional Changes – Ballots were counted and the budget and Constitution changes were overwhelmingly approved. Thank you for your electronic votes.  

Amcare Competency Exam format to change this year: Regional Pharmacy recently notified UPSC that the annual competency exams will now be administered through the website. We are assured that ACCP does not write questions for BPS Board certification and that the tests are not intended to mirror Board certification tests. You should receive an email detailing the process. The test is still open book. The process for pharmacists that don’t pass the competency test has not changed from previous years, i.e., you are not at risk for losing your job.  You can view the Kaiser policy here.  Your manager will assign which tests you will take based on your specialty. Please DO NOT discuss exam questions with colleagues, but since this is a new process, DO provide constructive feedback/critique on overall exam content, administration or format to your local officer, steward or CS.

New Appointed Officers: Welcome aboard to Michael Mattes, recently appointed as Vice President -Outpatient.

Printed Copies of UPSC Contract – The Wait Is Over! Kaiser has completed its review and contracts are now being sent to the printer. Each member will receive a copy. Check your mailbox for the bright orange cover to arrive soon.

UNAC/UHCP State Officer and Board of Directors Elections: Due to COVID-19 social distancing, this year there will be no UNAC/UHCP Convention – when we usually have State Officer and Board of Directors elections. Elected Delegates will be able to cast their votes by mail. We are very happy to announce that UPSC had more nominees than the 54 Delegates allowed by the UNAC/UHCP Constitution! Thank you to every UPSC member who nominated themselves or were nominated by others! You are to be commended for wanting to participate in UPSC procedure! Ballots to vote from the list of Nominees for UPSC Delegates were mailed to all UPSC pharmacists on 7/29/20 and will be counted 8/19/20. Click here for this year’s list of candidates. You can vote for 54 members to join your officers as delegates. If you did not receive a ballot, call the UNAC/UHCP State Office at 909-599-8622.

Most recent KP COVID-19 Temporary Relief Benefits Q&AClick here.

• Contract Specialists (CS’s): Arvee Ninofranco, Rebecca Myung and Max Wang are KP SCAL Pharmacists paid by Kaiser to spend 20-hours a week rounding and enforcing the contract for YOU. You can contact the CS for your service area here.

• New Staff Rep: Good News! UPSC is getting an additional staff representative. That brings our total to 2-1/2 staff reps to help administer our contract.

• Get involved! Become a Union Steward and be a resource for your pharmacist colleagues in your local pharmacy. Click here for more information and an application.

• UPSC Website. ALMOST READY FOR YOU! Our website will be located at You will be able to access the latest information about your union, your contract, and your profession.


Our next Orange “Take Charge” flyer is attached. This month’s topic is Scheduling. Take Charge will be published on a semi-monthly basis.

UPSC filed a grievance on 6/5/20 over the recent changes in pharmacist job descriptions and qualifications. We are waiting for a response from management.

UPSC is bargaining the effect of downsizing of Anticoagulation services region-wide.

UPSC is bargaining the effect of the Regional proposal to broaden the scope of OP pharmacists. More to come.

Remember, you should ALWAYS be guaranteed enough hours to meet your FTE status.


Thanks to all pharmacists who attended the 1st Annual UNAC/UHCP-CPhA Joint Virtual Advocacy Day on 7/29/20 with Assemblymembers Evan Low, Chair, Assembly Business & Professions Committee, Jim Wood, DDS, Chair, Assembly Health Committee, and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Member Assembly Health Committee.

Pharmacists took the opportunity to urge these Assemblymembers to support CPhA-sponsored AB1710 (Wood) to allow for expediting access by pharmacists to FDA-approved COVID19 vaccines for administration. Currently, once the FDA approves a vaccine, another semi-governmental agency must review its efficacy and then give a recommendation to CDC. CPhA’s sponsored bill proposes to bypass that recommendation process, so once the FDA approves the vaccine it will go to pharmacies to be administered.

“PEOPLE” contributions are CRITICAL to help UPSC continue to protect our jobs, our licenses and our patients’ safety. Your regular union dues can’t be used for political action and only 8% of our entire 1500 pharmacists contribute.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to contribute to PEOPLE. Be a PEOPLE CHAMPION with $12/paycheck or $20/paycheck and GO BIG, and receive a CHAMPION t-shirt and AFSCME jacket. We CANNOT continue our level of presence and influence in Sacramento without your support!


With the currently limited face-to-face opportunities, UPSC is participating in a union-wide effort to collect funds to support local Labor Council Food Banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To donate, or volunteer to help deliver, contact: or any Officer or Steward.