The Civil Service Employees Association in Rockland went to court Friday to seek an injunction against County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef’s decision to close a taxpayer-funded pharmacy that provided union employees and retirees with free prescriptions for maintenance medications. The county executive terminated the contract with the company that operated the pharmacy and shut it down as of 5 p.m. Friday, saying it would save $2 million a year, The Journal News/Lohud.com reported over the weekend.
Paul Bamberger, senior legal counsel for the state Civil Service Employees Association, said it wasn’t up to Vanderhoef to close the pharmacy.
“There is a law that was passed by the County Legislature that says the county has to provide these benefits,” he said. “The county executive is not following the law.”
Larry Sparber, CSEA labor relations specialist, said the union also filed an improper-practice charge with the state Public Employment Relations Board.
Rockland County Attorney Jeffrey Fortunato said in a statement he could not comment on the case because the county had not yet been served with legal papers signed by a judge. He said language in the contract between the county and the union addresses the pharmacy, including management-rights language that gives the county discretion to terminate programs and to take action without prior negotiation.