7CPA negotiations ‘very heavy going’

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Guild national president George Tambassis has offered a glimpse into negotiations for the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, and thanks members for their work during a very tough year

Speaking in a YouTube video message to Guild members, Mr Tambassis said he had two key messages for viewers: the Guild’s thanks, and that it is “working hard” for the sector.

“We’ve gone in to bat for community pharmacy every day with governments at all levels,” Mr Tambassis said.

“Some of what we do is on the public record but some is below the radar, and you won’t read about that stuff in the papers.

“We will do whatever is the most effective way to represent your interests – your business, your staff and your patients.

“And of course amidst all this COVID-19 pressure, we’re also negotiating a new Community Pharmacy Agreement.

“It’s been very heavy going, but I can assure you, your Guild is doing everything possible to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome for you, our members.”

Mr Tambassis also noted that 2020 has to date been a very difficult year, and thanked members for their hard work, as well as their “courage and commitment”.

“We’ve had bushfires in multiple states causing pressure and stress and now, of course, the global pandemic which has absolutely pulverised our economy and our society,” he said.

“You’ve seen those impacts in community pharmacy its put huge pressures on pharmacies and staff and we’ve all tried to cope with panic buying, medicines shortages, isolated patients and risks and concerns around the health of our staff.

“We’ve all had to adapt our business models with very little notice, and now of course it’s been a widespread slump in trade with all the social isolation.

“So I want to say congratulations and thank you for the commitment all Guild member pharmacies have shown, stepping up at a time of crisis and making us all proud to be part of such a vital part of the health system, serving patients daily.”

He concluded the video message with a request that members “keep the feedback coming” – and “stay safe, and wash your hands”.

In another similar message he said that member pharmacies and their staff had set a “great example” for all health care professionals.

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