A new award is coming

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Professionals Australia are due to meet before the Fair Work Commission next month to finalise the ongoing review of the Pharmacy Industry Award

We’ve now entered final stage proceedings of the four yearly review of the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010, according to documents released this week by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

Final resolution is still needed over some terminology used and over how or whether a new HMR allowance would be increased during the life of the award.

So far, a statement from the Commission, an exposure draft of the award, and a draft award variation determination have been published.

Also released this week was a notice of listing for a conference to be held before the Commissions president, Justice Ian Ross, in Sydney on 12 March, “to discuss any remaining issues in dispute.”

A Commission background paper issued on 25 November 2019 “outlined the ongoing issues between the relevant parties”.

“A joint report was subsequently filed by the Pharmacy Guild following consultation with Professionals Australia, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association and the Health Services Union,” the most recent FWC statement said.

“It is apparent from the joint report that there remain some issues between the parties regarding the adoption of consistent terminology”.

Changes incorporated into the draft of the Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 include a weekly allowance of $106.40 for “an employee classified as a Pharmacist, Experienced Pharmacist, Pharmacist in Charge or Pharmacist Manager who is required by the employer to perform Home Medicine Reviews or Residential Medication Management Reviews”.

However, this remained at issue, with dispute over “whether the new allowance… is to be adjusted for
movement in wage rates and if so, the mechanism for adjustment….”.

Another point of difference noted by FWC in its exposure draft relates to the terminology used for payment of overtime, annual leave and penalty rates.

The Guild is recommending to change terminology to say these be paid at the “minimum hourly rate”. The current terminology has them being paid at the “ordinary rate of pay”.

An email from APESMA (Professionals Australia) suggested using “minimum rate” except in reference to annual leave where it noted this “may not completely work… as some, albeit a few, employee’s pay is still calculated on a weekly basis.”

FWC also noted that “the issue relating to changes to terminology remains outstanding” for the Schedule of Minimum Hourly Rates of Pay, as it is listed in the Exposure Draft.

A note in the preamble outlines that “this draft does not represent the concluded view of the Commission in this matter”.

Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 Exposure Draft: Minimum Rates 

  • Pharmacy assistant level 1: 813.60 (minimum weekly full-time rate)  21.41 (minimum hourly rate)
  • Pharmacy assistant level 2: 833.00  21.92
  • Pharmacy assistant level 3: 862.50  22.70
  • Pharmacy assistant level 4: 898.00  23.63
  • Pharmacy student 1st year: 813.60  21.41
  • Pharmacy student 2nd year: 833.00  21.92
  • Pharmacy student 3rd year: 862.50  22.70
  • Pharmacy student 4th year: 898.00  23.63
  • Pharmacy intern 1st half of training: 909.90  23.94
  • Pharmacy intern 2nd half of training: 940.90  24.76
  • Pharmacist: 1,117.60  29.41
  • Experienced pharmacist: 1,224.10  32.21
  • Pharmacist in charge: 1,252.90  32.97
  • Pharmacist manager: 1,396.10  36.74

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