Guild to change membership model

43403276 - female hand casting vote at election with ballot paper at box

The Pharmacy Guild is proposing to change its membership model based on premises alone.

In this week’s edition of Forefront, the Guild has flagged that its members will soon receive referendum ballot papers for the Guild National Council’s plan to move to a new membership model.

“At present, the membership system applies a fee to premises as well as proprietors,” the Guild says.

“The new premises-based model aligns the Guild with the fact that pharmacies are increasingly owned by multiple proprietors. The proprietor fee will cease.

“It is simpler, fairer and more equitable, and would apply from the 2017/18 financial year.”

Guild members can access full details of the proposal in the voting paper pack which is expected to arrive at members’ pharmacy addresses shortly, to coincide with the voting period, which runs from 14 November until 12 December 2016.

Under the proposed change, the subscriptions paid by more than three-quarters of Guild Member proprietors will be reduced. 

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  1. Andrew

    While they’re at it – this could be a good opportunity to have members sign a declaration that only registered pharmacists have a pecuniary interest in their pharmacy and are within the maximum allowable businesses per state.

    • olga

      I’ll bet this is not going to happen, though it should. Too many people have a vested interest in keeping the status quo the same.

    • Ronky

      As long as the Pharmacy Board and state Pharmacy Councils continue to ignore the ownership restriction laws they are supposed to administer, and/or allow so many loopholes as to make the laws meaningless, signing a declaration isn’t going to scare anyone into obeying the law. They’ll just lie to the Guild like they lie to the Government which turns a blind eye.

  2. Owner

    This is an effective strategy in the event of deregulation. Coincidence?

  3. Anne Todd

    Won’t this decrease the voting pool? Or will all of the owners still have voting rights and a right to be heard via the state remits? Or by default will it be the owner with the majority interest in a pharmacy or group of pharmacies that gets the say in what the Guild does? Will not being a direct paid member reduce the interest some owners take in guild affairs? (thinking about those with limited % shares of pharmacies in particular) as opposed to “militant lefty – liberal” ex-owners like myself.

    • Anthony Tassone

      Hello Anne

      Should the referendum be successful, as a component of moving to a ‘premises’ only subscription model, the Guild will introduce a ‘1 Premises, 1 Vote’ system whereby the number of voting rights held by each member will be determined by the number of premises the member owns.

      That is, the more premises a member owns, the greater say the member will have regarding voting at Guild elections and in Guild meetings.

      In the case of a premises having multiple proprietors, only one vote would be able to cast on behalf of that partnership for that premises.

      Next year is an election year for office bearers of the Guild. The 2017 Guild elections will be undertaken in accordance with current Constitutional arrangements due to the 2017 Guild elections starting prior to 1 July 2017 (that is, will be votes by proprietor not by premises as is the current system).

      Anthony Tassone
      President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria Branch)

      • Andy Harris

        So basically the guys who owns 50 pharmacies and never steps a foot in the door of any of them gets all the votes while the poor Junior partners doing the real work get no say at all. Is this right or have I completely misunderstood?

        Way to go guild great idea!
        This should ensure rural communities owned by foreign owners based in Sydney and Melbourne get looked after

        • Anthony Tassone


          To help answer your question, I will use my situation as an example.

          I am a co-proprietor in two pharmacies. Each pharmacy has five co proprietors (the same five co proprietors in each pharmacy).

          For election and voting purposes, should the referendum be successful and there is ultimately a ‘premises only’ subscription – our partnership of five co-proprietors would have two votes (one in each pharmacy).

          The following is an excerpt from an FAQ document that has been circulated to Guild members regarding the referendum:

          “Why should I vote ‘FOR’ this referendum if it means that my subscriptions will increase as I own a significant number of premises?

          The Guild understands that although a substantial majority of members will benefit financially from this new model, there will be a minority of members who each own a significant number of premises who will see their annual subscriptions increase.

          However, the equitable nature of this model means that those members who own multiple premises will have a greater level of representation at the Guild under the new model via the number of votes that they may cast.

          In addition, for members who own multiple premises, the benefits of the Guild’s member services (such as workplace relations) and advocacy (such as the Community Pharmacy Agreement) will continue to be available across all their pharmacy businesses.”

          Anthony Tassone
          President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria Branch)

          • Anne Todd

            Thanks Anthony, that does explain the referendum proposal. And if I was still an owner I would be voting in the negative! While I am sure your partnership have equal discussions and would listen to a junior partner in coming to a voting decision I fear this would not be the case in many other cases. The voting pool of owners will decrease substantially consolidating voting in Guild matters into fewer hands.
            As a an ex-solo owner the idea of the big group/s dominant owner/s effectively having multiple votes to the timid (ok I was never timid) solo is disconcerting to say the least.

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