More pharmacy strikes could follow: PPA


National Pharmacies window sign

The strike action at National Pharmacies stores today, which saw some pharmacies closed for an hour, may eventually be repeated at other groups, Professional Pharmacists Australia campaign director Matt Harris told the AJP today.

“We know that pharmacists in other pharmacy groups are watching this action closely and no doubt will be considering the steps that they take in the near future,” he says.

“Wages in pharmacy have been stagnant for several years, and it’s basically that the discount chains have acted as a drag on wages,” Harris told the AJP.

“Generally, they’re paying their pharmacists $5 less per hour. And the pharmacists at National Pharmacies are concerned that National is heading down that path, by paying their new employee pharmacists $4 less per hour.”

Harris says that compared to graduate rates for other health professionals, as well as industry professionals like engineers, pharmacists are remunerated poorly.

“They’re among the worst paid health professionals in Australia,” he says.

“We just don’t think that’s sustainable. If you want to provide quality pharmacy care to health consumers, then you need to properly respect and reward employee pharmacists across the board.”

Harris says that so far, health consumers have been supportive of the strike action against National Pharmacies.

“There’s no doubt that the action will cause some inconvenience to health consumers, but I was at one of the pharmacies this morning and they were actually very supportive of the steps the pharmacists are taking to support quality services.

“I think consumers are quite well informed about what’s happening in pharmacy.”

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7 Comments

  1. Baz
    24/02/2016

    Chemist Warehouse employed pharmacists should by encouraged by the brave step of National chain pharmacists & participate in the strike for themselves and their patients as well.

  2. Man
    06/03/2016

    A national strike for all pharmacists is needed!!

  3. g
    14/03/2016

    We, pharmacists at chemist warehouses would love to participate in a strike like this after enduring years of low wages and abusive customers. What we need is a strong union and leader to guide us. Pharmacy guild and health ministry is not trustworthy as they think the life of Australians are so cheap and deserve cheap medications.

    • UnderappreciatedPharmacist
      05/04/2016

      I would wholeheartedly support this and join in!

      Who else?

      • UnderappreciatedPharmacist
        19/04/2016

        Jeez. No one I guess haha

  4. OUARDA DJOUDI
    15/03/2016

    about time someone addressed the elephant in the room !!! when a Pharmacist is paid less than the cleaner it is cause for concern it brings shame on our respected profession I have seen many interns change their minds and quit after they witnessed the horrible working conditions and choking wages

  5. Andrew
    07/05/2016

    Pharmacy wages are atrocious. The article compares Pharmacists to Engineers, as an example. But what about comparing Pharmacists to Nurses and other health care professionals. Division One Nurses are somewhat better paid than Pharmacists and so are Physiotherapists, Social Workers and Psychologists.

    I suspect that is because there is better industrial representation. It is also because there are far too many pharmacy graduates now. Whilst a shortage of pharmacists existed two decades ago, now there are too many. We used to have Monash (the Victorian College of Pharmacy), now there is also La Trobe at Bendigo and the RMIT in Melbourne. There are even graduate programs so that those with a science background can undertake a graduate Masters degree and enter the profession. There is nothing wrong with this – but why do this when there is an over supply already. .

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