Pay to go up

$50 note sticks out of blue piggybank

It’s October – which means a pay rise for employee pharmacists getting the Award wage, as a “major” new pay case is announced

Professional Pharmacists Australia has highlighted that the Fair Work Commission will apply the second phase of the Work Value pay increases to the Pharmacy Industry Award, effective from the  first pay period on or after 1 October 2019.

In July 2019, the FWC ruled to increase the Award by 5%, plus another 10% for those undertaking HMRs and RMMRs in the union’s Work Value Case.

The first Work Value Case increase of 2.5% was applied from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

This brings the hourly wage for a first-year pharmacy student to $21.41, and a fourth-year student to $23.63.

Pharmacy interns in their first half of training should now expect an award wage of $23.94, while those in their second half should expect $24.76.

Meanwhile a pharmacist should expect $29.41 an hour; an experienced pharmacist $32.21; a pharmacist in charge $32.97; and a pharmacist manager $36.74.

“The minimum penalty rates, casual loadings and other entitlements received should also increase as they are required to be calculated on the new minimum award rates,” says PPA.

It also highlighted the new allowance for pharmacists who perform Home Medicine Reviews or Residential Medication Management Reviews – this allowance kicks in from the first full pay period on or after 1 October.

“The new clause 19.1 requires employers to pay any pharmacist who performs HMRs or RMMRs an additional allowance of $106.40 per week (pro rata for part time),” the union says.

The clause reads: “Home Medicine Reviews and Residential Medication Management Reviews 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 shall be paid an additional allowance of $106.40 per week”.

“The Commission recently confirmed that if a pharmacist is required to perform HMRs and RMMRs, they must be paid the additional allowance of $106.40 every week (pro rata for part time pharmacists),” says PPA.

“This is because the Commission sees this increase as an allowance for having a higher qualification that is utilised as part of a pharmacist’s work.”

It stressed that employers are legally required to pay pharmacists these new rates as a minimum.

“They can pay more but not less. They’re also required to use these new rates to calculate your allowances and penalty entitlements.”

PPA says that following its submissions to the FWC, a “major” new case to review graduate rates of pay in all awards was announced.

It says that it has pointed out that it is an “outrage” that graduate pharmacists receive 105.5% of the rate of pay of a newly qualified tradesperson.

“This new major case will involve a large number of awards that include graduate rates of pay for teachers, nurses, engineers, doctors, and many more,” it says.

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