Pharmacist pollie condemns pay cut

Emma McBride

Emma McBride has taken aim at cuts to penalty rates, describing the PM’s decision to support cuts as “unconscionable”

Ms McBride, a registered pharmacist and the Labor member for the NSW Central Coast electorate of Dobell, posted on Facebook the tale of a single mother constituent who relies on penalty rates to get by.

“Hundreds of thousands of Australian workers rely on penalty rates,” Ms McBride told Parliament.

“Penalty rates are there to recognise workers for making the sacrifice of working when others are not. They are also often the only thing helping workers make ends meet.

“The Prime Minister made an unprecedented call over the weekend, saying that he supported cutting penalty rates. It is unconscionable that a Prime Minister would commit to making it even harder for families to make a living.”

She reiterated Labor’s claim that up to 770,000 Australians will lose up to $77 per week. Coalition members of parliament have previously dismissed this as a “minor” reduction.

“I was at Lake Haven Shopping Centre in Gorokan, and a young single mum I spoke to works nights and weekends in retail to make ends meet,” Ms McBride said.

“Penalty rates mean she earns just enough to pay the bills for her and her young daughter. Working nights and weekends, with the help of her family, means that she does not have to find extra money for child care, which would see her moving backwards financially.”

Women will be disproportionately affected by the penalty rates cuts, as will people living in areas such as the Central Coast which have significant pockets of disadvantage, Ms McBride said.

“They are cruel cuts which will hurt the most vulnerable in our community. As a health worker, I know that uncertainty at work can have drastic health impacts.

“As someone who has worked in mental health for most of my life, I know how severe the consequences of uncertainty at work can be to individuals and their families.”

And other industries will also be affected down the track, she warned.

“Cuts to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates will not end with the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy awards. This is just the beginning, and it is being ideologically driven by this government.

“Nurses, firefighters, aged-care workers and others will be the next to face these drastic cuts, and others can also expect no support from the Prime Minister or the government for having their wages slashed as well.”

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  1. richard churchward

    Well said! All those workers who have sat silently on the sidelines whilst another sector has their penalty rates cut should understand that their turn will come soon.
    Solidarity! Or suffer the same fate!

  2. Niels Bowen

    Sadly Emma is toeing the Labour Party line and ignoring facts. Over 700,000 people disadvantaged? It is a lie just like the labour party lies in the last election. So much for the moral ethics of a pharmacist.
    She is ignoring the facts that we are a 7 days a week shopping society and people cannot afford to open on Sundays . Unless they have done a deal with the Unions like Coles , Woolworths and McDonalds. They also can employ casuals but for Pharmacy it is illegal. What sort of society is Emma”s Labour Party creating in Australia, where we cannot employ people to work.
    And for the record in our Pharmacies the highest paid workers are the staff that do work on Sundays, simply because they also work during the week. So the other fallacy is that they are the poorest paid workers.

    • Ian Carr

      Yair… 7 day a week society like teachers, bankers, public servants, parliament. I will go for that argument when my bank opens on Sundays and the footy Grand Finals are on Tuesdays. The 7-day shopping week is a creation of big retail. It has destroyed the corner store, lined the big landlords pockets and helped destroy the street shopping strip.
      Good luck to those who will make me a cappuccino on Sundays. No complaints from me about the surcharge.
      And I firmly believe that one of the causes of our current retail (and general economic) malaise is the decline in spending power (and wage security) of our least well off.

      • Niels Bowen

        Actually Ian , I totally agree with 90% of your argument. Your coffee comment is a bit average. You are spot on about small business.
        The great G.Whitlam introduced anti competitive legislation which is now a shadow of its former self . All watered down by successive governments. IN shopping centres why do Woolworths/Coles pay a fraction of the rent that the pharmacies pay. Why has Woolworths and Coles get a deal with Shortland on wages and no-one else has?
        Emma McBride is a smart Hospital pharmacist. Highly intelligent. And it is wrong to even imply that she is unethical. What I am saying is that our industry has a strong professional ethical and moral code.
        But she has stated that the Tribunals decision on Sunday rates as “unconscionable”.
        So where does she stand when Shortland has done a deal with Coles/Woolworths/ McDonalds that cuts their rates more than what the Tribunal has for our workers. Where does her moral conscience stand there?
        I bet she will ignore the facts and go along with the Labour party ranting on the Tribunals decision. As for Deboral O’Neills adv in the local paper, The labour Party I know would never had done that,.

        • Slim Jim

          Yeah Niels.
          All good.

          Just like the rot you first introduced to the pharmacy profession in the form of ‘Pharmacy By Mail’.

          I’m sure you did well after selling off that dodgy pony (to GPPW) after everyone else (I mean pharmaceutical entrepreneurs) got involved in the degradation of our profession!

  3. William

    Amazing how these people believe in independent umpires making decisions until such a decision goes against them.
    Just like the new ACTU woman who believes in obeying only laws that she agrees with.

    • Slim Jim

      Yep William,

      She’s got the balls that you have not.

      • William

        Well Slim it looks like you are socialist union hack and do not believe in law and order.

        • Slim Jim

          No William,

          I am a not a Socialist by definition or political belief.

          I have never belonged to a Union, other than a brief dalliance with the PGA.

          I am not a “hack” either – I do not have journalism, “communication” or government ‘policy adviser’ credentials, qualifications or even desires.

          I am, in fact now, very apolitical.

          You, on the other hand, seem to represent what a true Socialist (by the way, we don’t have them in Australia) or the Australia Labor Party (which is really “Liberal-lite” according to a leading right wing back-bench “intellectual)” or a bona-fide (British) Union member would classify as a “born to rule” Tory.

          I simply support the right of any worker to strike when this extreme resort is all that remains. You call define this action as a lack of “belief in law and order”.

          So in your perfect world, does “law and order” apply itself justly and benevolently, with equality and without judgement and with transparently and accountability across all strata and social classes (yes, this still exists), or does it exist just to preserve the advantage of a “ruling class” – be it political or economic?

          And by the way, I have spent at least half my life preserving and enforcing bureaucratic “law and order” for the Australian Government (AG) as a public servant (enforcing Laws and and Regulations without judgment) and also (for the AG) in a more aggressive “uniformed” capacity.

          You done much?

          • William

            You being a Public Servant explains a lot of your attitude, no real job or life experience.

          • Slim Jim

            Actually William, I have been an (Australian educated and trained) pharmacist for almost 29 years. I was only a Public servant for almost 4 years a very long time ago, and that was in a pharmaceutical capacity.

            I have been a pharmacy owner for the past 18 years and before that, had significant pharmacy management roles.

            Is that sufficient “life experience” for you?

            You also missed the nuance at the end of my last sentence… this was also in an AG “Public Service” kind of role. Take the time to read it again and digest.
            It indicates I am not averse to the “law and order” that is so important to you.

            You also seem to have an archaic attitude to “women’; in mentioning “the new ACTU woman” you illustrate how you may be a relic of a bygone era where ‘everyone had their place’. This is not me being politically correct, but would you accept this sort of throwaway disdain yourself as a “man”?

            The woman has a name. Be a gentleman and use it!
            Or is that also too confronting?

  4. Tom Simpson

    Hey editor – might want to change the references from “Ms Dobell” to “Ms McBride” – Emma McBride represents the Dobell electorate

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