Pharmacists’ work value case weighed up


The Fair Work Commission has rejected raising the pharmacist award based on overall workload, but accepted other grounds such as HMRs and vaccinations for increased remuneration

This year the pharmacists’ union (PPA, formerly known as APESMA) made a claim for a rise in pharmacy award rates, arguing that there has been an increase in the skills, knowledge and responsibilities of pharmacists since their work value was last considered in 1998.

Its primary claim – based on the Pharmacy Award rates as they were prior to the 3.5% increase awarded as a result of the 2018 Annual Wage Review – included an increase of pharmacist wages from $998.50 to $1132.74, and experienced pharmacists from $1093.50 to $1213.65 (*see the full primary claim below).

Alternatively PPA sought a 25% increase to all wage rates in the Pharmacy Award.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, minimum wages prescribed in a modern award can be varied by the Fair Work Commission where it is satisfied that this is justified for work value reasons.

However the claim was opposed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Australian Business Industrial and the NSW Business Chamber, and Business SA.

The Commission heard evidence from 12 expert and employee witnesses including three professors – who provided reports on the industry – two pharmacists in charge and two locum pharmacists, among others, on behalf of PPA.

Meanwhile the Pharmacy Guild of Australia called up three pharmacy owners as witnesses for their case.

The Guild argued that the role of a pharmacist inherently involved change, but the resultant changes to work had been evolutionary in nature but “had not resulted in a significant net addition to the work value requirements of a pharmacist”.

In a decision handed down on Friday, the Commission found that it was “not satisfied that there has been a fundamental change in the work of pharmacists since 1998, or in their skills or level of responsibility, in the way suggested by [PPA]”.

It rejected the union’s claims of new or changed work conditions based on: dose administration aids, QCPP, blood pressure and blood glucose tests, medical certificates, weight management services, smoking cessation services, asthma and diabetes management, sleep apnoea services, CPD, staged supply, overall workload, increase in use of complementary medicines, clozapine clinics, the increase of undergraduate pharmacy degrees from three to four years, and internship requirements.

“The evidence that the overall workload of pharmacists has risen did not rise above the anecdotal level,” found the Commission.

“We find persuasive the evidence of [pharmacy owner Natalie Willis] that where the workload of individual pharmacists might be characterised as excessive, it was generally the result of business decisions made by some pharmacy owners to artificially limit or reduce the number of staff to deal with cost and competitive pressures rather than because of any inherent change in the nature of the work.”

It also referred to technological innovations that have increased the dispensing productivity of pharmacists – as argued by the Pharmacy Guild.

However the Commission was satisfied that there had been an increase in work value associated with the introduction of Home Medicine Reviews (HMRs) and Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMRs) that justified a discrete adjustment to award remuneration.

This led to the suggestion that accredited pharmacists conducting HMRs or RMMRs should be paid an allowance of some sort, with an invitation for further submissions about how this might take form. 

It was also satisfied that there has been some increase in the work value of pharmacists since 1998 in relation to:

  • administration of vaccinations;
  • provision of emergency contraception;
  • downscaling of significant numbers of medication from prescription-only medicines to Schedule 3 pharmacy-only medicines; and
  • a general increase in the level of responsibility and accountability of pharmacists.

“While, for the reasons earlier stated, we have not generally accepted that the work and skills associated with patient programs established and funded under the CPAs has led to an increase in work value, we consider that the requirement for pharmacists to document these activities for the purpose of receiving funding and measuring outcomes represents a new required level of accountability and responsibility on the part of the pharmacist,” the Commission found.

Based on the above accepted grounds of work value, the union could potentially win its claim for an increase of pharmacist wages.

However the Commission has noted that “the evidence demonstrates that not all pharmacists administer inoculations or dispense emergency contraception”.

“Any increase to pharmacist wages should be met with a corresponding increase to funding into the pharmacy sector so that any base wage increases are affordable.”—Dr Chris Freeman

The Commission additionally noted that there are anomalies in the way that pharmacist rates of pay do not align for equivalent qualifications compared to the C10 rate in the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010, which was the basis upon which the work value of pharmacists was fixed when the Pharmacy Award was made in 1998.

For example a base grade pharmacist, who is at Level 7 (Bachelor Degree) in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), is paid less than the C3 under the manufacturing award, who is at Level 6 (Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree) in the AQF.

“This matter may potentially constitute a work value consideration relevant to the 4 yearly review of the Pharmacy Award,” the Commission found.

It invited the parties to make further submissions by 11 January as to how these findings should be reflected in an adjustment to remuneration, and will be considering the matter in a future decision.

PPA labelled the Commission’s decision to reject key aspects of pharmacists’ bid for a pay rise as “proof the rules are broken for working people”.

The union argued that pharmacists who undertake a 4-year degree plus 1-year internship and have greater responsibilities deserve to be paid more than award rate of $27 per hour.

“If pharmacists can’t get a pay rise given the strength of this case, no one can under this system” said Chris Walton, CEO of Professionals Australia.

PSA supported the claim for a rise in wages, but only on the proviso that there would be a corresponding increase to funding into the pharmacy sector.

“It is very clear to PSA that the current pharmacist award rate of just over $27 per hour is a completely inadequate reflection of the professions significant training, expertise, and accountability, with 30% rise in the current award a reasonable suggested increase,” PSA national president Dr Chris Freeman told the AJP.

“However, the Society is also cognisant that any increase to pharmacists’ award wages should be considered within context of the broader pharmacy sector.

“As such, any increase to pharmacists’ wages should be met with, at least, a corresponding increase to funding into the pharmacy sector so that any base wage increases are affordable.

“The negotiation of the upcoming Community Pharmacy Agreement is a good opportunity to see an increase into the pharmacy sector to support pharmacist base wage growth,” said Dr Freeman.

He added that the current division of base pharmacist wage categories are “simply antiquated”.

“Pharmacists should be paid a fair day’s wage recognising their significant and integral contribution to the health of Australians, without which, our profession will never meet its full potential, promulgating the professional dissatisfaction and disenfranchisement experienced by so many.”

 

*Primary claim sought by APESMA/PPA:

Employee classification under Pharmacy Award

The 1996 CPA rate compared with the
1996 C10 rate in the 
Manufacturing Award

Current rates under the Pharmacy Award

APESMA’s claim

Pharmacy 
Interns

 

 

 

First Half of 
Training

 

$853.50

130% of current rate = 
$1027.18

Second half of training

 

$882.60

130% of current rate = 
$1046.94

Pharmacist

140%

$998.50

140% of current rate = 
$1132.74

Experienced 
Pharmacist

150%

$1093.50

150% of current rate = 
$1213.65

Pharmacist in 
Charge

180%

$1119.20

180% of current rate = 
$1456.38

Accredited 
Pharmacist

N/A

 

210% of current rate = 
$1699.11

Pharmacist 
Manager

210%

$1247.20

210% of current rate = 
$1699.11

 

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32 Comments

  1. Red Pill
    18/12/2018

    A repost, but necessary. Just for perspective, here’s some average hourly wages (Pro-tip: Only ONE needs a 4-year university degree, self-funded continuing education, and a compulsory internship program)
    Pharmacist: $28-$34 / hr
    Gardener: $24-$34 / hr
    Bus driver: $25-$32 / hr
    Panel beater: $25-$36 / hr
    Cabinet maker: $25-$31 / hr
    Handyman: $24-$45 / hr
    Massage therapist: $26-$49 / hr
    Medical Secretary: $27-$32 / hr
    Office Administrator: $25-$38 / hr
    Event Coordinator: $25-$32 / hr

    • Red Pill
      18/12/2018

      And now, here’s some average wages for jobs that do require a 4-year university degree:
      English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher: $40-$51 / hr
      Insurance Broker: $31-$54 / hr
      Project Engineer: $41-$62 / hr
      Financial Analyst: $36-$52 / hr
      Financial Planner: $36-$52 / hr
      Accountant: $35-$50 / hr
      Optometrist: $43-$58 / hr
      Quality Assurance / Quality Control Inspector: $30-$50 / hr

      • Red Pill
        18/12/2018

        So, now with all this information available to you, you need to decide whether you are remunerated fairly for the level of training & expertise you have put yourself through. And if the answer is a big NO! then you either need to retrain for something better or just do the easier jobs listed above that need little to no training and will probably be paying you far better in the long run. And don’t ever forget: PGA & co still believe you are earning too much!

        • TALL POPPY
          17/01/2019

          Ripped off pharmacists need to address this in 2019. Today the lowest paid miners in NSW received a $4/hr increase to their wage PLUS a $50/hr (yes you read that right!) production bonus on top.

    • TALL POPPY
      29/12/2018

      Add to this list: Pharmacy Tech (hospital) $28-$42 /hr! This needs to be addressed ASAP. I’ve confirmed with an ex-employee that her 18yo daughter was getting $28/hr as a hosp. pharm tech. I said she will earn more than a pharmacist per hour one day. Now she’s up to $30/hr with clear progession ahead. She’s a switched-on girl but for a Year 12 drop-out who had spelling & grammar issues that’s really excellent.

  2. United we stand
    18/12/2018

    Merry Christmas everyone.
    xoxo PGA

  3. Geoffrey Colledge
    18/12/2018

    So a manager is worth $1200 a week? – what an utter disgrace . So many other workers in Australia will just laugh at us. A truck driver can earn more and if in a mining situation can earn 3 times that.
    It’s time we just told owners that we won’t work for that.
    I haven’t worked for award wages for more than 30 years, but I’ve never been short of work.
    Have a backbone fellow pharmacists and stand up for higher pay regardless of what Fair Work says.
    We don’t have a worker’s union otherwise we would have been on strike years ago.
    Just negotiate on your own and you’ll find that owners can pay more.

    • TALL POPPY
      19/12/2018

      It’s been discovered that a Pharmacy Technician can get $30-$42/hr (Grades 1-4) minimum full-time NSW AWARD rate at a hospital. Source: NSW Health Employees Award 2018.
      How do the PGA & Community pharmacy owners respond?
      How about employee Pharmacists – what are your thoughts?
      In reply to Geoffrey: yes owners can pay a LOT more per hr. But they just dont want to. The big wigs in the industry have got things stitched up brilliantly.

      • Ex-Pharmacist
        20/12/2018

        re: “Owners can pay a lot more but they don’t want to”
        Also, Tall Poppy, because they don’t NEED to pay more.
        The key driver to the low award is the oversupply in the work-force.
        The Guild knows this, and does everything in its power to ensure students are suitably seduced by a pharmacy career to provide the cheap labour its members desire to enhance pharmacy profitability.
        (You might like to investigate how the Guild does this.)
        It does not matter that these same graduates later leave the profession, which they do in large numbers. It is the ~2000 graduates each year who keep the dispensary script factory running, pillaging as much 6CPA loot as they can, as per owner directives.
        No-one wants to pay more than they have to, and especially not PGA members.

        • TALL POPPY
          20/12/2018

          If a Hospital Pharmacy Technician can get up to $42/hr normal full-time rate (in-line with experience) then it is plainly obvious that the Guild is vehemently against community Pharmacists having their award increased to better reflect a Pharmacist’s responsibility for reasons of economy for its members.
          Pharmacists are also being asked to do MORE and MORE work for no extra remuneration – think Medscheks, Vaccinations, MPS etc. Do they not see that they are just pawns generating huge incomes for the big boys/non-working owners who do little else than play golf on a Friday?
          Something has me rather perplexed: why don’t Pharmacists take action?
          It is also known that the Guild denied there being an oversupply of pharmacists for many, many years (this was clearly known 8-10+ years ago when 1400+ students were graduating annually).
          How can so little be done when there is so much to do?
          This isn’t right.

          • Ex-Pharmacist
            21/12/2018

            Yes, agree with everything you say. But lets stop and ask ourselves “WHY did the Guild oppose the award increase”?
            Is it because they are mean and nasty? Because they are money hungry capitalists? That’s not the full picture.
            Imagine if pharmacy owners couldn’t open their stores because there simply wasn’t a registered pharmacist available. This actually happened in the 1980’s & 1990’s. I was a locum for some of this time and owners would ring me up & desperately out-bid each other to get my services. Highest was $65/hour on a Saturday. $100/hr for a Sunday, with some favourable ‘arrangements’ (all 100% legal of course). We all cleaned up and owners would lament that us locums earned more than they did. True story.
            The Guild at the time was a shadow of the organisation it is today, facing extinction in 1990 when the government of the day wanted to remove location rules & pharmacies were valued with zero goodwill.
            I have no idea what the award was then, but it was irrelevant.
            The terrible situation for non-owner pharmacists today is directly attributable to the chronic oversupply. Quite simply, no matter how bad the pay is, & no matter how toxic the imposed working conditions are, there will be a pharmacist who will work. If they leave, there will be someone else & somebody else etc.
            The Guild could tomorrow & go to Fairwork and argue the award is too high, with their flash Collins St. legal team, and still the pharmacists would come to work. I know of pharmacy interns who worked for no-pay for the entirety of their intern year, such is the desperation to complete this mandatory year to become registered. That desperation extends into their early career with HECS debts to pay & family to appease.
            At the end of the day, pharmacy owners are about making a profit for the business they own, and simply why pay $35-40/hour (PPA rate at Fairwork) when you can pay $27-$30.

          • Red Pill
            21/12/2018

            What great insight. Thanks for this invaluable information

          • Ex-Pharmacist
            21/12/2018

            I should add Red, back when us locums got those big bucks (90’s for me) we had two duties. (1) Dispense fast, accurately & safely, & (2) Provide very basic primary care advice & product recommendations e.g. coughs & colds, rashes, hay fever, asthma & female health. THAT WAS IT.
            No Websters / DDA’s, No HMR’s or ‘meds checks’ (whatever that is), No forced companion selling, No immunisations, No nursing homes, No blood pressure monitoring, No medical certs, No compounding, No blood glucose testing, No staged supply, No QCPP, No mandatory CPD. No complementary meds. In-fact pretty much nothing that exists in the 6CPA today.
            A retail pharmacy job was genuinely fun & as long as you knew your dispensing system well (Thanks Paul & Rod! i.e. FRED), it was easy money. And working with attractive 18-22 y.o. staff was easy to take as well. Also back then B.Pharm was 3 years & I copped 1 year of HECS. From memory it was ~$3,000.
            Fast forward to today (4 years B.Pharm ~$40,000 HECS) and to the Fairwork case, the claim by the Guild that “resultant changes to work had not resulted in a significant net addition to the work value requirements of a pharmacist” is laughable if it were not so utterly despicable & contemptuous.

          • TALL POPPY
            21/12/2018

            Amazingly insightful post. Everyone should read this. Respect to the man that speaks the TRUTH.
            I remember the time when Pharmacy was a hard course to enter; Pharmacists were genuinely proud of their profession and actually loved going to work to earn a relatively high pay. It was no-nonense, proper pharmacy work – no Medadvisor, no KPI’s, Medscheks, Coke with Fries, no discount banner group rhetoric. $50/hr (in todays money) weekdays. $1000 for working a weekend. Everyone was happy. It was great.

          • Anthony Tassone
            24/12/2018

            Some points of clarification in Ex-Pharmacist’s post.

            The federal government did not threaten to remove pharmacy location rules in 1990 as they did not exist. They were introduced around the same time of the signing of the Frist community pharmacy agreement (in 1990). There were concerns of there being too many pharmacies existing to serve the population at the time and sustainability.

            There is also not an over supply of pharmacists currently. According to data from the Department of Jobs and Small business, there are documented shortages in regional areas in almost every state and territory across Australia and the emergence of shortages in metropolitan Sydney.

            More info available via below:

            https://docs.jobs.gov.au/collections/hospitalretail-pharmacist-occupational-reports

            I have received feedback from members of difficulty in attracting workfroce (not only pharmacists but also pharmacy technicians) to community pharmacy from hospital (or losing staff to hospital pharmacy). Hospital pharmacy and community pharmacy are funded differently for the dispensing and supply of PBS medicines.

            Over time and with the greater emergence of high cost and complex therapies, this has created a disparity between what a hospital pharmacy department is remunerated for supplying some PBS medicines vs. community pharmacy. Community pharmacy is not afforded a level playing field in this regard in terms of capacity to remunerate their workforce to the same extent.

            APESMA’s claim for a wage increase is that there have been significant changes in the nature of the work, skills and responsibility requirements of the work done by pharmacists and the conditions under which this work is done since the work value of these classifications was last considered by an Industrial Tribunal in 1998.

            While the Guild does not disagree that there have been some changes to the work of community pharmacists, the test under the Fair Work Act is a difficult test to meet. The Act says that the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) can only vary modern award minimum wages where the Commission is satisfied that the variation is justified by “work value reasons”.
            When looking at whether ‘work value reasons’ justify the amount an employee should be paid for doing a particular kind of work the Commission needs to take into account:
            • The nature of the work
            • The level of skill or responsibility involved in doing the work and
            • The conditions under which the work is done.

            Previous cases have found that the test requires that the change in the nature of the work constitutes a ‘significant net addition’ to work requirements to warrant the creation of a new classification or upgrading to a higher classification.
            The Fair Work Commission is conducting a Hearing in this matter from 7 to 11 May 2018 and a decision is required to be released within three months of receiving final evidence.

            The Guild, as a national organisation, does not believe that APESMA had provided enough evidence to justify their claim that there has been a significant net addition to the work requirements of pharmacists which they are required to do in order for their claim to be successful.

            I am aware that many Victorian Members were unhappy with the approach the Guild has taken in this matter and believe that wage rates for Pharmacists should be increased. While I don’t disagree with many of the sentiments that have been expressed, it is not up to the Guild, but rather it is the responsibility of the Commission as an independent umpire to decide whether wage rates should increase.

            I personally believe the pharmacist award rate should be higher than it currently is and have never paid the award rate for a pharmacist employed in my team (as is also the case for many of you). However, this case is not about what we believe an award rate ought to be, it is comparing the criteria since it was last assessed under this legislative framework. That is the system in which we operate.

            It has been asked whether the Guild and APESMA could have reached an agreement to increase wage rates for pharmacists; this is not possible under the current legislative framework. Modern Awards and wage rates in Modern Awards can only be amended by the Commission if the strict tests in the Act are met, unlike Enterprise Agreements where employers can reach agreement with employees and Unions for higher wages than those in Modern Awards.

            The case is continuing with the Fair Work Commission asking for further submissions on some matters, and a final decision should be expected some time in 2019.

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

          • TALL POPPY
            26/12/2018

            The fact remains that a Hospital Pharmacy TECHNICIAN can get up to $42/hr MINIMUM Award rate as a full-time employee. Whilst I appreciate your defence Anthony, (and you are seen by many as an unquestionably fairminded gentleman), they simply just serve to muddy the waters and come across to casual by-standers as rather political.

            Facts are facts – a university trained Pharmacist Manager with appropriate experience should be earning more. Whether or not the Guild has the power or will to lobby for a higher award wage is truly up to them.

            Hospitals may well be funded differently but we all know that community pharmacy backed by retail sales can easily support higher pharmacist wages than the Award – and by your own admission – they do indeed pay above award anyway.

            Furthermore, according to the Guild’s Scriptmap2020 it is clear that dispensary profit will rise significantly right up until the next CPA. There is absolutely ample money flowing from the Govt. to pharmacies to support a higher pharmacist wage. Pharmacies remain very profitable – banks have little issue funding them in my experience. Well-run chains are continually expanding. (Let’s be honest though – an employee is hardly going to care or even be aware that an owner has overpaid for their pharmacy or pays too much to their landlord!)

            In regards to the oversupply of pharmacsts: there are 2000 pharmacists graduating annually. There are only approx. 5500 pharmacies in Australia. Currently there is a total of 31,000 registered pharmacists in Australia. I’d expect the Guild to not underestimate a pharmacist’s mathematical prowess: the numbers don’t stack up do they?

            It is not suprising that regional positions are not filled for various reasons that I won’t go into here. But I will say that pharmacists can’t be expected to leave metropolitan areas to seek work regionally. Cities exist for a reason: the majority of people find it optimal to live there. Without wanting to sound dismissive, vacancies in regional Australia aren’t suprising and are not particularly representative of the situation. If metro places can’t be filled despite being 20+ applicants for a single job – that should raise eyebrows as to whether there is a shortage of skill rather than employee numbers.

            Thank you for your comment Anthony, but $28/hr award for a pharmacist isn’t acceptable unless the Commission regard a pharmacist’s ‘work value’ as comparable to that of a gardener….
            As someone below said – good luck!

          • Paul Sapardanis
            26/12/2018

            Interesting post but I think you have downplayed the influence discounting and discounters are having on dispensary profitability. In theory I can make $17.01c when dispensing a non claimable general prescription but I seldom do. Most pharmacies make less profit on these prescriptions than claimable ones even if the $1 is applied. You are correct in that there are to many graduates and we need to keep the pharmacists we have rather than just training more. One large well known discount chain use this oversupply to their advantage by making sure all stores have interns knowing that in a years time they will a pharmacist for 2 to 3 years till they burn out or realize that there is no scope for furthering their career. Monash in Victoria have gone to a 5 year degree with no intern year. Hopefully thi sd may stop the cheap labour machine that this group feeds off to a degree at which point wages may start to reflect that of a professional.

          • TALL POPPY
            26/12/2018

            That’s correct: discount general Rxs is at your peril. I’ve come across this many times & initially it’s not easy to buck the race-to-the-bottom trend in Australian retail but I’ve manged to prove the opposite over & over many times.

            Even discounters can afford to pay high pharmacist wages though. Do not think otherwise! I won’t go into the details here but essentially as long as they are well run & aim to exceed all metrics.

            I agree Paul, that raising the award will affect those that seek to bottom-feed the industry’s pool of desperate pharmacists. How much – I’m not sure. Again that depends on various factors that I won’t go into here.

            Pharmacists are worth more. They are worth A LOT more than $28/hr. It’s as simple as that.
            Whether or not a pharmacy makes enough to pay a pharmacist what they are worth is besides the point for an employee – if they can’t make enough (and I know that’s not true for well-managed high GP pharmacies!) – then community pharmacists should:
            a) seek another employer that can afford them
            or b) find another profession.

          • Andrew Gray
            09/01/2019

            Anthony.

            The point here is that the Pharmacy Guild (a self-styled ‘peak body’ representing the pharmacy industry) has been endeavouring to suppress the already-low pay of rank-and-file pharmacists.

            I can only shake my head and wonder how this whole thing has gone so badly wrong.

  4. JimT
    18/12/2018

    There are 2 fundamentals at play here.
    1. What most pharmacists are actually paid is above the “Award Rate” So create a fair and even playing field between all business formats the Award needs to be raised to reflect the real situation.

    2. Even though the purists will argue otherwise the NHS has a big bearing on what pharmacists are paid. For the Award to rise there needs to be a corresponding increase in PBS fees.

    Jim…

    • Paul Sapardanis
      18/12/2018

      And a decrease in discounting. Although discounting can only occur with low wages and high workloads

    • Andrew Gray
      19/12/2018

      Why would govt increase PBS fees, now that the Guild has so powerfully and compellingly argued that the work value of pharmacists has not increased over a long period of time.

      Secondly, what would stop owners from simply pocketing the extra remuneration?

      • JimT
        20/12/2018

        it’s a case of what came first…the checken or the egg !!@@##??

        • Andrew Gray
          20/12/2018

          It’s not a chicken or the egg situation. It’s a chicken situation. No egg

          • JimT
            20/12/2018

            and we’re all chicken !!

          • JimT
            24/12/2018

            No only “strike I am aware of was back in the days of “Chemists Care, Does Hawke”….and that was only a Half day afair…with Pharmacies “still open as to not affect the public” A bit of press for the Guild and for Phy Business not employee pharmacists…..like I said pharmacists are chicken….we/they will never strike!!!

  5. John Wilks
    19/12/2018

    An honourable living wage was opposed by the PGA!

  6. Raj Khatri
    19/12/2018

    I left the profession a year ago knowing this day would come. I’m not loving what I do now but it pays a hell of a lot better than pharmacy (over $15,000 more than what I used to earn). Plus I work from home 2 days a week and have not had an anxiety attack ever since. All I can say to those still slugging it out is don’t waste your youth and talents in this rorted industry. You’re going to hit your 40s and won’t have much to show for it but a huge mortgage and a lot of anger. Change is hard but it will pay in the long run. Good luck!

    • John Wilks
      21/12/2018

      I am very pleased for you Raj. The tension in your career dichotomy is obviously painful, but I wish you well in your new path.

  7. Bryan Soh
    20/12/2018

    I am currently 1 year into studying a masters for a different career path. This wage outcome ( which is unsurprising) has validated my decision to leave the profession. Pharmacists should reflect and think whether YOUR interests are really being served. The current system in place is so stacked against the employee pharmacist. You have the PGA opposing wage increase, plenty of employers who give unreasonable/unmanageable workloads (and there’s nothing you can do about it), the government reducing PBS remuneration, consumer demand for discounting rather than pharmacy health services (vaccinations are the exception), and a PGA representing the interests of 15% of the profession making profession wide decisions on behalf of 100% of the profession ( who do not engage with 85% of the non-members). It’s literally a rort, and i think most pharmacists who are thinking of jumping ship ( of which there are many) should do it soon.

    • John Wilks
      21/12/2018

      I wish you well Bryan. It is a moral scandal that the PGA would oppose pharmacists earning a living wage. It is a new and revolting form of servitude.

      • TALL POPPY
        01/01/2019

        Why do pharmacists value their worth so low? Even a pharmacy TECH can get up to $42/hr full-time rate in a hospital without going to uni (yes, I’m going to keep on about this FACT). Something needs to be done.
        Pharmacists are essentially saying ‘Oh, I’m worth $27/hr’. Slavery to their bosses is what that is. THEY are DICTATING what you are worth to the world. Ask yourself – is this what you want?
        It’s impossible to even show entrepreneurship & start a pharmacy from scratch so you can’t even pay yourself what you are worth in the industry – take it from me – this is THE only way to get truly rich in pharmacy these days.
        Pharmacists need to be paid what they are worth – this was a once proud, highly paid profession. It needs fixing from the ground up. Until then, even those within the profession cannot recommend it to others. That’s not acceptable. And it’s not right.

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