Poll: How will cuts to penalty rates affect you?

We want to hear from pharmacist employees and owners

The pharmacists’ union, Professional Pharmacists Australia, has slammed the Fair Work Commission’s decision on Thursday that it would slash penalty rates.

Sunday rates for full-time workers have been reduced from double-time to time-and-a-half, while for casual workers rates have been cut from double-time to time-and-three-quarters.

Meanwhile the Pharmacy Guild, which lobbied to have penalty rates cut, says the decision is “reasonable, balanced and evidence-based”.

“It has never been in anyone’s interest for pharmacies to be unable to open on Sundays or public holidays,” said a spokesperson for the Guild.

“This decision will help pharmacies to meet community expectations that they will be able to access vital health services seven days a week.”

The PSA has urged pharmacy owners to continue paying their employee pharmacists above award rates.

“PSA acknowledges the many community pharmacy owners around Australia who pay their pharmacists and staff well above award rates, even under the current difficult financial climate,” PSA National President Joe Demarte says.

“We hope that this ruling by the Fair Work Commission will not impact this.

“It must be remembered that community pharmacies are not like other retail settings. Pharmacists are health professionals and their contribution needs to be recognised and remunerated in a different way to that of other retail workers,” Mr Demarte says.

We want to know how the decision will affect you.

Poll for employees

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  1. Anne Todd

    Fascinating, not the responses as such but the difference in the raw numbers b/n the employee and employer polls. >50 vs <5

  2. Greg Cadorin

    The difference will not be so much how much money I spend on wages, as it will be the quality of staff that I can employ. At the moment Sundays are largely staffed by juniors with little or no experience as a senior pharmacy assistant is too expensive. This will mean that experienced people who want the shifts are able to rostered at those times.

    It will make no difference to my pharmacists as they are paid above award rates anyway and do not get ridiculous multiples to work weekends.

    If employee pharmacists really wanted to affect wages overall it would be quite easy. Just don’t accept jobs (primarily for CW) that pay the award rate. I don’t think the owners who are paying $25 an hour to pharmacists will be in a position to all of a sudden work all the hours themselves since they “own” 300 pharmacies each.

    • Tim Hewitt

      Hear hear Greg!.. employed/locum pharmacists need to put a value on themselves.. I know it’s not necessarily easy to refuse a job, but until pharmacists simply refuse to work for a pittance, nothing will change. When ever pharmacists complain about their pay, I ask them if they have asked for a rise or gone to another job.. almost always the answer is ‘no’.. not many employers OFFER a pay rise.. but often you just dont get what you dont ask for…
      sorry If ive just cost you á few more bucks!
      Also agree with thoughts re quality of staff.. that is the real issue.. well said.

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