PSA comes out swinging on pay

hand out for money - coins in palm

The Pharmaceutical Society has put forward a submission to Fair Work in which it says pharmacists performing certain reviews and services should get a pay rise

PSA has sent a message to its members outlining the work it is doing to increase pharmacist remuneration.

In its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s four-yearly review of the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010, PSA says current remuneration should be increased to reflect accredited pharmacists’ additional training, experience and responsibility.

“PSA has called for accredited pharmacists who are required to perform Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMR) or Home Medicines Reviews (HMR) (and any other services which may in future be required to be done by an accredited pharmacist) to be paid an extra 18% of the minimum weekly wage applicable to a pharmacist on top of their award rate,” writes PSA national president Dr Chris Freeman in the communication to members.

“The additional 18%, which would be paid as an allowance, would place their award rate between pharmacist-in-charge and pharmacist manager.

“Pharmacy owners would not be required to pay this loading if the pharmacist is not required to perform RMMRs or HMRs.”

Dr Freeman cites the PSA’s recent report, Pharmacists in 2023, which looks into the immediate future of the profession and states that pharmacists need to be recognised and appropriately remunerated to reflect their training, expertise and quality patient care.

“An important part of this is making sure pharmacists are appropriately remunerated for undertaking professional services that require them to hold an accredited pharmacist qualification.”

The PSA has also asked the President of the FWC to consider the discrepancy between pharmacists’ extensive qualifications and their award rate of pay.

“We have a complete disconnect where the award rate for pharmacists, who have completed a four-year degree to become medicines experts, is lower than that of manufacturing workers with a diploma-level education,” writes Dr Freeman.

“The inadequate remuneration for pharmacists fails to recognise the time they have devoted to education so they can deliver high-quality healthcare services.

“Increasing remuneration will reflect pharmacists’ vital contribution to the health system and help the pharmacy profession retain our best and brightest.”

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