Reader reaction

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Pharmacists fire up over low wages claim

Readers have reacted to recent stories claiming that pharmacy graduates have some of the lowest wages of any profession, and the potential for future wage increases.

Here is a selection of responses from AJP Daily readers:

Pharmacy grads the lowest earners

The wage depression is one of the main reasons I chose to leave the profession & no longer work in pharmacy beyond casual relief work to help out previous employers/colleagues. Apart from the depression in wages, the other effect of the current supply-to-demand ratio in the job market is a greater demand from workplaces for extra services outside remunerated hours.

In my last 3 jobs in pharmacy I have been asked to put in unpaid overtime to fulfill additional duties, with the implication that if I don’t, someone else will easily be found who is willing to do so. Now since leaving pharmacy I make more money, have less stress & none of the previous workplace hazards associated with holding drugs of addiction on the premises.


Maybe it is time that PPA is advocating for the profession as a whole, instead of the select few that do nights and weekends.

Stop wasting time and resources on penalty rates; last time I checked, there are more weekdays than weekends, more day hours than night hours or retail trade (including community pharmacies) will continue to deteriorate as service levels drop.

Why not focus instead on increasing award wages to a level that reflects the responsibility and liability attached to the profession. Correct me if I am wrong, but this would represent a significantly larger proportion of your members?

Jo Khoo

An intern pharmacist cannot keep a pharmacy ‘legal’ all their dispensing needs to be double checked to satisfy legal requirements, everything must be done under close supervision.

Yes, it’s great having an extra pair of hands – but they are also being taught at the owners expense. Also, there is not an oversupply of pharmacists outside major metropolitan centers – there is a severe shortage.


Wage increase

As an owner of a small independent pharmacy and a Guild member I’d like to see a minimum of $30/hr for a newly qualified pharmacist. And minimum of $35 for an experienced pharmacist.

It’s too late to halt the progression of discounters, but at least forcing them to pay a decent wage would level the playing field somewhat. And while some employees might not believe it, I think that most owners agree with me (after all we are pharmacists, and were once employees too).

Whilst most members may want it you can’t expect the Guild to ask FWA for a higher award rate, they would be the laughing stock of industry associations. That is what PPA are there for, but they just have to make realistic requests so that the Guild can say yep that’s reasonable we don’t oppose it. With decent wages we can make a case to the gov for better remuneration of professional services.

It’s hard to ask for more when they know that some groups only pay $25/hr.

Bris Owner

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