Strikes won’t affect services: National Pharmacies

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National Pharmacies says it assures its members and customers that proposed industrial action by its pharmacists will not affect services.

A spokesperson for the company says National is disappointed that the enterprise agreement negotiations have failed to reach agreement, resulting in the proposed industrial action.

“National Pharmacies reassures all customers that they can continue to rely on the normal high quality of service throughout any such action,” the spokesperson says.

” National Pharmacies is working with pharmacists and the union to negotiate a new enterprise agreement.

“Negotiations are progressing, notwithstanding the proposed industrial action.

“National Pharmacies remains committed to negotiating in good faith to reach an outcome that is fair, equitable and sustainable for everyone.

“Today’s competitive and uncertain marketplace demands that National Pharmacies takes responsible steps to realign itself with the rest of the industry, which faces challenging business conditions that include a tough retail market and changes to the PBS and other Federal Government reforms.”

Change is difficult but is absolutely necessary, the spokesperson says.

“Among the areas that need to be aligned with the rest of the industry are penalty rates. National Pharmacies is seeking to align penalty rates with the prevailing industry award – not below the award, which includes maintaining the Sunday 100% penalty.

“It is also proposed that existing pharmacists’ base rates of pay be maintained. These are well above the award.

“Any new employees would be offered above-award market rates that more readily align with the pay scales in the rest of the industry.”

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