Transformed profession deserves greater pay

pharmacist holding piggy bank

The union for employee pharmacists is preparing detailed submissions and evidence of changes to the way pharmacy is practised, for the Fair Work Commission.

PPA has already submitted an outline of why it believes the FWC should grant increases to the pharmacist rates of pay.

“In our submission, we argued that the work pharmacists do has changed and increased so significantly since the value of pharmacists’ work was last considered that the FWC should award significant increases in the pharmacist award rates of pay,” PPA says.

The areas it is arguing have resulted in increases are:

  • increased responsibilities through introduction of new initiatives such as Medschecks, down-scheduling of medicines, diabetes and asthma management programs, inoculations, absence from work certificates etc;
  • increased academic and registration requirements such as introduction of oral and written examinations for interns, CPD, changes in the undergraduate degree that reflect changes in the work done by pharmacists; and,
  • a more complex and difficult working environment with changes such as new pharmacy models of practice, increasingly complex diseases/illnesses and options for treating them.

“We have argued that these and other changes have come about predominately because of changes in government policy such as the introduction of QUM; new and more complex medicines and the ageing of the population amongst other things.

“These changes have transformed the role of a pharmacist to someone who still safely stores and dispenses medicines but they are now also required to educate and counsel patients on the safe use of medicines as well as using their expertise to optimise health outcomes and to minimise medicine misadventure. 

“Education and counselling, and even a requirement to diagnose illnesses and diseases and decide on the best way to treat them has been added to pharmacists’ roles.”

PPA is encouraging employee pharmacists to get in touch and provide their stories to support its case.

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  1. Toby

    Instead of only bashing the owners, who are just price-takers from the government PBS paymasters, why doesn’t the pharmacy union show some real nouse and spine, and get stuck into the government about the pitiful government PBS payments for scripts, advice and everything else? About how pharmacists get no credit or even acknowledgement, financial or professional, from the government PBS or the general public, for saving the doctors from their prescribing howlers? Because the Guild doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere on behalf of the owners. Then again, maybe I’m dreaming – it’s far easier for the pharmacy union to stay in its comfort zone, demand nothing but more from pharmacy owners, and avoid the elephant in the room – which is low government payments to pharmacies (not to mention cut-throat competition) in the first place.

    • Respect our work

      ^^ Spoken like a true non-member ^^

    • United we stand

      PPA’s role is to protect its members (employees). Guild’s role is also to protect its members (owners).

      Why should PPA fight the fight assigned to Guild when Pharmacy owners don’t pay PPA a dime.

      The Guild has repeatedly ensured award rates remain stagnant for the last 15 years as they still do as evidenced by Mr Tambassis comments at PSA 2016 conference.

      You should direct your anger at the Guild for being inadequate not PPA.

      PPA is a small voice trying desperately to improve working conditions for thousands of your colleagues who are drowning with ever inreasing workload and a laughable pay.

    • Paige

      Without the absurd price competition driven BY OWNERS their profit margins would still be sky high. They are equally to blame as government. Anybody who couldn’t see this crunch coming 10 years ago is a halfwit. Keep cutting into your employees pay and you end up with worse staff and unhappy staff then watch your business collapse.

      • Toby

        I agree. So how do we stop the discounters from discounting?

        • United we stand

          By offering something they can’t. New services. Innovation

  2. Lia Mahony

    “Education and counselling, and even a requirement to diagnose illnesses and diseases and decide on the best way to treat them has been added to pharmacists’ roles.”

    Ummmm I graduated more than 25 years ago. This was part of the curriculum then. This is not a new responsibility.

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