Union slams Epic offer

The employee pharmacists’ union has accused Epic Pharmacy of “blatantly” ignoring its efforts during enterprise bargaining

Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) says that in June, a majority of Epic Hospital Pharmacy staff completed a union survey which “left Epic management no choice but to bargain with PPA for a new enterprise agreement”.

Prior to this, workers had been on individual contracts.

Since July 2018, union delegates have met with Epic management five times and a new draft agreement has been prepared, PPA says.

“After delaying negotiations for over six months, Epic have blatantly ignored all our efforts at the bargaining table and revealed this ‘offer’ in their proposal,” says PPA.

According to PPA, this offer includes cutting paid maternity leave to “zero”; cutting long service leave back from 13 weeks to the legal minimum of 8.6 weeks; and cutting call-back pay from three hours to two hours.

PPA says the offer also includes cutting “all training and development pay, including study leave” as well as cutting early and night penalties by changing ordinary hours of work to 7am-12am.

PPA alleges that Epic has “refused to fix unpaid overtime”; “refused to fix increased workloads”; “refused to enshrine your salary packaging compensation in your agreement – meaning they can change it whenever they want”; and “refused to enshrine domestic violence leave in the agreement”.

“Epic want to cut wages and conditions to the bare minimum,” says PPA.

The union alleges that Epic management “fails to acknowledge the seriousness of the negotiation process”.

“They fail to provide any meaningful information at the negotiation table, which is causing delays to the process whilst pharmacist and technician wages remain stagnant,” it says.

AJP has contacted Epic Pharmacy for comment.

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