Message from the PPA Committee

After the election, we were hopeful that your penalty rate cuts would be restored following Labor win. However, with the result, you should be prepared for further cuts on 1 July and continuing to 2020. We’ve taken the time to sit back and reevaluate where pharmacy is headed for the next three years under the Coalition.

The race to the bottom on wages appears likely to continue, with chains like Chemist Warehouse focusing on profits by paying low wages or cutting staff. This practice blurs the lines between professionalism and commercialism, driving pharmacists away and jeopardising the profession. It may be the same story, but remain persistent. In return, Professional Pharmacists Australia will continue to fight for better wages and conditions. When pharmacists work together, they can win in a system stacked against them. Your persistence has seen you come together to campaign and win at National Pharmacies, ACT Health and Epic Pharmacy.

We encourage pharmacists to consider an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) in their workplace. If you negotiate for an EBA, it should exceed the conditions of the Pharmacy Award which means better pay and conditions such as flexible work hours, annual leave or parental leave. If you think an EBA might be useful in your workplace, contact us at contact@professionalsaustralia.org.au.

You’ll get the support of our expert organisers to advise you on the initial steps of negotiations. In recent times, the Workplace Advice and Support team have presented a work-value claim to the Fair Work Commission. The Commission agreed to some aspects the claim, however it does not fully compensate for the increased work and responsibility of a modern pharmacists’ work. We expect to hear back from the Commission in August. We have the 7CPA firmly in our sights. For years now, we have advocated for pharmacists to practice to their full scope. The 6CPA has twelve months to run which gives us time to argue the case for pharmacy to go beyond the four walls – utilising a pharmacists’ skills in general practice and aged care to mention but a few.

A ‘mixed business’ approach will open up employment opportunities and curb the trend of pharmacists opting out of the profession. The Federal election has only served to strengthen our resolve. In the coming weeks, the committee will meet to review our current strategic plan in light of the election result and make necessary adjustments. Right now, we need you to remain vigilant. We need you to show solidarity for your colleagues fighting for a better deal.

Your support for our petitions over the last six months is testament to the solidarity amongst members. In the meantime, if you have any issues you’d like to raise, feel free to contact us at contact@professionalsaustralia.org.au. If you need help in your workplace, get in touch with the Workplace Advice and Support Team at was@professionalsaustralia.org.au or call 1300 273 762.