ACT Health pharmacists have secured a win for their pay and conditions after extended negotiations with the health department and the minister.
Hospital pharmacists can breathe a sigh of relief now that they have won clear commitments from ACT Health to address their long-held concerns. Thanks to threatened industrial action by Professional Pharmacists Australia members ACT Health listened to their concerns and addressed them.
The ACT Director of Professionals Australia Dale Beasley says hospital pharmacists believe the new classification structure that incorporates previous at-risk bonuses and other agreed measures will attract and retain pharmacists and turn the crisis around.
“ACT Health has listened thanks to the strength shown by members in sticking to their position and being willing to take protected industrial action”, Mr Beasley said.
“Their resolve has resulted in the issues receiving the attention from Health that they deserve. This means pharmacists are on track to fix long held concerns for the good of patients’ health and their own health.”
Mr Beasley said Professionals Australia members are integral professionals in the healthcare team and value their role in ensuring safe, effective use of medicines for the good of patients.
“Our members appreciate Minister Fitzharris listening to them and acting to fix attraction and retention and establish a new dedicated consultative forum.”
“ACT Health has acknowledged historic issues with maintaining staffing levels due to uncompetitive salaries and outdated classifications.”
“Our members wanted to negotiate a way to fix both issues and have succeeded on both fronts,” Mr Beasley said.
“The old system, which relied on ad hoc attraction and retention bonuses, failed. The new structure which we have achieved will incorporate the old ad hoc bonuses into a Pharmacists regular salary, provide broadbands and regular salary increases for the duration of the enterprise agreement. Additional bonuses will also now be extended to the classification level that hasn’t historically received them.”
“The enterprise bargaining process has taken over a year and our discussions with Health started long before that. Often pharmacists did not feel listened to, but now thanks to PPA members standing together we are confident we can properly address the issues they have struggled with.”
“We’ve got the right package of conditions now, together with improved leadership from ACT Health and the Minister, who are acting on Pharmacists concerns.”