Pharmacists at National Pharmacies have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new enterprise agreement.
A significant majority – 90 per cent of voters – agreed to the new deal that delivers increases of 3.4 per cent per year for three years to all pharmacists and provides access to an extra one per cent to Pharmacists in Charge.
Led by APESMA workplace representatives at National Pharmacies, Kathy Malakozis, Christine Creeper and Julie Martin, negotiations centred on achieving reasonable salary increases and improvements to health and safety and appropriate recognition for extra workloads.
“Our most significant gains were the reasonable pay increases to all pharmacists over the next three years. It was really good that we were able to negotiate higher rates than what the organisation was willing to offer at the initial stages of negotiations,” workplace representative Kathy Malakozis said.
“It was a generally comfortable process and outcome, with all parties engaging constructively.”
This EBA was an extension of a previous EBA, with some minor modifications. For instance, pharmacists that need to travel now will have their time and mileage paid, pharmacists conducting Cognitive Pharmacy Services will now be able to receive a special PIC rate of equivalent PIC Level 6, assistance of up to $1000 to attend recognised professional development events and National Pharmacies will provide books or software for these individuals.
One challenging area of negotiations involved defining the type of role available to newly registered pharmacists, when a permanent pharmacist position is not available within the organisation. While negotiators were hesitant to create a basic pharmacist role, they were able to secure a review of the role by the negotiating committee at three, six and twelve months in the first year of operation of the Agreement.
The importance of negotiating as a team for better pay and conditions was certainly a strength of these negotiations.
Working together was a critical part of our success says Kathy Malakozis, “APESMA will assist in representing you and we would not have been able to put together EBAs, which we have had now for over 12 years without the assistance of APESMA. Our local rep in SA Sue Fenwick was fantastic in assisting with our negotiations. Always remember that your rep is there to help.”
The agreement is expected to go before Fair Work Australia by the end of March.