Professionals Australia welcomes historic wage increase for workers

“Today’s Fair Work Commission decision granting a 5.2% increase in the national minimum wage and 4.6% in industry award rates follows strong advocacy by the union movement to better protect Australia’s lowest paid workers, who rely on this process for a pay increase.

“While the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase minimum award wages by 4.6 per cent is a welcome first step, this increase has not kept pace with inflation and represents a decline in real wages for pharmacists who are reliant on award wages.

“Even though pharmacists played an instrumental role in the fight against COVID-19 through the delivery of vaccines and other critical health care services, the majority of pharmacists received no additional remuneration despite the fact that pharmacy employers received a Federal Government payment for each vaccine delivered. Most have also missed out on the recently announced bonuses that the NSW and Victorian Governments are paying to public sector health care workers.

“Australia’s pharmacists remain the lowest paid professionals in Australia and the pharmacy sector requires comprehensive reform to deliver the remuneration and employment conditions our pharmacists deserve.” As part of our ‘Graduate to a Fairer Wage’ campaign, we will be calling on employers and government to support increases in rates of pay for pharmacy graduates and we will continue our efforts to address the overall classification and wage structure for pharmacists.

“Additionally, it is vital that the pharmacy sector increases its involvement in enterprise bargaining, which would give pharmacists a say in their wages and working conditions and deliver sustainable, long term agreements which meet the needs of both employees and employers.”