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Pharmacists' union in tit-for-tat attack on Guild

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Pharmacists' union in tit-for-tat attack on Guild

The Professional Pharmacists Association has launched a Dump the Guild campaign as anger mounts over planned penalty rate cuts.

The tit-for-tat campaign urges pharmacists to “break up” with Guild insurance and PDL.

“They advocated in the Fair Work Commission to cut your wages and celebrated when they won,” states in its rallying cry.

“The Guild makes millions of dollars from your professional indemnity insurance each year – money that funded their fight to cut your wages.

“They cut your wages — you cut their funding.”

As part of its campaign, the PPA also added a satirical Facebook post stating the Guild plans to pay pharmacists in jelly beans from 1 July.

A Guild spokesperson said the Guild supports a “calm and accurate consideration of these matters, not guerrilla warfare”.

“We think that sort of campaign is destructive and a crude membership drive by the union.”

The plan is to reduce Sunday penalty rates  be cut to 150% for full and part-time employees and to 175% for casuals.

There will be a two to five year transition period after July to allow a gradual transition to the new rates.

Guild Executive Director David Quilty describes this as “sensible transition” which will reduce the impact on employees.

Writing in the Forefront newsletter this week, executive director David Quilty says many pharmacy owners pay above the award rate.

They recognise the role staff play in keeping the pharmacy viable.

“It is simply not in the interests of community pharmacies to put their considerable investment in their staff at risk by demotivating them or devaluing their work,” he writes.

Some 44% of pharmacies don’t open on a Sunday and there is “little doubt” penalty rates, along with price disclosure, are part of the cause, he says.

Another point is that many pharmacies want to employ more staff to support the greater focus on professional services. The penalty rate cuts will enable them  to offer staff additional hours or a broader array of work opportunities, Mr Quilty says.


 

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