PROFESSIONAL Pharmacists Australia (PPA) has lodged a whopping $160,000 underpayment claim on behalf of a Pharmacist-In-Charge member of the union, which described the case as “the worst example of wage theft we have seen”.
The underpayments claim dates back five years, with the pharmacist working at least ten hours per day except for periods of leave.
PPA has claimed the outstanding amount based on the non-payment of overtime, meal allowance and the sole pharmacist allowance.
“This employer has consistently shown disregard to the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010,” PPA said, noting that all pharmacists are entitled to overtime and on-premise meal allowances.
“Pursuant to our member’s claim, we will lodge this claim with the courts is this underpayment is not paid to our member,” the union said.
MEANWHILE PPA has also published a snapshot of the challenges facing community pharmacy, including an imbalance between professionalism and commercialism, dissatisfaction over the direction of the profession, the death of the independent local pharmacy, and discouragement of professional innovation.
The organisation is proposing a new model where pharmacists are integrated into the health system and not treated as a separate entity.
Under the PPA plan there would be “audited minimum medication supply service standards,” a single standard patient contribution fee for each molecule, and the introduction of a single fee based on the cost of the service.
PPA envisages that pharmacists would work directly with patients, including follow-up, and liaise amongst one another for the benefit of patients.
“This will ensure that pharmacists are considered healthcare providers and are paid commensurate to their skill and the value they provide to the community” – for more details see professionalpharmacists.com.au.