Our successes

It pays to be a member of Professional Pharmacists Australia

In 2019, Professional Pharmacists Australia successfully won its appeal to the Fair Work Commission to increase employee pharmacists’ pay rates under the Pharmacy Industry Award (PIA) so that they are more in line with the qualifications of the profession. This was a huge win for the industry – one that was three years in the making.

PPA members have cumulatively won increases to the PIA pay rates totalling 22% since beginning proceedings with the work value case in 2016. In real terms, this now means that employees are legally bound to pay pharmacists these new rates of pay as a minimum. They’re also required to use these new rates to calculate their employee’s allowances and penalty entitlements.

What does this mean for my pay packet?

The Fair Work Commission has formally varied the pay rates to provide a 5% increase in pharmacist pay and a further 10% for those undertaking HMRs and RMMRs in our Work Value case. As of October 1, 2019, the two Work Value pay increases have now been applied to the Award. To find out more about what this ruling means for your salary, click here.

Graduate rates of pay

However, our work is not done. Following further submissions by Professional Pharmacists Australia, in September 2019 the Fair Work Commission announced a new case will review graduate rates of pay in all awards, including pharmacy. PPA firmly believes that jobs that require employees to be the holders of graduate qualifications – such as pharmacists – should be appropriately remunerated for their skill and responsibility.

There is an urgent need for a review of graduate pay rates. Compared to industry averages, pharmacy graduates are underpaid and undervalued. A recent report by Professionals Australia found that community pharmacists undergo an intern year on a median salary of $42,000. This is one of the lowest graduate annual salaries, ranking behind registered nursing, physiotherapists, scientists and teachers. Even after intern year, the pay barely improves.

Furthermore, the graduate pharmacist rate is only 105.5% of the rate of pay a tradesperson gets when they first qualify. The Fair Work Commission has previously determined that the 4-year graduate rate should be 130% of the tradesperson rate, and that this relativity should be maintained.

By joining Professional Pharmacists Australia and getting involved in our campaigns to improve Australia’s pharmacy sector, you can help us build the case for greater reward and strengthen the voice of our profession.
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