Employers want Pharmacists to be shift workers

The Union is actively negotiating with Public Sector employers and their representatives for a new agreement. As part of the negotiations, employers have put forward claims to remove existing restrictions on Pharmacists’ rosters and make them shift workers.

We are currently surveying pharmacists about this claim and so far, we have had a huge response, with a large number of Pharmacists responding. While it is too soon to discuss the responses to the key question about shift work, it is already very clear that Pharmacists have significant concerns about the impacts of understaffing and high workloads on their general health and well-being, particularly their fatigue and mental health impacts.

We will close the survey this evening and write to AHP members with details of your answers next week, so stay tuned for what looks to be a very strong response to this historical claim.

More broadly though our surveying of members for our Public Sector bargaining has revealed real concerns about workloads, understaffing and the significant impacts the workloads and stress is having on the members’ general and mental health and wellbeing. It also revealed that there are far too many people working across our disciplines who are not protected by the Union in the workplace. This is a recipe for a less-than-fulfilling work-life given the scale of understaffing, the unrealistic expectations that you’ll do more and more unpaid work, increasing OH&S risks, and ever-increasing workloads.

We know that management constantly use the refrain of “care for patients” which is entirely about guilting you into doing more work, which is, sadly more often than not, being done unpaid. Yet the same management rarely offer the same level of care for you and your colleagues; and seem to be wilfully ignorant of the harm that high workloads are having.

Being fatigued and over-worked can easily lead to errors that could have life-changing ramifications for the care being given to patients and implications for your career. We also know that it is leading to burn out among members and causing some members to consider leaving their profession to pursue other career opportunities.

With the hard work of your bargaining representatives, we’re working to get you the best possible outcomes in our enterprise agreement negotiations. It is especially vital during these important enterprise agreement negotiations that we have as many members as possible for a more powerful voice to improve the outcomes we can achieve. That’s why we need your help to reach out to colleagues and encourage them to join the Union.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help to get the conversation with your colleagues started – contact us at enquiry@msav.org.au

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