The Union appeared at the Fair Work Commission last month to represent a Pharmacist at Monash Health who worked Weekend Public Holidays over the Christmas and New Year period in 2022/23.

Our member reached out to us to initially check that they had been paid correctly for time worked over the festive season, and on further investigation it was our position that they had not, and so began the process to correct this with Monash.

As we were unable to come to an agreement with Monash over the rates of pay for a Pharmacist who works a weekend public holiday, we took our dispute to the Fair Work Commission to facilitate this important conversation.

We want to note that we absolutely feel that making this application was worthwhile and it has led to some important discussions around circumstances where Pharmacists work on weekend public holidays.

Unfortunately, on this occasion we weren’t successful in gaining support for our interpretation of the clauses. We gave it everything we had and argued strongly for our interpretation. Whilst we did as much as we could on the day, at the end of the day, the Commission felt that the clauses weren’t clear and that there was an ambiguity, and on this occasion the argument didn’t go in our favour.

Whilst this is understandably disappointing, we now have some things to work on for the next Agreement to mitigate anyone experiencing this issue moving forward. It is the position of the Union that the additional rates were agreed to for Pharmacists in the bargaining process to ensure there is adequate incentive by way of remuneration to ensure that Health Services have coverage over busy periods such as public holidays.

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