HEABC announces plan to roll back pharmacist wages by up to 14 per cent

HEABC served notice last week that it plans to eliminate a market adjustment for pharmacists effective April 1, 2012.

The market adjustment, introduced to address chronic issues of recruitment and retention, has effectively stemmed the flow of pharmacists away from hospitals in British Columbia since 2006.

-HEABCs notice to cut pharmacists wages by 9 to 14 per cent is short-sighted and ill considered," said Jeanne Meyers, HSAs Executive Director of Legal Services and Labour Relations.

Meyers said the announcement from HEABC came without notice, and that Northern Health Authority has opted out of the decision to cut pharmacists wages.

-The market adjustment is there to address the wage disparity between BC and other provinces. Other provinces pay up to $11 an hour more. Come April, if HEABC has its way, pharmacists who are looking for competitive wages wont find them in British Columbia hospitals, and, as they have in the past, will walk across the street to work at community pharmacies, or leave the province," Meyers said.

HSA will continue to advocate to preserve the fair and reasonable wage rate afforded through the market adjustment in the coming days, and has called a meeting of representative HSA pharmacists to mount a strategy to oppose the rollback.

HSA pharmacists are urged to share information about continued issues related to recruitment and retention, including vacancy rates at their facilities, with HSA.

Please continue to watch your inbox and HSAs website at www.hsabc.org for information.

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