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Temporary market adjustment to ease pharmacy crisis

The Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) have agreed to a temporary market adjustment for pharmacists to deal with the severe shortages facing many pharmacy departments around the province.

In some facilities, pharmacy departments are operating with more than 50 per cent of positions vacant, forcing pharmacists to stop practising their full range of professional duties. The problem has been exacerbated by rising wages in the retail sector where pharmacists are paid significantly more than those in the public sector./>

Ron Ohmart, HSAs Excutive Director ... Labour Relations, says that in some hospitals, the situation was becoming dangerous for patients and had to be addressed immediately./>

-HSA has been well aware of the crisis in pharmacy but until the last round of bargaining, there were no avenues for addressing this issue on a province-wide basis," says Ohmart./>

He says the market adjustments will apply to all pharmacists covered by the HSPBA contract. />

The market adjustment is in accordance with language agreed to during the last round of bargaining which enables employers to trigger mid-contract talks in order to deal with an immediate human resources crisis./>

Pharmacists will soon receive a letter from their employers outlining the details of the agreement. More information will also be sent to HSA chief stewards.

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