Pharmacists matter

Pharmacists ensure effective and safe treatment of patients: medication counseling, drug therapy monitoring, and diagnosing and resolving drug-related adverse effects are all part of the job. Hospital pharmacists also work to mitigate critical drug shortages and recalls. With the hospitals short-staffed, medication safety becomes a serious issue.


On January 6, 2012, the Health Employers Association of BC suddenly announced a unilateral 9%-14% wage rollback for BC's hospital pharmacists.

HEABC's plan to eliminate a market wage adjustment would have aggravated an ongoing staffing shortage in BC's hospital pharmacies, putting all British Columbians at risk.

On January 18, HSA hosted a telephone town hall to share information and ideas. Almost 500 hospital pharmacists participated. Download the report from the town hall here.

Pharmacists spoke out

Hospital pharmacists around the province rallied. Using a web site buit by HSA, they sent thousands of letters to the Premier and Minister of Health. They wrote to alies -- excluded pharmacist members and directors -- to tell them about the issue and urging them to ask their health authority to opt out, as Northern Health Authority did. 

They stoped doing free, unpaid overtime, including not skipping your meal breaks. It is no secret that countless hours of overtime are being worked every day, day after day, without compensation. Management knows that the system depends on and is subsidized by the unpaid overtime you put in.

And those pharmacist close to retirement -- almost 20% are -- made it perfectly clear to their employer that they were considering options and asking for a retirement package – the paperwork necessary for filing your retirement notice.

HSA negotiators have locked in the market adjustment:

The new tentative agreement for health science professional, reached in January of 2013, locks in the market adjustment for pharmacists. That means that governments can't just eliminate the market adjustment and force a dramatic rollback of hospital pharmacists salaries.

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