Voluntary variation provides flexibility, protection from contract changes, guild


Voluntary variation provides flexibility, protection from contract changes, guild

Chilton Towle
Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand chief executive
Pharmacy Guild chief executive Andrew Gaudin says the voluntary variation clauses of the new pharmacy services contract combined with its evergreen nature offer flexibility
Whenever a change is proposed to the new pharmacy service contract, pharmacy owners will be able to choose whether they want to accept or decline it a


Disappointing outcome. Nurses and teachers correctly judged the market and achieved / will achieve reasonable earnings corrections.

Most of the $20 million is just earmarked for volume growth.

Plus the emerging trend of zero rx charges wasn’t even addressed by the Pharmacy negotiations team.

Out of interest, what were you hoping for in the contract that hasn't been agreed? 

Nurses and Teachers will get paid more money essentially directly by the Government. If pharmacy wants more money, it goes to private business owners. What chance of them passing all this new found funding to the 'workers'?

I can't see Pharmacy ever going on strike to get any perceived grievances fixed. The fight on the initial contract offer this time was the most united I have seen Pharmacy as a whole in the 15 years I have worked. Even then there are people happy with the offer. If you are going to strike, to make it worthwhile, it has to be 100% or nothing. 

Saying that, if you aren't happy with this offer, then you do have the opportunity to be your own representative in the ongoing reviews. 

Myself, I see the monthly fee I pay the Guild currently as money well spent to negotiate on my behalf. This allows me to focus on the people I work with and community I am trying to help


Where to start? Try looking at the big picture instead of the contract detail.

I have several friends similarly educated working in various fields, some business owners, some not.

We're pretty open with each other and I can tell you for a fact that pharmacy is lagging behind a lot of other professions in terms of remuneration based on the demands of the job.

Virtually all other owners of businesses in fields other than pharmacy have the ability to adjust their earnings to meet their costs. Recently I was explaining pharmacy remuneration in NZ to a uni lecturer in business administration. He thought it was a terrible system with high risk to contract holders.

I'm married to a Nurse. In 1995 as a basic  I was earning approximately 15% more than she was. Now FTE Nurses get paid more than the average employed pharmacist.

Also, pharmacy earns less for dispensing than it did 10 years ago. That's a fact. Even though everything else has gone up.

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

I'd be happy to negotiate my own arrangement. Tried it already but its impossible to do so.