HEABC directs health employers to change Pharmacy Tech job title

HEU is objecting to an arbitrary move by B.C.’s health employers to change the job titles of B.C.’s pharmacy technicians before new regulations from the College of Pharmacists of B.C. come into effect on January 1, 2011.

The regulation will designate “Pharmacy Technician” as a protected title, requiring a new title for all existing Pharmacy Technicians (see Regulatory changes coming for Pharmacy Technicians, October 5).

HEU has been pushing for a collaborative approach with health employers to determine an interim job title that is acceptable to all parties.

But in a directive to its members, the Health Employers Association of B.C. (HEABC) says that all Pharmacy Technicians’ job description titles should be changed to “Pharmacy Assistant” before that date on an interim basis.

HEABC says the change is to the title only and that the benchmark remains unchanged.

HEU has objected to the move, and has repeatedly told HEABC that the designation of Pharmacy Technicians as Pharmacy Assistants - even on a temporary basis – is unacceptable.

“This is an arbitrary and disrespectful move by health employers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“Pharmacy staff in Lower Mainland health authorities arealready anxious about the employers’ ongoing confusion surrounding changes to pharmacy services. This arbitrary change in job title just adds insult to injury.”

The union is reviewing its options under the collective agreement.