HEU achieves significant wage boost for regulated pharmacy techs

A new benchmark and wage rate has been secured for regulated pharmacy techs through an arbitrated award under the Facilities collective agreement. 

As a result, regulated pharmacy techs will receive a 7.3 per cent wage boost retroactive to January 1, 2011. The rate is found at Grid 32 in the Facilities collective agreement

The arbitrator, John Kinzie, also established a benchmark for regulated pharmacy technicians which reflects the greater independence of this position within the pharmacy team, as well as typical duties and qualifications. 

HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says the new benchmark and wage rate is an acknowledgement of the expanded responsibilities and increased education required of pharmacy techs who are regulated under the Health Professions Act and the Pharmacists Regulation. 

“Our members have made a significant commitment to upgrading their qualifications in order to qualify as regulated pharmacy technicians,” says Pearson. 

“So it’s appropriate that their higher level of responsibility and training are acknowledged through the process set out in the collective agreement.” 

In making his award, Kinzie noted that “the effect of the changes that have occurred for pharmacy technicians as a result of their becoming health professionals under the Health Professions Act is quite significant.” 

He also wrote that “... registered or regulated pharmacy technicians have the independent authority to prepare, process, and compound prescriptions and, in the case of a hospital pharmacy, dispense a drug subject to certain limitations, after the drugs have been pharmaceutically and therapeutically approved by a full pharmacist.” 

Over the last year, HEU has signed a number of “conditional conversion” agreements across the province that have provided hundreds of pharmacy technicians with financial support to upgrade their qualifications in order to qualify for the reserved title of pharmacy technician under the changes to the Pharmacy Regulation which came into effect on January 1, 2011.

HEU will now move to revisit rates of pay for pharmacy supervisors. Rates of pay have been the outstanding issue to be determined after benchmarks for pharmacy supervisors were agreed to in June 2009.