Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 15, 2017

Because pharmacists are professionals with the fiduciary duty to the public of constantly ensuring effective and safe drug therapy as well as timely access to urgent pharmacotherapy, removing the exemptions would be absolutely inappropriate. Moreover pharmacy is such a diverse profession with a wide variety of employment statuses: depending on the company and the pharmacist's role, a pharmacist can be paid hourly with or without a paid meal break, or paid an annual salary.

The major issue here is that most pharmacy corporations are primarily owned and operated by business people who are not healthcare professionals and whose chief interests are making a profit. It is time for the OCP to abolish the pre-1954 charter: no investor should be allowed any longer to own or operate a pharmacy under this obsolete charter no matter how much they can pay for it. The pre-1954 charter unequivocally does not benefit the public and has only done harm to the profession and in turn the public.

Note that the many business owners and operators of pharmacies have not been required to make the Declaration of Commitment. This is nonsensical as it is in the public's best interest for pharmacies to be operated by pharmacists as they are regulated healthcare professionals who must be "committed, first and foremost, to the direct benefit of their patients and only secondarily to making a profit", as outlined in our Code of Ethics.

When our government initiated the major funding cuts to pharmacy in 2008, most corporate employees simply passed the cuts onto their pharmacists by drastically reducing wages and staffing levels. Because the cuts have been continuous up till now, including the present automatic 2.8% deduction from all pharmacies' remittance notices from ODB in order for the government to meet its arbitrary financial targets, corporate owners have penalized their pharmacies by ruthlessly cutting pharmacists wages and imposing scanty staffing levels. This situation is a clear danger to the public. Ensuring there is a fair minimum wage or salary and minimum staffing levels based on prescription volume is essential to the public interest.

It is time for all pharmacists and the OCP to collaboratively TAKE ACTION in upholding the dignity and honour of our profession by responsibly taking control of our pharmacy practices.

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