Layer 1

Meet the group fighting for your workplace rights

One Voice Pharmacy are active across social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook

The One Voice Pharmacy group is challenging low pay and poor working conditions

With locum rates at an all-time low, and pharmacists reporting increasing incidences of workplace pressure, it’s a bleak picture for parts of the sector at the moment.

It's these conditions that have given rise to One Voice Pharmacy, the group championing better working environments for pharmacists and taking social media by storm.

Who are One Voice Pharmacy?

Behind the name is a group of pharmacists striving to raise awareness of the pressures many of their colleagues are forced to work under, says Tanzeel Younas, one of its co-founders. The group was set up in June, and calls itself an “independent body made up of pharmacists, for pharmacists”.

What are its aims?

One Voice Pharmacy’s “sole purpose” is to improve pharmacists' working lives, and it aims to one day “sit around the table” with the large multiples and discuss ways to improve terms and pay for employees, says Mr Younas.

What are the problems it wants to solve?

Ensuring patient safety is One Voice Pharmacy’s “number one concern”, and Mr Younas says that employers need to provide the means for pharmacists to achieve that aim. 

In many pharmacies, there are not enough staff, and pharmacists are “being left alone for hours,” says Mr Younas. “It’s just not safe,” he stresses.

One Voice Pharmacy’s “ultimate goal” is to come to an agreement with the large multiples on how much pharmacists should be paid. But it also aims to prevent locum pay going down and working environments worsening, Mr Younas says.

He argues that patient safety and pharmacist pay are linked, so it is imperative that wages are not driven down any further. “We’ve got to hold our profession at a certain level, but the main point is [that] to focus on patient safety, and to get good pharmacists in, you have to pay a good price,” he points out.

“If you want to pay for a quality pharmacist, you need to pay [a good] rate. At the moment, the reason pharmacists aren’t getting as much work as they should be is because they aren’t standing up for their rate,” he says.

How does the group operate?

The group now has more than 3,000 members across several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. Members can use these to draw attention to examples of poor employers and low locum rates.

Mr Younas says One Voice Pharmacy is currently “a group of people trying to make a difference”, but suggests that it may one day evolve into a union.

What has One Voice Pharmacy done to drive change?

One notable example was in June, when the group went to registration exam centres, handing out leaflets highlighting the increased responsibility and falling wages pharmacists have faced in recent years.

It has also been in contact with several independent pharmacy owners, who Mr Younas says are “willing to form some sort of consortium” to address the group's concerns. 

17 Comments
Question: 
What do you think can be done to improve working conditions?

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Oh dear, no update on FB page since 8th July... So much for One Voice Pharmacy!

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

This article seems to have generated quite a bit of confusion if the comments are anything to go by. I think what One Voice Pharmacy are trying to achieve is a group to promote EXCLUSIVELY the interests of employee pharmacists and locums. This is to be welcomed, as the interests of contractors and employees have diverged to such an extent that it is impossible for one body to represent both sectors. So comments such as 'unite all the groups' are rubbish. Maybe One Voice Pharmacy and the PDA have common ground? The PDA need to up their game anyway...

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

tanzel can you get in touch with me, i dont have facbook .....

Paul Miyagi, Information Technology

As a retired Pharmacist, I wish the group every success . It has been needed for a long long time and you're right there is only success when single voices come together, it is only then that the multiples take note. 

Steve Churton, Senior Management

Not so much "one voice" as "one more voice"! There are enough "voices" in the profession already. Effective change will only be achieved through consolidated argument, and through bodies working constructively together to drive a common agenda - not fragmented sabre rattling. 

Joaquim Filipe, Locum pharmacist

What do we care about having enough voices?? Maybe they don't reflect what the members of the profession feel and think about the current issues. Besides, what would your suggestion be? "Too many voices? Let's just shut up them?"

Allow me a correction I feel is important:

"Effective change will only be achieved through consolidated argument, and through PHARMACISTS working constructively together to drive a common agenda - not CORPORATIONAL DICTATORSHIP sabre rattling"

I strongly believe these corrections bring some light on why so many people has joined "One Voice". Maybe you could do the same.

nawaz mohamed, Locum pharmacist

You were a poor RPSGB leader

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

How can you consolidate an argument when employee/locum pharmacists are in a zero-sum game with contractors and when pharmacists hold completely opposing views of the profession and its direction. Shopfloor employee pharmacists do not have a voice, they are spoken for by those who have no clue of the shopfloor reality. I think your comments represent everything that is wrong with community pharmacy and remind of the old RPSGB attitudes.

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

What Pharmacists would wish for can be totally at odds with what the large Multiples want who in turn can be at odds with the Independents. Just look at the situation with “services” such as MURs, as highlighted by the Guardian, for example.

A single consolidated voice for Pharmacy is impossible with so many conflicting interests.

 

b t, Manager

For once I absolutely agree with you ! Lets start by merging the multitude of Contractor Voices i.e. NPA/PSNC/CCA/AIMP/PharmacyVoice thus leaving only only ONE entity to speak for ALL contractors.
 

Tanzeel Younas, Pharmacist

https://www.facebook.com/groups/161501667597884/

shafaq mehdi, Pharmacy technician

It's all well you focus on pharmacist but  what bout the pharmacy technicians/and dispensers who do the majority of the work all pharmacist do is check your  work we work as hard as pharmacist if not more. We not only dispense but also do in house jobs

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Good. We all need to sign up and give these guys a chance. Good point about joining forces with the PDA - what are the differences (if any) in the target audience? And One Voice, you need to promote yourselves! Shout and we'll listen. Do something concrete and you'll get the support.

Tanzeel Younas, Pharmacist

Hi, 

Thank you for the support and feedback! Our members feel that the PDA hasn't done enough for the falling rates hence the rise of this group. We are actively in discussions with the large pharmacy contractors to achieve our unified goal of delivering excellent patient care whilst safeguarding the future of the profession.

Imran Tailor, Locum pharmacist

their whatsapp contact details? anyone?

Finally. Great work.

People who go and do shifts at low rate. Learn to say NO for your own future.

Tanzeel Younas, Pharmacist

Hi Imran, if you would like to be added to our group please message me on 07798747054. Thanks for your support!

 

 

 

 

Abid P, Primary care pharmacist

Good. Perhaps join forces with the PDA also

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Yarm
Competitive