To all MAHCP Pharmacy Technicians:
Over the last number of weeks, there have been a large number of questions asked of MAHCP in regards to the upcoming Pharmaceutical Act and Regulations which is expected to be proclaimed in January 2014. Most of you know that under the regulations developed by the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association the position title of Pharmacy Technician will become a restricted title. This means that only those who possess the qualifications laid out by the regulations and the Act are to be considered Pharmacy Technicians.
MAHCP’s role in this process is to determine what the job description is for current Technicians who will become Pharmacy Assistants and the roles and responsibilities of each of these classifications. Once that is determined, we then have the ability to negotiate the value of that work. The employer has repeatedly informed us in writing that your duties, working conditions and pay will not be affected in the change to your title. I have stated to a number of you that we will be coming to you for guidance when the employer does actually provide us with updated job descriptions.
In the meantime however, we have heard from many of you that you are extremely upset about the loss of the title that you trained for and have been practicing your entire career. As you know, technicians have no voice in the provincial body that has put the regulations forward. MAHCP has no standing with any professional body and how they conduct their business. However, I have been in contact with Manitoba Health and have asked a number of questions that I have been hearing both from you as a member and from your Labour Relations Officers following the discussions that have been happening on that level.
I have asked questions on the following topics as an incentive to open a dialogue with government. We have been unable to get a clear answer from the employer on what the job descriptions are for either of these two classifications (Technician vs. Assistant). There is a sense of betrayal felt by Technicians that their duly earned title is being stripped without any ability to participate in any of the decision making process up to this point. There needs to be significant assistance made available to those who wish to undergo the bridging process, both financial and with dedicated work time. I have asked for assurances that employers commit to acknowledging the requirement of working hours required to even qualify to write the necessary examinations in terms of part time employees. Finally, I have asked that grandfathering be reconsidered, even though it is a decision that was not made by government, but provincial governing bodies across Canada.
I have been asked to set up meetings with Pharmacy Technicians in order to answer some of the questions our members have about this entire issue. Until I have the answers from government, and the fact that the holiday season is upon us, I really have nothing more to share with you until I get the information to share with you.
Bob Moroz, President, MAHCP