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"We would rather close for the day than pay her time and a half!

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  • "We would rather close for the day than pay her time and a half!

    There is an emerging trend by no means new as I have witnessed it before. What is happening is instead of paying employee pharmacists time and a half as overtime to cover one of the branches, they wait until the morning of the said day looking for cheap locum cover, if none is found the chain closes siting lack of locums as a reason.

    when questioning the area manager why did she not offer one of her relief a special rate to work. She said " We don't do that!"

    This is unethical in my opinion as it is money not lack of pharmacists that is driving the new trend of closures of community pharmacies for the day.

    I summarise that
    1. It pains them to pay their relief a special rate to work
    2. It affects the individual area managers budget and thus tge AM or RM puts their own bonus before patients welfare. V. Unethical business model.
    3. It pains them to pay a locum what they deserve
    4. They get away easily for closing by simply citing shortage of pharmacists as a reason.
    5.No being properly investigation by the NHS for frequent closures based on greed.
    6. The working conditions have gone worse and they refuse to improve them.


    These points represent my own opinion. How do you feel about this closing a pharmacy for the sake of money?

  • #2
    Spot on.

    Time and a half went in retail years ago. How can you expect a pharmacist to be paid that in that environment they would say? The same phenomenon happens in doing a rota for staff support members, so why would it be any different for a pharmacist (chimes the non-pharmacist pharmacy manager cheerfully)?

    I've never directly heard of time and a half rates outside of Ramadan. Usually when jockeying occurs, an extra £1 or £2 an hour is offered the day or two before closure. Or a special rate can theoretically be offered (can be £3-5 an hour offered not £9-10!). Usually bank holiday rate only offered as extreme last resort e.g. on the morning of the closure and all avenues have been exhausted. Seen multiple closures and seen many 'near misses'.

    Having said that, it's interesting to talk to people who worked for the company that extract water out of the ground, as there seems to be a lot of noises about the brinksmanship on pay there leading to a lot of stress and near closures.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd add

      7. a closure often leads to a lot of stress* for support staff working the actual closure shift, often with no one to turn to. Often on minimum wage, or slightly more.
      8. A lot of stress on support staff on pharmacists when things re-open.

      *You see the full gamut of human behaviour from large anger cognitively contained for loathing of the company and not directed at you, to direct threats, to abuse, to sympathy to politeness.

      Comment


      • #4
        I turned up to locum in a town where two branches of same company one locum never turned up. One branch in high St and other adjacent to surgery. I went to both pharmacies alternately to cover script collection and CDs.
        johnep

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnep View Post
          I turned up to locum in a town where two branches of same company one locum never turned up. One branch in high St and other adjacent to surgery. I went to both pharmacies alternately to cover script collection and CDs.
          johnep
          Did you get paid for both jobs!!!!

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          • #6
            No, never dreamt of asking for anything other than the little extra mileage I did.
            johnep

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            • #7
              Still can't believe the title of the posting?
              Surely the 'show must go on'?
              47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
              2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
              How times change.

              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

              Comment


              • #8
                The reason is simple but very bizarre. Basically there are separate budgets. One is for cover in the pharmacy and there are others ... for example income for the pharmacy etc. These budgets are looked in isolation. So, you may do really well as a pharmacy but be criticised harshly if you go over budget on your staff to achieve that outcome.

                Basically it is the thinking that one pound in one pot is more valuable than the same pound in another pot - which it isn't but it is what your manager is thinking about.

                I had a similar situation in a really busy pharmacy selling tonnes of cosmetics a long time ago. There was literally £hundreds that was being stolen weekly from that stand. This could have been resolved by the installation of a CCTV camera on that part of the shop floor for little over a few hundred pounds as a one off cost. Made absolute logical sense. BUT the budget for maintenance was completely squeezed and they were doing pretty well on the stand anyway. So the illogical decision was made ... better to lose tens of thousands a year on the cosmetics stand than spend a few hundred to prevent that from happening.

                Completely illogical follow through but may help understand.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have always found most management is parsimonious with the pennies and profligate with the pounds. Governments in particular.
                  johnep

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnep View Post
                    I have always found most management is parsimonious with the pennies and profligate with the pounds. Governments in particular.
                    johnep
                    Spend a pound to save a penny.
                    Come in and reorganise everything as it looks like you are doing something.
                    Also go and recruit more MDS homes/patients for the free collection, packaging and delivery service because the figures look good.
                    47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                    2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                    How times change.

                    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dippsy View Post
                      The reason is simple but very bizarre. Basically there are separate budgets. One is for cover in the pharmacy and there are others ... for example income for the pharmacy etc. These budgets are looked in isolation. So, you may do really well as a pharmacy but be criticised harshly if you go over budget on your staff to achieve that outcome.
                      It's a retail thing. Primose is actually right in that there are usually very generous bonuses to managers for hitting staffing headline figures.

                      The CCTV thing is also because the departments that run them have some demotivated and incompetent people. Same with any repair or issue needing sorting in retail.

                      One thing I didn't pick up in the opening post was a relief was mentioned and so they would presumably be salaried. Time and a half wouldn't be offered in that case because it could lead the company wide open to an equal pay claim off fellow employees.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mcitr View Post

                        It's a retail thing.
                        I'm sure it happens in other industries as well but my experience is generally in community pharmacy. I suppose that ultimately this is the result of conflicting interests and directives.

                        As for the cosmetics stand ... I was at that pharmacy for a good 4-5 years (on and off). God knows how much was actually stolen.

                        In another instance, I had undercover police one day having a go (and begging) me to get some sort of security sorted out at a multiple branch (naturally, it never happened because the budget wasn't there). Apparently, they were observing the pharmacy from outside and witnessed people literally carry out totes of stock! They were there for a few days observing and it was a regular issue.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dippsy View Post

                          I'm sure it happens in other industries as well but my experience is generally in community pharmacy. I suppose that ultimately this is the result of conflicting interests and directives.
                          It's definitely a corporate thing, of which community pharmacy has several other aspects not touched on. However retail takes it to spectacular lengths. Unfortunately much of pharmacy is retail, a point which I think people spend a lot of their time wondering about such as questions of why is pharmacy so bad if it's a 'healthcare' job?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mcitr View Post

                            It's definitely a corporate thing, of which community pharmacy has several other aspects not touched on. However retail takes it to spectacular lengths. Unfortunately much of pharmacy is retail, a point which I think people spend a lot of their time wondering about such as questions of why is pharmacy so bad if it's a 'healthcare' job?
                            Yes, feedback from the few people known to me outside of pharmacy (Anecdote evidence!) shows some really whacky things go on.
                            For example : a first aid course is repeatedly cancelled for those who are nearly 'timed out'.
                            then there is a panic because there are no 'qualified' first aiders.
                            Then the qualified trainers time out and you have to get an outside agency in to revalidate the trainers.

                            The cost of changing a light bulb can run into a couple of hundred pounds as the approved contractor must do it.
                            If the bulb is in a store room then you can't use that store room or access the stock because it is not safe to go in there in the dark.
                            So you have to order more stock and keep it somewhere else.
                            You aren't allowed to go in with a torch (the electrical kind not a 'flaming' one).
                            You can't change the bulb yourself - because it is the contractor's job and you aren't a qualified and registered electrician.

                            Pharmacy has particularly Victorian values when it comes to employee welfare.
                            If you are off sick you get nowt - and risk a disciplinary.



                            47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                            2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                            How times change.

                            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When in industry, I found that the factory was using ungummed labels to attach to bottles. (because they were cheaper). Rest of industry used rolls of sticky labels. Girls were paid a rate to apply gum to a glass plate, Arrange the labels on it and then apply the labels to bottles. Cost of this far outweighed any savings on plain labels.
                              Also discovered that vans used were furniture vans. Loading had to be done in evening when vans returned, on overtime of course. I suggested artics with extra bodies so loading could be done in day. All these supposedly cheap options were introduced in the 30s when labour was cheap.
                              Men were paid per batch of product, so lots of small batches were made causing delays. I suggested men were paid on total volume produced and batch sizes increased.
                              Found we were using perfumery grade alcohol as a solvent and to make tinctures. When I said change to standard grade, quality control said would affect taste of Tinct Hyoscamus etc.
                              As if anyone cares!.
                              I found a steady list of wasteful working.
                              johnep

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