Suggested Learning

One voice?

Withering considers the actions of One Voice

The One Voice Pharmacy group has urged its locum members to boycott Tesco for two weeks in September after the multiple announced a cut to its hourly rate. Bizarrely, One Voice Pharmacy said that a boycott was not the same as a strike, that locums already arranged should be honoured, and that the last thing they wanted was for Tesco pharmacies to end up without pharmacists.

I’m confused: what does One Voice Pharmacy actually want, apart from a restoration of locum rates? If they don’t want pharmacies to be without pharmacists, what is the point of a boycott, which won’t work anyway because very few locums are arranged at the last minute?

In their actions, I see a microcosm of what’s happening between community pharmacy and the DH: it wants to cut our remuneration, but we lack both the resolve and the unity to make an effective response, and, to make matters worse, the messages that come from the world of pharmacy are often confused and counter-productive. There exists a supreme example of an organisation that represents its members with a united voice: the BMA. When are we going to learn to be more like them?

Withering is the pen name of a practising independent community pharmacist. Withering’s views are not necessarily those of ICP

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