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PDA Union gets green light to pursue Boots recognition

Business Government adjudicator rules that the potential level of support among Boots pharmacists for PDA Union representation was high enough to allow the union’s application to be formally recognised by the multiple to continue

The PDA Union is one step closer to victory in its legal battle to formally represent Boots pharmacists after the government's statutory adjudicator ruled that the union had a strong enough case to proceed.


The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) decided last week (January 9) that the potential level of support among Boots pharmacists for PDA Union representation was high enough to allow the union's application to be formally recognised by the multiple to continue.


Boots and the PDA Union now have until February 6 to agree on the number of Boots pharmacists that could take up PDA Union representation if the union was formally recognised. The union said it had written to Boots to offer it the opportunity to discuss this figure.


The adjudicator decided the potential level of support among Boots pharmacists for PDA Union representation was high enough to allow the union's application for formal recognition to continue

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The CAC said that, after looking at figures submitted by Boots and the PDA Union, it was satisfied that most Boots pharmacists were likely to be in favour of the union being recognised.


The CAC's decision comes a year after it accepted PDA Union's first application. And PDA Union general secretary John Murphy told C+D last week that the union was pleased the CAC had allowed its application and remained "cautiously optimistic" that it would be successful in gaining formal recognition from Boots.


"We wouldn't have got this far if our evidence to the CAC didn't suggest we had a good chance of [Boots pharmacists] supporting us," he said.


Boots said it had nearly 7,000 pharmacists that could potentially become PDA Union members, including pre-reg pharmacists and those in non-customer facing roles.


All of these pharmacists could be balloted by the multiple at a later stage in the process to find out if they supported formal recognition of the PDA Union, Boots said.


Boots is still waiting for the results of a judicial review in October, when the multiple challenged the CAC's decision to progress the union's application and questioned the impact on its existing agreement with the Boots Pharmacist Association (BPA).


Boots last week reiterated that although it respected the "right of all colleagues to become members of a trade union of their choice", it did not believe formally recognising the PDA would be to the "wider interest" of its staff.


Last February, the CAC said it had to be satisfied that the union met the threshold of at least 10 per cent of pharmacists employed by Boots having PDA Union membership.



Should Boots recognise the PDA Union?

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