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Lloydspharmacy rejects 7% pay rise proposal ‘out of hand’, PDA claims

Lloydspharmacy has outright rejected a 7% pharmacist pay rise proposal, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU) has claimed.

The multiple rejected the pay increase claim “out of hand” in its latest letter to the PDAU and has “failed to produce a counter offer of any sort”, the union said in an email sent to members last week (March 3).

Read more: All Lloydspharmacy branches reportedly ‘at risk’ of closure

“Instead of producing any proposal of their own, [Lloydspharmacy’s letter] simply asks us to submit a lower claim on your behalf instead,” the PDAU told members.

“This is something we are simply not prepared to do. At best this response can only be described as disrespectful to you and your representatives.”

A Lloydspharmacy spokesperson confirmed that the multiple is in talks with the PDAU about a pay review for the 2023/24 financial year.

However, the multiple "does not comment on pay negotiations until they are settled", they said.


Could next steps involve strike action?


The PDAU tabled the 7% increase – which it said was “consistent with current pay settlements in the private sector, albeit below inflation” – in December as part of its talks with Lloydspharmacy on a scheduled pharmacist pay review due to kick in from April 1.

The union is now consulting its Lloydspharmacy members on next steps, including asking their opinion on taking strike action if talks do not progress despite the involvement of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Read more: Lloydspharmacy quits Sainsbury’s: What we do (and don't) know so far

Another option would be to give the multiple “another chance to make progress” in pay talks before involving ACAS, the union said.

Members have until Friday (March 10) to share their thoughts.


Ongoing redundancy dispute


It comes as Lloydspharmacy last week defended its position in a row with the PDA over the redundancy terms of former Sainsbury's staff now working for the multiple.

The union is considering mounting a legal challenge after it accused Lloydspharmacy of removing the enhanced redundancy benefits that former Sainsbury’s staff believe they are entitled to following the multiple's 2016 buyout of the supermarket pharmacy chain.

However, Lloydspharmacy maintains that staff who transferred to the multiple after the supermarket branches were purchased were only “entitled to benefit from the Sainsbury’s redundancy policy for a period of 12 months” after the deal went through.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy defends position amid Sainsbury’s redundancy row

The multiple is consulting with Sainsbury's staff at risk of redundancy and will consider the terms of the package offered to affected staff where "redundancy becomes the only option", it told C+D.

C+D exclusively revealed in January that Lloydspharmacy will withdraw its pharmacy services from all 237 Sainsbury’s stores over the course of this year.

It is as yet unclear whether each of these branches will close or be sold.

Read more: Lloydspharmacy: PDA considering ‘legal action’ over redundancy dispute

And there are rumours in the national press that Lloydspharmacy’s entire UK pharmacy network is “at risk” of closure as part of a strategic review of the business.

The multiple told C+D on Friday that it “does not comment on articles that have been published based on unverified information”.

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