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UPDATED: PDA and Boots announce 5% pharmacist pay rise under new deal

The pharmacists' union and Boots have agreed a new pay deal that will award a 5% pay increase to eligible pharmacists, they have announced.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) and Boots have announced that eligible pharmacists at the UK’s biggest multiple will receive a 5% pay rise from November, in a joint statement released today (October 9).

According to the statement, the pay uplift is a reflection of “unique market circumstances”. 

Read more: Boots parent company appoints interim CEO after ‘mutually agreed’ departure

Pharmacists and pharmacist store managers that are members of the PDA’s bargaining unit will also receive a pro-rata “one-off non-consolidated payment of £750”, to be paid in August 2024, it said. 

This payment is a recognition of pharmacists’ “commitment to establishing and delivering” new core and advanced services for the NHS and “the level of change required in the coming year”, it added.

These services include the new medicines, hypertension, contraception and common conditions services in England, the clinical community pharmacy service in Wales, and the Pharmacy First services in Scotland and Northern Ireland, it said.

Read more: Boots, Superdrug and Well line up to offer private Wegovy weight loss jabs

The 5% pay rise combined with the one-off £750 payment “equates to a total package of pay and benefits of 6.5%”, according to the statement.

The pharmacists’ union and Boots also announced that “short notice” payments would continue and be “extended to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, where notice of working on a non-planned day is given on the same day”.

Under the September 2022 pay agreement, pharmacists who worked on a non-planned day with less than 48 hours’ notice qualified for £100 payment on a pro-rata basis.

 

Who is eligible?

 

Pharmacists that have joined Boots or had a pay increase since August 2023 are not eligible for the uplift, nor are trainee pharmacists or those that do not meet performance standards, the statement said.

Eligible pharmacists are “qualified members of the bargaining unit who are employed on November 1 2023 and who remain employed at the August 2024 payroll date and who are not in their notice period”, it added.

Read more: Revealed: 300 Boots branch closures to begin this month

The new agreement was reached following “constructive discussions” between the multiple and the union and a consultation with PDA members, the statement said.

Last year’s negotiations, which were influenced by “price inflation”, meant that Boots pharmacists received a 4.5% pay uplift – with those who had received a pay rise after August that year eligible for a “top-up” if they got an increase of less than 4.5%.

And in July, the PDA and Boots agreed to uplift trainee pharmacist pay in England and Northern Ireland, with the highest paid trainee pharmacists at the multiple receiving an annual salary of just over £25,000.

Read more: Boots baby formula ads breached marketing rules, finds watchdog

Meanwhile, Boots revealed in June that it planned to close 300 branches that it said were located “in close proximity to each other” and C+D revealed the locations of the first seven branches to close in July.

Also in July, the PDA warned that it was “unlikely that suitable alternative roles will be available for all” pharmacists employed at the 300 branches set for closure, after the multiple told C+D that there would be no impact to pharmacy roles or other store roles, with full “deployment opportunities” for those affected.

In June this year, Boots posted post-tax profits of £15 million for 2022, after falling more than £100m into the red in 2021.

 

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