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Boots and PDA Union sign first agreement to negotiate pharmacists’ pay

Anne Higgins, Boots director of stores, and Mark Pitt, PDA Union assistant general secretary
Anne Higgins, Boots director of stores, and Mark Pitt, PDA Union assistant general secretary

Boots and the PDA Union have signed a joint agreement allowing the PDA to negotiate pay, hours and holiday for the multiple's pharmacists.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) Union now has collective bargaining rights to negotiate these terms – starting with the forthcoming annual pay review for 2019-20 – on behalf of members and pre-registration pharmacists based in Boots pharmacies, the organisations announced yesterday (July 11).

This is the first voluntary agreement between the multiple and the trade union, following Boots pharmacists voting “overwhelmingly” in favour of having their terms negotiated by the PDA Union in March.

The union will recruit one representative per region to attend consultative meetings and help negotiate the terms, the organisations explained.

A “joint consultative committee” will meet four times a year to discuss “changes to people policies”, “health and safety matters”, and “identify unresolved issues in the workplace”, they added.

A “joint negotiating board”, made up of a smaller subset of representatives from the PDA Union and Boots, will be responsible for negotiating pay, hours and holidays.

The two organisations have agreed a list of policy items, such as bonus payments and changes to some HR policies, they said.

“Unusual situation”

PDA Union national officer Paul Day told C+D this morning that as “it’s an unusual situation, where we are going from no structure to a full network in one step”, the union's executive committee will oversee the initial intake of representatives.

“We’re already inviting interest from members at Boots,” he said.

“From those interested, we’ll be putting together a balanced team that reflects the population they represent as much as possible,” Mr Day explained.

What impact do you think the PDA Union and Boots agreement will have on the sector?

Ranjeev Patel, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Just remember that Boots did everything they could to resist the good intentions of the PDAU, they were forced into this so don't make it look like Boots are behaving themselves.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

The proof of the pudding, as they say. I'll watch this with interest.

Michael Parker,

Congratulations to all involved in getting an agreement signed . I hope Boots and the PDAU have a successful relationship that results in a better,  more trusting relationship between employer and employees. If the result is a happier workforce and safer Pharmacies then I’ll be happy that my signature as one of the ‘six ‘ wasn’t wasted . 

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