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Boots responds to PDA challenge, as panel reviews case

Boots: We always engage with colleagues on matters affecting them
Boots: We always engage with colleagues on matters affecting them

Boots has responded to a legal challenge to have its union "derecognised" in favour of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union, while a panel has been appointed to review the case.

"We respect the right of our colleagues to become members of a trade body of their choice," a Boots UK spokesperson told C+D exclusively yesterday (August 3).

"However, in order to best serve the interests of our pharmacy and wider Boots colleague population, we believe it is essential to build great relationships between pharmacists, their line managers and their local teams."

Six Boots pharmacists launched a legal challenge last week to have their pay, hours and holiday collectively negotiated by the PDA Union. The challenge was delivered to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) – the independent body responsible for resolving workplace disputes – on July 28.

"We always engage with colleagues on matters affecting them, through our colleague forums and line managers," Boots added.

"We will continue to work with the Boots Pharmacists' Association (BPA) to deliver the best working environment."

CAC appoints panel

According to a PDA statement published on Wednesday (August 2), the CAC has appointed a three-person panel to consider the challenge.

The panel has an extendable 10 working days from receiving the application to accept or reject it, the PDA said.

Should the application be accepted, there will be a “further 20 working days” for “negotiations between all parties” to try to reach an agreement, it added.

PDA answers its members’ questions about the challenge

Would the PDA Union be prepared to work with the BPA?

Yes, the PDA Union executive has met with members of the BPA executive on a regular basis over the years to discuss working closer together or even merging; regrettably the BPA has not been receptive to any closer ties.

The PDA Union has exhausted all other legal avenues and the derecognition of the BPA is now the only option left open for pharmacists to secure negotiating rights over their pay, hours and other working conditions.

What happens if I openly express support for the derecognition/recognition process and I am targeted by company managers and disadvantaged?

It is unlawful to be put at a detriment because of belonging to a trade union or taking part in union activities, and there can be severe penalties for employers who act in this way.

A detriment can include negative comments by managers, an adverse pay award, or other unfair treatment that is connected to being in a trade union or related union activity.

We do not anticipate that Boots or its managers will behave in this way; however, please contact the union immediately if you are concerned and require advice.

Source: PDA website


For a timeline of the Boots and PDA saga from 2012 to 2017, click here

What should unions offer their pharmacist members?

david williams, Community pharmacist

I haven't had the privilage of seeing the post by Jack the Lad, as it was deleted before I could see it. It may have been utter rubbish or a valid point. Now I will never know, as someone else decided that I would not be wise enough to read it and draw my own view.

Given that there are that many posts on this blog, that expess a view that I don't agree with, but I passiontely believe they have the right to express them without suffering abuse, misrepresentation, editing or censorship, I feel I can trust the editor of C+D a little less tonight.

I didn't read Xrasyer being censored for his outright distaste for the dishevelled from the shrinking gene pool. I believe he was very correct in his assesment, but a little offensive to that sub-group all the same.

Now I find myself asking, who can best defend their own end best and who needs the most protection by the editor, Boots or the low lifes that were refered to in the article. Given that the answer to this rhetorical question is obvious, I hope the editor takes a good look in the mirror tonight.

MICHAEL PARKER, Pharmaceutical Adviser

It's a sort of trucks act, anybody remember learning about that.

Anyhow Boots are bullys . I don't work for them but have suffered from their bullying!

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Mr Hodgson it's a shame the editor doesn't have the courage to ask the question you posed. Over to you C&D

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Follow the money and it's obvious C&D have to follow their paymaster.

jack The-Lad, Communications

To The Editor....You clearly have demonstrated which side of the fence you are on ( with your biased editing ) , and it clearly isn't on the side of the hard working pharmacist . You are clearly a Pesina pupet or I may have spelt the latter wrong.

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

If the BPA really is independent of the Boots Company and really does have the interests of Boots Pharmacists foremost why does it reject working alongside or even merging with the PDA? It must realise that it is in a hopelessly compromised position being unable to negotiate pay and conditions and, as some suggest, is being played by the Company for their own ends. 


A statement from the BPA explaining exactly why the interests of Boots Pharmacists cannot be better served by working with the stronger PDA would be welcome. Until then suspicions regarding the exact role of the BPA will continue to grow.

Sarah Smythe, Information Technology

To all readers. Its is pointless to comment on this article as it will be deleted  ( to comply with Boots policy )

Sharon Stone, Communications

JackThe Lad was quite right in his comment about being the usual drivel from Boots dressed up to try to make it appear more pallatable. The editor must have got the call Stefano* to withdraw it.


*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Does C&D actually have an opnion or do you just stand by cowardly watching as disaster and unfolds. Unable to muster the courage to mention the obvious.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Utter Rollox and bullshine.

jack The-Lad, Communications

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

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