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6,500 Boots pharmacists get up to 2% pay rise in first PDA settlement

PDA: Employees will be notified of their individual pay increase on November 14
PDA: Employees will be notified of their individual pay increase on November 14

Around 6,500 Boots pharmacists will receive a pay rise of up to 2% from this month as part of the first settlement negotiated between the multiple and the PDA Union.

The total payroll increase for around 6,500 of the multiple's pharmacists, including relief pharmacists, pharmacist store managers and those who are newly qualified, is 1.8%, with distribution dependent on the individual's role and where it fits in the “market range”, the the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union and Boots explained in a joint statement today (November 1).

The payment increase excludes pre-registration pharmacists, and certain exceptions apply, for example those pharmacists who received a performance rating of ‘not performing’, the PDA Union and Boots explained.

The agreement for the 2019-20 pay year is the first in which Boots pharmacists have been able to collectively negotiate improvements to their pay, following 92% of pharmacists voting in March in favour of having their pay, hours and holiday negotiated by PDA Union.

As part of the settlement, Boots has also agreed the following:

  • holiday pay will be calculated to reflect the average actual pay, taking into account any overtime or lunchtime payments the pharmacist might have received
  • Pharmacists will now be paid for attending all “company-assigned training” that takes place outside of working hours, or receive time off in lieu
  • all pre-reg pharmacists will now be required to work 37.5 hours – rather than 40 hours – a week.

Full details of the pay settlement, including the distribution of percentage increases, can be found in Boots and PDA's joint statement.

PDA director Paul Day said pharmacists will be notified of their individual pay increase on November 14, ahead of the November pay day “towards the end of the month”.

While this might be a “small thing”, it means pharmacists will “know what to expect”, rather than having to manually calculate their salary, he explained.

The PDA has “secured a good first pay settlement” and will “keep moving it forwards each and every year”, he added.

 “Tough external factors”

Boots told C+D it is “pleased to have reached an agreement” with the PDA Union, despite the “tough external factors” facing the multiple and “others in retail and pharmacy”.

The agreement offers a “market competitive pay increase” and underpins the multiple's “commitment to offer long-term and rewarding careers to its pharmacists”, it added.

Earlier this week, Boots' parent company said it was “on track” to close the remaining 182 of a planned 200 Boots branches before September 2020, following the publishing of its latest financial report.

What do you make of the first pay settlement between Boots and the PDA Union?

Meera Sharma, Primary care pharmacist

Great start - hopefully they'll be able to monitor the "not-performing" as well. Most companies are now using this as an excuse to not award salary increases.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

Is it just me, or does anyone else find this "exemption" from the award worrying? 

or had a performance rating of ‘not performing’ will be excluded from the November 2019 pay review.

C A, Community pharmacist

Isn't 2% a market average pay rise? I got 2% this year.
Guess the salary survey will tell in time.
Well done to the PDA for paid training time or time-off in-lieu though

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

It’s certainly a start; well done. Hopefully the other large multiples will take this on board - instead of having a secretive ‘if your face fits’ approach to pay rises......where no standardisation is the norm......

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Well done PDA. Better than 0%.

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