Six Boots pharmacists launched a legal challenge in July 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.
As part of the long-running dispute – which dates back to 2012 – the CAC said that at least 10% of Boots pharmacists would have to be members of the PDA Union for it to accept the application to formally "derecognise" the multiple's own union, the Boots Pharmacists’ Association (BPA).
The PDA claimed in a statement today (September 12) that it had surpassed this threshold, gaining support from "over 1,000" Boots pharmacists.
“Boots claims their agreement with BPA covers over 7,000 pharmacists, so the application needed 710 pledges of support,” PDA director of defence services Mark Pitt explained.
“BPA members and pharmacists not in any union are among those pledging their support for the derecognition of the BPA,” he claimed.
This information was submitted to the CAC to be disseminated to both Boots and the BPA. Both parties have until September 19 to respond to the PDA Union’s evidence, he added.
The PDA Union said the strength of support is a "huge vote of confidence" for the six Boots pharmacists who originally launched the bid.
Last month, the BPA claimed there is “not sufficient” evidence to suggest most of its pharmacists want to be represented by the PDA Union.
The CAC’s decision on the PDA Union’s challenge to have the BPA formally “derecognised” is expected at the end of the month.
For a timeline of the Boots and PDA saga from 2012 to 2017, click here.