Layer 1

More than 1,000 Boots pharmacists pledge support for PDA challenge

PDA Union: The strength of support is a "huge vote of confidence"
PDA Union: The strength of support is a "huge vote of confidence"

More than 1,000 Boots pharmacists have asked to be represented by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union, it has claimed.

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.

Are you a Boots pharmacist currently represented by the BPA?

david williams, Community pharmacist

The fact that Boots don't want the PDA recognised probably speaks more than anything else. Most employers want the least form of resistance. I am not supporting either side here, it may be that the PDA is too militant, I don't know. However, you don't need a masive IQ to come to reason that a choice of 2 unions would probably be fairer to employees and less favourable to the employer. Either union would have to up their game to achieve for their members and this may prove moire tiresome for the emplyer. I am not employed by any multi-national and therefore my humble opinion is just that.

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

Surely there can only be one reason why Boots don't want to recognise the PDA...? That they feel it will be detrimental tal to the cash flow! I'm baffled why more Boots pharmacists don't show the PDA support, even if they never sign up to them; you never know when you may need some support - especially when Boots is now owned by an American company who are probably used to there being no union support

Beta Blocker, Primary care pharmacist

A win for the pharmacists! Finally

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

Excellent news! Never to late to have this go through - speaking as an ex-Boots pharmacist who has been campaigning for this for a long time! The BPA's appalling record on various things within Boots are testimony to the fact that pharmacist's welfare is not at the top of the agenda, a stance that suits the parent company.

Job of the week

Pre-registration Pharmacists 2021
London (South), London (Greater)
Competitive package