The pay claim is asking for a “cost of living” pay rise of 3% for all Boots pharmacists, “in line with increases across the UK economy”, as well as an additional 1.5% to “recognise the commitment, flexibility and hard work of [PDA] members" during the COVID-19 crisis, the PDA announced last week (July 17).
The PDA Union has also requested that Boots abolishes current pay rates in Northern Ireland and pays all those covered by the union the "rate applicable to the rest of the UK".
It has also asked that Boots introduces a payment equivalent to two hours' pay when the pharmacist voluntarily agrees to use the advanced declaration template, a procedure that allows their pharmacy to temporarily operate without the pharmacist being present.
In addition to this, the PDA Union has asked for a reduction in the number of bank holidays and weekends that pharmacists are required to work, a £50 “compensation payment” if a pharmacist is given less than 48 hours’ notice that they need to work on a day they were not already expecting to work and the introduction of standby payments.
Introducing a £50 “on-call standby payment” for pharmacists who at short notice agree to be on call on Saturdays – an amount that would rise to £100 for Sundays and bank holidays – would “avoid the need for locums”, the PDA said.
PDA and PDA Union director Paul Day told C+D yesterday (July 20) that pharmacists at Boots have been getting “under-inflation pay increases for a number of years” and that the trade union is now “trying to catch back up” to improve the standard of living for the multiple’s pharmacists.
If successful, the PDA Union’s pay claim will become effective from November 1. Last year, the PDA Union negotiated a 2% pay rise for around 6,500 Boots pharmacists. It was the first time Boots pharmacists were able to collectively negotiate improvements to their pay, following 92% of pharmacists voting in favour of having their pay, hours and holiday negotiated by PDA Union in March 2019.
A full breakdown of the PDA Union’s pay claim is available on the PDA website.