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PDA Union requests 4.5% pay rise for Boots pharmacists

The PDA Union asked Boots to abolish its Northern Ireland pay rates
The PDA Union asked Boots to abolish its Northern Ireland pay rates

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union has submitted a 4.5% pay claim to Boots asking for “improvements in pay and other associated items".

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.

17 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of the PDA Union's pay claim?

Conor T, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Still not worth it haha

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Probably right! A 4.5% increase of not enough is still not enough, just not quite as not enough as before.

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

We need an industry wide pay review each year. Locum rates have fallen 30% in the last 6-7 years alone and salaried jobs have not gone up with inflation so in real terms a pay decrease each year.

Verma Khan, Community pharmacist

We need something similar in Lloyds. 

C A, Community pharmacist

It might be worth contacting the PDA and asking how to get them to represent you. All it took was 6 Boots pharmacists...

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Boots will now be busy lobbying(bribing) government officials to hurry through changes in supervision laws so as to get rid of pharmacists.....

C A, Community pharmacist

Hahaha... you're naive if you think they haven't been trying to do that behind the scenes for years

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I'll get a reply in quick before this gets edited! Well said Benie!

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Will they do the same for locum rates though or will they cut those even further to pay for the salary hikes? Selfish thought but still......

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

In order for Locum rates to go up ppl need to stop using an agency either the name T.E.A.M. They slosh need to start negotiating, I'm regularly earning £40ph. You need to play hard ball and learn to say NO IM NOT WORKING FOR THAT RATE, call me back when you want to pay a fair rate. 

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

So you're not a pre-reg then.....?

Mind you, I'm not a superintendent any more either.

Beta Blocker, Primary care pharmacist

Fantastic! Well done PDA. We now have someone that fights for our profession. PDA should take over at the GPhC.

stacey gregory, Community pharmacist

Excellent!  Let's hope Pharmacists at other multiples will start asking the PDA to do the same for them?!  

H W, Community pharmacist

Excellent work. Now to see what they come back with ....

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I would like to congratulate The PDA. Although it's not a lot, it's a fair start!!  Well done guys/girls or however you would like to identify these days. 
This is why Boots fought so hard to not accept the PDA

C A, Community pharmacist

They've asked for it, that doesn't mean that they will get it. Though to be fair if they conceded on the other points and got the 4.5% they'd still be doing a lot better than the Boots union

A Long Serving Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

The Boots 'Union' was not allowed to negotiate on pay or conditions! 

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