The Pharmacists' Defence Association (PDA) Union has called on Boots to allow it to formally represent its pharmacists after claiming the multiple's employees were tired of their employment terms being "gradually eroded".
"Increasing numbers" of pharmacists at Boots were calling for a union to protect their rights, with some taking Boots to an employment tribunal, the PDA Union revealed. The union claims to have about 2,000 members at Boots.
Boots declined to comment on whether it would recognise the union but stressed that it saw pharmacists as part of the team rather than a "separate interest group".
But the PDA Union called for powers to negotiate terms and conditions for employees as a whole. It criticised Boots for declining its offer to represent pharmacists informally in March 2011, when the multiple replied that it saw pharmacists as part of the "store's team".
John Murphy: PDA Union is supporting 17 pharmacists in employment tribunals at Boots
The PDA Union stressed it had "very successfully" represented pharmacists on an individual basis. It added that it was currently helping 17 pharmacists take Boots to an employment tribunal over changes to Sunday pay rates.
"This is just the latest in a string of grievances that our members have brought to our attention and Boots pharmacists deserve the best possible collective representation in this regard," said PDA Union general secretary John Murphy.
The union stressed that pharmacists should be represented separately to other Boots employees. "[We] see clear and categorical reasons why pharmacists are a separate and unique bargaining unit, based on their differential salary package, their professional position and the statutory and ethical responsibilities within their role," the PDA Union argued.
Boots told C+D it worked closely with the Boots Pharmacists Association on matters specifically related to pharmacists.
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