Up to 1,700 Boots pharmacists may face threat of dismissal
The PDA Union became aware late last week of a disturbing development following the recent Employment Tribunal judgement which determined that Boots Management Services had acted unlawfully last year when the company slashed premium pay for long serving pharmacists by 25%
A number of PDA Union members have reported that they have been required to attend "informal meetings" at very short notice with senior company managers. In these meetings pharmacists are being pressurised into agreeing to the lower premium rates, with the threat that if they do not agree within seven days, they will be dismissed from their employment.
Boots managers are also approaching pharmacists who did not participate in the original tribunal claim in order to pressurise them into accepting the lower rates of premium pay. Solicitors working for the PDA Union believe this fresh strategy is not only fundamentally unfair but also places pharmacists under duress and has been rushed through to take advantage of the Jubilee holiday period, when independent legal advice is more difficult to obtain.
Following the legal ruling and in order to minimise the potential for further staff disputes, it is likely that Boots Management Services will also need to approach all 1,700 pharmacists who were originally entitled to the higher rates of premium pay, with the same threat of dismissal unless agreement is reached. This is because the legal ruling has improved the chances of other affected pharmacists making similar claims, even if they were not part of the original proceedings.
The implications for pharmacists at this stage are unclear and the PDA Union will be issuing further advice shortly. In the meantime we are advising pharmacists not to agree to revised terms or sign new statements of particulars without seeking legal advice.
Note for Editors
About the PDA Union
The PDA Union was formed on 2nd April 2008 and is an independent union as designated by the certification officer within the meaning of section 5 of the 'Trade Union and Labour relations (Consolidation) Act 1992' . The Union is open to pharmacists, pre-registration graduates and pharmacy undergraduates, but excludes directors of pharmacy companies, superintendents of pharmacy chains greater than ten shops and owners/proprietors of pharmacy businesses. It currently has almost 19,000 individual pharmacist members.
Its main objectives are:
Editors requiring further information should contact:
Steve Bremer, PDA press officer, at steve.bremer@the-PDA.org, or 01892 516172 / 07745 008722.