Messages of support for Boots pharmacists from across Europe and across sectors

Professional colleagues from across Europe have sent messages of support and best wishes for pharmacists voting in the ballot at Boots which is required to finally gain an independent voice at work.

Sun 17th February 2019 PDA Union

After pharmacists secured a historic victory in last year’s ballot at Boots, where they were the first employees in any sector to remove a “sweetheart union” arrangement, their campaign to secure recognition for the PDA Union is being closely watched by professional colleagues across the UK and beyond.

Voting papers are being sent to the home addresses of eligible pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists on Monday 18 February.  Pharmacist and other professional colleagues from across Europe have sent messages of support and best wishes for the next success  required to finally gain an independent voice at work via the PDA Union.

Katarina Fehir Šola, from the Croatian Pharmaceutical Society and President of the Employed Community Pharmacists in Europe organisation (EPhEU) said “ Mi ljekarnici zaposlenici trebamo svaku pomoć i podršku; želimo Vam sreću !”  – which translates from the Croatian as: “We employee pharmacists need all the help and support we can get; we wish you luck in the recognition ballot!


Dr Piotr Merks, President of the Polish Union of Pharmaceutical Employees, who worked at Boots UK earlier in his own career and has personal experience of how pharmacists are managed there, said “We hope that Boots pharmacists use this opportunity to get the independent recognition that they deserve; Good luck!”   


Greta Torbergsen of the The Norwegian Association of Pharmacists said; “I Norge har vi en velfungerende tariffavtale for farmasøyter som jobber i Boots. Denne avtalen ivaretar både de ansatte og Boots interesser. Vi håper at farmasøyter som jobber i Boots UK også kan sikre seg en slik tariffavtale.”   This translates as “We have a successful collective bargaining agreement for Boots pharmacists in Norway, it works for the pharmacists and Boots; we hope that Boots pharmacists in the UK can secure this for themselves.

Usdaw, the union who are recognised to represent logistics employees at Boots said: “Usdaw firmly believes that all workers should have access to independent trade union representation and recognises the ongoing recognition campaign by the PDAU for Pharmacists within Boots.  Usdaw would hope that the Company engages constructively with the PDAU and a positive agreement is reached soon for the mutual benefit of all parties involved”.

And messages of support are also coming in from professional colleagues in other sectors too, for example:

 Jon Skewes, Executive Director for External Relations at the Royal College of Midwives said: “As health professionals, midwives know that having a trade union representing them at work improves their working conditions and allows them to focus on caring for patients. We wish the PDAU all the best in securing the same for pharmacists at Boots and across community pharmacy.

Linda Rolph, General Secretary of Advance the Union sent this message; “For decades the senior management at Santander (formerly Abbey National) have worked constructively with us as a certified independent union representing their employees.

We don’t always with the employer at first and respectfully work through moments of dispute through our shared belief that the company achieves more with happy staff who feel valued and are treated properly; that’s a win-win outcome. Boots pharmacists deserve the same and the members of Advance wish them all success in their ballot

Other trade unions also want to see Boots pharmacists secure the benefits of trade union recognition that so many other employees in the UK already enjoy.  Pictured below are Ronnie Draper, General Secretary of the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union; John Smith, President of the General Federation of Trade Unions and John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union – each holding our campaign literature and sending their support to pharmacists.


Important: If you consider that you are eligible to vote and have not received a ballot paper by 22 February 2019, or if you do not think that you are eligible to vote but receive a ballot paper, please contact the CAC Case Manager, Linda Lehan, by email at giving your full name and address. If you have recently changed your address and you have not informed your employer you should do so as soon as possible to ensure you receive your ballot paper on time.


The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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