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Boots Newsletter – November 2021

Keeping you informed of all the PDA Union activities within Boots.

Fri 19th November 2021 The PDA

In this issue:
  • Boots Reps training day 2021
  • Joint Negotiating Body (JNB) and Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) updates
  • PDA’s Education Hub
  • Reps in-depth
  • Health & Safety update
  • Boots members engagement sessions

We encourage you to share this newsletter with your pharmacy colleagues that are not yet members of the PDA.

Boots Reps training day 2021

Last month, Boots Reps from around the UK met in Birmingham for their annual training day. This opportunity allowed them to develop their skills, learn from each other and share their different experiences.

The day included an update on the pay negotiations on behalf of pharmacists in Boots, health and safety issues, a review of member casework, and guidance and advice. They also stressed the importance of encouraging members to approach reps with problems at work as soon as possible. This is in order for the issues to be resolved promptly and locally.

There were also sessions led by PDA staff on equality and union reps skills, which was to ensure that Boots reps are best placed to represent members like you!



Joint Negotiating Body (JNB) and
Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) updates

By Richard Evans, Regional Rep for Northern Ireland 

The July JCC meeting was another online meeting a little shorter than usual due to some last-minute changes, but it is anticipated our next one will be the usual length.

We discussed how the flu season will look this year – a more streamlined and easy-to-follow process in the learning required, and the navigation of the various platforms. The diary would be better managed with more autonomy given to the RP, engagement would be earlier, and vaccines would be secured. Other topics covered were health and safety and how the online tool myhub was evolving.


The PDA Union continues to query, work with, and offer solutions in our consultation meetings with the relevant departments. The JNB has been negotiating the annual pay claim on behalf of the bargaining unit. It has been a long process and currently, Boots officials have rejected the initial claim and also a revised claim put to the board.

The PDA Union is currently seeking membership advice on the way forward as to whether to accept the offer of 2% and an uplift in starting salaries predominantly benefitting pharmacists who are new to a role, or to reject and refer to arbitration. The PDA Unions’ aim of the pay review, is to benefit all of the pharmacists in the bargaining group for an above-inflation pay reward in a challenging year and this so far has not been the case.

Boots pharmacists pay talks at ACAS begin on 18 November. Click below to learn more.


Related links 

PDA’s Education Hub

By Paul Flynn, Regional Rep for North and West Scotland

The PDA has since inception sought to support new and trainee pharmacists to reach their full potential and find success in their careers. To this end, in August 2020 the PDA launched the Education Hub which is an online platform that provides free training to PDA members.

As well as these education programmes, PDA has supported members who have not been successful in achieving the required mark to pass their registration assessments, by helping them to explore their options and ensure that if they are to appeal their case, that they are best prepared.

The PDA has received a volume of positive feedback on the support the Education Hub has provided to trainee and provisionally registered pharmacists.

The Hub will continue to evolve and further strengthen the PDA’s commitments to nurture and protect those who are the future of our profession.



Related links 

Reps in-depth

By Loannis Klappas, Regional Rep for West of England

I studied pharmacy at the University of Sunderland and after spending a couple of years back in my country, Greece, I came to the UK 5 years ago and have since been working as a community pharmacist. 

I have also recently started working part-time as a sessional CCG pharmacist in order to explore the surgery route.

I am very passionate about the profession and I’m excited about the future of pharmacy. Being involved with the PDA is giving me the opportunity to help fellow pharmacists that require support.

Having someone to listen to you and understand you is very important. I do this in order for everyone to receive the support they need.

The past two years have been very challenging for our profession and I believe that for the next few years community pharmacy will be subject to big changes. Therefore, we should all continue to be proactive and united to tackle the challenges that we will face and continue growing and evolving our profession.


Related links 

 Health & Safety update

By Ian Welford Regional Rep for North of England – Yorkshire and Lancashire 

Each month, the PDA Union Health & Safety Reps meet with senior managers to discuss issues that are affecting members.

We have been focusing on the new myhub system so we can see how this is working for pharmacists. Areas we have been looking at include connectivity, compliance and how manual records can be kept. We have also been encouraging escalation routes on regular checks e.g. crusader shelving system issues and checking requirements.

Recently we issued out a members guide on how to manage the flu diary workload and are consulting for advice on ventilation in consultation rooms, such as keeping doors open (with patient’s permission) to encourage improvement of airflow, as well as completing paperwork elsewhere which is now incorporated in our SOPs.

We continue to investigate any logged Health & Safety issues and raise concerns expressed. If anyone has any issues please raise, them with your representative and the one number reporting system. Please don’t believe everything is just a local issue as often it is not. If you have a concern, please let us know. We believe this is a valuable service to our members to enable us to work in the safest environment possible.

We are entering into a busy season with a large number of new pharmacists joining the vaccination schemes for each of the devolved nations. The PDA Union continues to consult the senior managers on any risks/situations that can be avoided whilst continuing this valuable health undertaking.


Boots member engagement sessions

By Richard Evans, Regional Rep for Northern Ireland 

PDA Union organised four online members’ engagement evenings which took place in June this year.

Members had the opportunity to meet their representatives and receive information on key PDA Union initiatives from divisional reps, such as the recent rest break policy and the details of this year’s pay claim that is currently undergoing discussion. Members were able to verbally ask questions or send their questions in via the chat link. The event was successful with many queries answered and the pressure was on to finish on time, especially during key fixtures of Euro 2020!

We will be hosting future engagement events possibly during the day, evenings, or weekends depending on what suits our membership.

These events will cover current issues along with pre-prepared and on-the-night questions. You will receive an email with more information with a link to register closer to the time.

It is important to remember that we are here to help our members and that we like to hear your views and concerns. The sooner we receive a query, the sooner it can be resolved which causes less distress to the member concerned. The PDA has released an article that illustrates the importance of having your own insurance protection with the added benefit of union membership. Please also remember that you are now able to claim the tax back on any premiums paid less than the £15 union fee.


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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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