Boots Pharmacists Pay Claim 2020

The PDA Union has submitted the 2020 pay claim to Boots on behalf of pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists.

Fri 17th July 2020 The PDA

It is now one year since the PDA Union and Boots entered into the recognition agreement that gives the PDA Union the right to negotiate on behalf of members working with Boots on issues such as pay.

In line with the agreement, the PDA Union has submitted a claim for improvements in pay and other associated items. Although the pay increase is due on 1 November, the agreement requires that the pay claim is submitted by 1 July to ensure sufficient time for negotiations to be completed. We have largely followed the process used last year for this second claim, a process that resulted in an acceptable outcome for members.

As with last year, the claim was put together in consultation with the PDA Union regional and divisional reps who consulted as many members as possible. In addition, all members were invited to complete a survey on issues they wished to see in the claim. This is a high level of consultation but the PDA Union has always recognised that our job is to reflect the views of members. The consultation has therefore been essential in ensuring the claim is fully representative of members’ views and sets out in full the issues members have asked us to raise.

In common with the claim submitted last year, we believe this claim not only reflects members concerns but also takes note of developments in pay in other big employers of PDA Union members (including in the NHS). We believe this claim reflects the need to reward members for their commitment during the COVID-19 crisis and is both fair and affordable.

It is of course recognised by the PDA Union that the backdrop for these discussions are unique and could not have been anticipated this time last year. There is no doubt that uncertainty exists both in regard to the pandemic itself and the impact on the economy, with the added uncertainty Brexit brings. Taking all of these factors into account we have set out a number of objectives that we believe the pay claim is designed to achieve.

Most importantly, we believe the claim should address three important issues which we expect the company will also wish to address:

  • Reducing the turnover rate among Boots pharmacists.
  • An assessment of the impact on differentials of recent pay increases.
  • The adoption of UK wide pay rates by bringing pay rates in Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK.

A summary of the main points in the claim follows:

That from 1 November 2020 the following be implemented:

Pay:

  • Cost of Living Increase: An increase in line with increases across the UK economy of 3% (non-consolidated for those over salary maximum).
  • An additional 1.5% to recognise the commitment, flexibility and hard work of our members during the COVID-19 crisis (non-consolidated for those over salary maximum).
  • Agreement that from 1 November the company will abolish the Northern Ireland pay rates and pay all covered by the bargaining unit the rate applicable to the rest of the United Kingdom.
  • A review of differentials following the increase given to newly qualified pharmacists in 2019.
  • The immediate uplift of any salary that is below the minimum market range level as set out in the company’s documentation and as agreed at the last pay negotiations.

A Fairer System:

  • The introduction of a payment equivalent to 2 hours pay when the pharmacist voluntarily agrees to use the Advanced Declaration template, thus allowing the pharmacy function to continue in the temporary absence of the pharmacist.
  • Lunchtime working should be paid at the full hourly rate whenever the pharmacist is signed on or using the absence provisions in addition to ensuring every pharmacist is able to take the minimum break set out in the Boots Working Time Policy (including break).
  • A reduction in the number of weekends and bank holidays pharmacists are required to work.
  • The introduction of a compensation payment of £50 if a pharmacist is given less than 48 hours notice that they are required to work on a day they were not already expecting to work.
  • The introduction of an on-call standby payment of £50 for those who volunteer to act in this capacity on Saturdays and £100 per day for Sundays and Bank Holidays at short notice to avoid the need for locums. Any work carried out during an on-call period to be paid at the rate of a full day.

Training:

  • We therefore repeat what was included in the 2019 claim and seek confirmation that all hours spent participating in company assigned training will be deemed working hours for which employees will receive pay or TOIL, if the training is undertaken outside normal contracted hours.

The Next Steps

Arrangements are already in hand for meetings to take place to discuss the claim with company representatives. The PDA Union team at the meetings will be a mix of senior officers of the union and our Divisional reps in Boots.

PDA Union members will be updated as and when there is progress.

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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