Boots Pharmacists: Be part of your union

Pharmacists employed at Boots are being encouraged to join thousands of their colleagues and be part of the PDA Union; the only independent UK trade union that is exclusively for individual pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists and pharmacy undergraduates.

Mon 19th November 2018 PDA Union

Pharmacists employed at Boots are being encouraged to join thousands of their colleagues and be part of the PDA Union; the only independent UK trade union that is exclusively for individual pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists and pharmacy undergraduates. They can sign up here https://www.the-pda.org/join/

Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary of PDA Union explains: “We’re proud of being a certified independent trade union, which confirms we are free of control from any employer.  To maintain our independence, we exclude from membership the most senior pharmacists and/or business owners so that we can focus on the interests of the individual, without having a conflict of interest”

Membership benefits include access to training, events and communications, a helpline manned by experienced pharmacists and lawyers, professional indemnity and legal defence insurance, the PDA Plus range of additional benefits and being part of a not-for profit organisation run by pharmacists, exclusively for pharmacists.  The PDA Union is now the largest individual membership organisation in the sector with over 28,000 pharmacists, pre-registration trainees and pharmacy students

As a democratic, member-led, organisation joining means individuals get a say within the union and can volunteer and vote for trade union roles.  The PDA charity partnership also means that every member generates a £1 per year donation to Pharmacist Support who help pharmacists and students with other issues that they may face.

Currently Boots employed members of the union are in the process of preparing for a postal ballot, in which pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists at grade 5, 6 & 7 in stores will be entitled to vote.  If the vote is successful, then pharmacists will be negotiating for improved employment terms and conditions at the company supported by the PDA Union.  There will then be opportunity for more members to train as union representatives and other roles such as safety representatives.

In a connected ballot last year 87% of those who voted supported removing the barrier to the PDA Union being recognised, but because the company have not reached a voluntary agreement with PDA Union, another ballot is now necessary.  Unless this next ballot also votes in the union’s favour it will not be able to negotiate for those improvements and the management will continue to deny pharmacists an independent voice at work.

Mark Pitt concludes: “Boots employ a large proportion of the UK’s community pharmacists and every day, somewhere in the country, we are helping pharmacists employed at Boots with their workplace issues and concerns. 

Though we speak for all pharmacists and any improved conditions that we negotiate with employers will benefit people whether or not they are trade union members, individual casework support and other valuable benefits are only available to those individuals who are our members and so we encourage everyone to join at https://www.the-pda.org/join/ and make your voice even stronger

More than 2,500 pharmacists that work at Boots are already members of the PDA Union and they would like the others to join them. Existing members are therefore asked to encourage their colleagues to join by sharing this message.

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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