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The Recognition Processes



The process is governed by employment law and overseen by the Central Arbitration Committee.

This diagram, shows a straightforward process that could have been followed once the application for recognition was submitted in June 2018.  In fact, in an effort to reach a voluntary agreement with the company discussions with Boots’ senior management were extended and ACAS, the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service were asked to facilitate talks, but eventually management would not agree with the PDA Union either a voluntary agreement nor who would be in the bargaining unit.

Ultimately the decision on which employees would be included in the bargaining unit was made after a hearing in front of the Central Arbitration Committee (read more).  After that judgement, further talks between union and senior management did eventually agree details of the ballot process.  To avoid the ballot being held during the busy Christmas period, it was agreed it would be held for five weeks from 4 February 2019 (read more)

Points to note:

  • The ‘bargaining unit’ means the workers whose interests will be represented i.e. Boots pharmacists and pre-registration graduates.
  • CAC means the Central Arbitration Committee, the government body responsible for overseeing the recognition of workers’ unions.
  • The ‘negotiation period’ is for the PDA Union, Boots and the BPA to try to resolve matters without needing to continue with the formal process.
  • Ballots will be successful if the majority who vote are in favour, which must comprise >40% of the bargaining unit.
  • A secret ballot means that the voting choice of individuals will not be known by either the PDA Union or  Boots. The process is managed by an independent organisation under the direction of the CAC.

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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