Boots – Why It Matters To You (a message to PDAU members)

Firstly, I hope you have been able to have a restful break over the busy festive period and spend time with your loved ones. I also want to wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year. 

Wed 2nd January 2019 PDA Union

The PDA Union is always working on a range of campaigns to improve the working lives of pharmacists and in December you should have received a printed copy of INSIGHT magazine to your home address, which will have told you about some of that activity.

There is a particular campaign which I want to tell you more about that could bring with it a significant step forward in the role that the PDA Union plays in improving employment terms for pharmacists across the community pharmacy sector.

The success of this campaign depends on whether your colleagues at Boots succeed in their ballot for PDA Union recognition, which is due to commence on 4th February 2019. You can help our profession by encouraging Boots pharmacist to vote in this important ballot. Although our community pharmacy recognition efforts are currently focused on Boots, recognition here is just the first step on our journey to become recognised across many other pharmacy employers.

This ballot matters to ALL pharmacists across community pharmacy and beyond.

One of the reasons we approached Boots first is because it is the largest pharmacist employer in the UK, after the NHS.  By negotiating improved terms and conditions here, this not only directly helps 7000 employed Boots pharmacists but also helps to shape conditions in the wider market due to the company’s dominance in pharmacy.

Regrettably, Boots’ senior management have demonstrated they are opposed to 7000 pharmacists having an independent voice at work. Once Boots pharmacists can secure PDA Union recognition in the face of fierce resistance from a global pharmacy multiple, we know we can also secure recognition for thousands of other pharmacists employed by other pharmacy multiples and we are already in positive talks with other employers.
For those reasons, I hope you’ll understand why our website and social media will temporarily focus more heavily on Boots  over the next couple of months and be encouraging voter participation.

If less than 40% vote “YES” to recognition then Boots pharmacists will have lost a hard-fought opportunity for improved working conditions and they will be blocked from trying again for three years, so everyone’s participation is essential, and we need to do all we can to get people to vote.

I am looking for your support in raising awareness amongst any Boots colleagues you may know. Every vote counts and low voter turnout is a real risk because of the high threshold need to secure recognition.  We know it can be done, but we have this one final obstacle to overcome.

By comparison in the highly publicised 2016 Brexit referendum, out of those eligible to participate 37% voted to “Leave” and 35% to Remain in the EU.  The most supported candidate in this year’s RPS elections secured only 4% of the votes from those eligible to participate. So, you can see it is a real challenge to get at least 40% of all Boots pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists to vote “YES”.

You can make a difference by talking to friends and family who are Boots pharmacists or pre-registration pharmacists and by sharing our social media and website posts where they may see them.

I hope you can do that for your fellow pharmacists because only by standing together can we as individual pharmacists secure change in the large commercial organisations who have such influence over our careers, working conditions and the future of our profession.

Download the latest Boots update here

thumbnail of New year A4 insert FINAL web version

You can also read the latest about Boots recognition and all our other activity here and by following us on your choice of social media platform.

Thank you

Mark Pitt
Assistant General Secretary

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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