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Derecognition of the BPA

An update of the progress of the application to derecognise the BPA.

Wed 2nd August 2017 PDA Union

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The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) has acknowledged receipt and a response to the application has been requested from Boots by 4th August 2017.

The CAC have appointed an independent judge and two panel members to consider the application.  The panel has 10 working days from receipt in which to accept or reject the application, although this period can be extended if necessary.

If the application is accepted, then there are a further 20 working days where there are opportunities for negotiations between all the parties to try and reach an agreement.

As and when there are significant developments, the PDAU will update you on these and we are grateful for your continuing support.

If you have any questions about the derecognition and recognition process please send these to with “Union Recognition” in the title.

So far the Union has been asked the following questions by members:

Q. How many pharmacists have made the application?

The application requires only one pharmacist to start the process.  Six pharmacists signed the application and the success of the project is unrelated to the number of signatories.

Q. Would the PDAU be prepared to work with the BPA?

Yes, the PDAU executive has met with members of the BPA executive on a regular basis over the years to discuss working closer together or even merging; regrettably the BPA has not been receptive to any closer ties.  The PDAU has exhausted all other legal avenues and the derecognition of the BPA is now the only option left open for pharmacists to secure negotiating rights over their pay, hours and other working conditions.

Q. Why did the BPA sign an agreement with Boots that specifically prohibited negotiations over pay/ hours/working conditions and which was designed to block any other union trying to secure those rights for pharmacists?

We can only speculate and it is possible that the employer was the driving force.  The question is more for the BPA to respond to

Q. What happens if I openly express support for the derecognition/recognition process and I am targeted by company managers and disadvantaged?

Boots has publicly stated that it respects the right of pharmacists to belong to a trade union of their choice. It is unlawful to be put at a detriment because of belonging to a trade union or taking part in union activities, and there can be severe penalties for employers who act in this way. A detriment can include negative comments by managers, an adverse pay award or other unfair treatment that is connected to being in a trade union or related union activity.

We do not anticipate that Boots or its managers will behave in this way; however please contact the union immediately if you are concerned and require advice.

The PDAU will never release to Boots the names of pharmacists who have expressed their support and any ballot that takes place will be in secret.  How any individual votes will not be disclosed to Boots, the BPA or the PDAU, just the overall result will be released.

Click here to pledge your support (if you haven’t already)

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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