PDA Union celebrate 10-year anniversary

The PDA Union celebrated its 10th anniversary last week at their Annual General Meeting, which was used to highlight the years' key successes.

Tue 3rd July 2018 PDA Union

The PDA Union is a trade union, which was established in 2008 and exists to represent, defend and support the interests of individual pharmacists. It is the only independent trade union in the UK which is exclusively for pharmacists.

How the PDA Union operates

Pharmacists elect representatives to their regional committee and feed through these groups their thoughts on matters concerning them. The regional committees then feed into the National Executive Committee who can take an overview of all the issues to formulate union policy.

This policy may then be used to make representations at local or national level to influence decision-makers for the benefit of members and to the benefit of the wider pharmacy profession and ultimately, to the benefit of users of pharmacy services

The union runs parallel to the PDA and has its own democratic structure and rules. Union membership is extended to employees, locums pharmacists, pre-registration graduates and pharmacy undergraduates.

In 2011, the PDA Union was granted Independent Union status by the Certification Officer. An Independent Trades Union is one that can prove it is financially independent and free of control or unhealthy influence by employers.

Representing Pharmacists

Union representatives across the UK work for a number of different employers including major multiples, supermarkets, independents, the NHS and GP practices. Union representatives tackle the issues experienced by pharmacists and refer proposals to the union executive. The regional committees have members with considerable experience in pharmacy.

The PDA Union work on over 3,200 legal cases each year to defend the rights of individual pharmacists, ensuring they are treated fairly at work. The Northern regional committee instigated what eventually became the Safer Pharmacies Charter, a collaboration with the PDA. The charter highlights seven commitments to improve safety and care for patients, through better working conditions in UK pharmacy practice.

The PDA Union has also led a 7-year campaign to secure an independent voice at work for Boots pharmacists and have gone further than any other trade union has ever done before with this process. The union has won the ballot to remove an agreement with a non-independent union, which blocks the PDA Union from being formally recognised. The next stage is to become recognised by Boots as the independent trade union for pharmacists at the company.

If the PDA Union are successful in this, they will then work to replicate this success in other pharmacies across the UK, which will give more pharmacists an independent voice at work and a greater say over their working lives.

Congratulations on turning 10, PDA Union. There is still a lot of work to do in improving the pharmacy sector, but we look forward to many more triumphs for the PDA Union team!


John Murphy, PDA Union General Secretary, is pictured cutting the 10-year anniversary cake.


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.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.