WhY JOIN THE PDA union?
The face of pharmacy is constantly changing. Community pharmacy employer organisations are getting larger and are exercising more power and influence on the political and pharmacy practice landscape. The NHS is constantly going through change programmes and as a consequence is leaving staff casualties in its wake. Pharmacists employed in both hospitals and Primary Care Trusts are feeling the pinch of these changes.
In addition to confronting inequalities, popular opinion amongst pharmacists suggests that they want an organisation that is influential and proactive in putting forward the voice and ideas of the silent majority of pharmacists – the employees and locums.
At the PDA, we take our members’ opinions very seriously, and many members were telling us that it was time for us to react to the hostile changes in the pharmacy working environment by becoming a union.
Union status has provided many added benefits and statutory rights under current law to PDA members. Having a union arrangement along side a risk management-orientated organisation such as the PDA has enabled us to make an even more effective and meaningful impact for individual pharmacists where it really matters – with the government the regulator and employers.
What are my union entitlements?
- Individual rights of representation
Being a member gives you as an individual a statutory right to be represented by your union in disputes, consultations and negotiations with your employer.
- Collective bargaining rights
Under certain conditions, union membership gives members statutory collective rights to negotiate with and be consulted by individual employers.
- Access to expert advice fit for purpose
The PDA Union is a focused, properly-resourced pharmacy-driven organisation, employing full-time experienced pharmacists and lawyers whose advice on employment issues is at the disposal of union members.
- PDAU staff are fearless and robust when conducting representations or campaigns
We know that some individuals will not take on their employer for fear of reprisals. Our staff have no such fear should they confront them on behalf of our members; we only have fairness and justice at the heart of what we want to achieve.
- You get to decide
The PDA Union is subdivided regionally, with representatives from different areas of pharmacy practice on each regional committee to ensure that the wide variation of roles within the profession are represented. Each region has representatives of community employees, hospital employees, primary care and locum pharmacists. Pre-registration graduates and pharmacy student undergraduates are represented centrally, with an elected representative attending the national executive. Each regional committee has a place by right on the national executive, so you can be sure that your issues and concerns relevant to your field and location are addressed.
- A credible powerful voice articulating our collective issues.
The PDA Union will carry significant weight as it seeks to influence employers, government and other decision-making bodies through a democratic mandate of a large group of practicing pharmacists.
- Regular communications and updates on key employment matters.
The PDA and the PDA Union will send out regular communications appertaining to members’ employment rights and collective course of action. Members must be aware however that there is strict legislation that governs industrial action and the PDA Union must abide by those laws or be levied with significant fines which could expose the organisation and its members.
SHOULD I CHOOSE TO JOIN THE PDA UNION?
There are two types of Union membership
Full PDA/PDAU Membership
If you join the PDA you have the option to join PDA Union for no extra charge; the underwriters have agreed to via your Union annual fees over to the Union taken from your insurance premiums.
This means that any action, taken on behalf of an individual member which requires legal representation at an Employment Tribunal, will be covered under this membership scheme because of the insurance in place.
This classification of membership does of course provide all the benefits of being in a union as described in the previous section.
There are other benefits which will apply and include full liability against medical negligence claims, legal defence cover, which will pay for any coroner’s court legal representation or regulatory investigations and public liability insurance (see PDA membership benefits link for more details).
Union only membership
This classification will provide you with all the benefits of being in a union as described in the previous section entitled “What are the benefits of being a PDA Union member”.
Members who opt for this classification will have all the democratic and statutory rights associated with membership of the Union but there will be no financial backup to pay for legal expenses should an action escalate as far as an Employment Tribunal and consequently such action will need to be self-funded. The Union legal team will advise you up to the point that you will need to secure the services of legal representation in the court. There is no insurance cover the finance from this point.
So why take the risk when you can have total peace of mind. If you take out full PDA/PDAU membership rather than Union only, you will have professional, criminal and employment protection insurance as well as union status. In addition you will be entitled to all the other benefits that a defence association can give.
To join the PDA Union as a standalone member please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.