Boots store
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As the ballot papers are posted to the home addresses of eligible voters, Boots pharmacists can now vote on PDA Union’s official recognition.

The pharmacists have time until March 8 to cast their votes and its result will end a long-running dispute, which dates back to 2012. The votes will decide on the Pharmacists Defence Association Union’s (PDAU) official recognition from Boots.

At least 40 percent of eligible pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists will need to vote ‘YES’ in order for the PDA Union to be granted the role. Otherwise, pharmacists will be blocked from trying again for the next three years.

Last week, on the last working day before the recognition ballot commenced, the company promised another alternative in-house representation named ‘joint negotiation committee’ (JNC) if the pharmacists reject PDA Union.

Boots said the formation of JNC with a ‘NO’ vote will give all pharmacists a bigger voice in shaping and driving the future, not just those who are members of a union.

“Following the company’s statement we immediately heard from pharmacists who felt insulted at the company’s total disregard for their previous vote and pointing out serious flaws in the management’s proposals,” Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary of the PDA Union, said.

The PDA Union is the largest membership organisation of individual pharmacists in the UK, including 2,500 Boots pharmacists. The union first sought recognition at Boots in 2011, and in June 2018, more than 2,800 registered and pre-registered pharmacists have voted to ‘derecognise’ Boot’s own union – Boots Pharmacists’ Association (BPA), so that the pay, hours of work and working conditions of the employees could be negotiated by a union of their choice

Those who consider themselves eligible to vote and have not received a ballot paper by 22 February can contact the Central Arbitration Committee.

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