Anne Higgins, director of stores at Boots UK and Mark Pitt, PDA Union assistant general secretary.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU) can now negotiate the annual pay for store-based Boots pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists, following the signing of its first voluntary recognition agreement with Boots UK.

The negotiations are set to begin with the forthcoming annual pay review for the financial year 2019-20.

The PDAU also have the rights for collective bargaining on working hours, holiday, as well as consultative meetings on a range of topics representing the union members.

The signing took place at the Boots Store in Victoria Centre, Nottingham. Assistant General Secretary Mark Pitt represented PDA while Director of Stores, Anne Higgins, signed on behalf of Boots UK. PDA National Officer Paul Day and Regional Officer Helen Lewis were also present at the venue.

“Our objective is to work with Boots UK to create a positive employee relations environment, where the voice of pharmacists is heard, and our members are able to contribute to the business as respected health professionals,” Mark Pitt said.

According to a joint statement, PDA Union will have one representative per region to attend consultative meetings and other negotiations.

For the proposed negotiations, there would be a joint negotiating board made up of a smaller subset of representatives.

The multiple and the union also agreed on a list of policy items such as bonus payments and changes to some HR policies. Boots would inform PDAU if there are any changes regarding these policy items.

“This is the start of a new, more positive relationship between Boots UK and the PDAU.  We look forward to working with them with a new spirit of partnership in the years ahead, working together for the long term sustainable success of our pharmacists and Boots UK,” Anne Higgins said.