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Pharmacy chain Boots and the union PDA have reached a deal on last year’s pay claim, effective from November 1, 2020.

The latest joint statement on the agreement from both parties follows further talks on the 2020 pay review which were facilitated by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Boots, owned by WBA, agreed a discretionary bonus payment for all bonus-eligible pharmacy staff, which included those in the bargaining unit.

“This payment was made as a thank you for the dedication and efforts of pharmacists and all bonus eligible colleagues. It is recognised that the PDAU’s representation of its members, in particular the wish to acknowledge their commitment and professionalism during the pandemic, was a message that was clearly heard,” the Pharmacy Defence Association (PDA) has said.

“All bonus-eligible pharmacists received a non-consolidated one-off gross payment equivalent to 55 per cent of an on-target bonus, subject to the rules of the scheme,” it added.

Both parties have agreed on a number of matters that formed part of the PDA-U claim. Many of these matters support equality, the wellbeing of pharmacists. These include the following…

  • abolishing the Northern Ireland pay rates by moving pharmacists in Northern Ireland onto the rate applicable to the rest of the UK
  • an updated assessment of store levels and an associated market range realignment for store managers
  • a commitment to look at pay differentials subject to an agreed ‘Terms of Reference for the Working Party’ notwithstanding Boots offers a market range for the role, for all pharmacists across the UK
  • the immediate uplift in November 2020 of any salary paid to a substantively appointed and performing pharmacist that is below the market range for their role
  • the introduction of a process for standby payments for pharmacists who volunteer to be available should there be a need for a pharmacist resource at short notice
  • all pharmacists have a clear and understood working pattern in place enabling them to make plans for their time off
  • clarity on the existing pharmacist rest break policy and Responsible Pharmacist SOPs, to help pharmacists make appropriate decisions when taking their breaks
  • further improvements to the scheduling of bank holiday working, through collaborative working at the Joint Consultative Committee.

The latest pay claim is for the pharmacists including pre-registration, provisionally registered, relief, care services pharmacists, advanced practitioners, specialist practitioners, and pharmacist store managers.

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