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Arbitration body ends Boots-BPA deal

Bargaining arrangements between Boots and the Boots Pharmacists’ Association (BPA) have been terminated by the body responsible for resolving collective workplace disputes.

The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled that the agreement between Boots and the BPA should be terminated with “immediate effect” on 11 June 2018.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU) has subsequently submitted a formal request to be recognised as the organisation that negotiates on behalf of Boots pharmacists.

Pharmacists and preregistration pharmacists working for Boots voted to support the end of a recognition agreement between Boots and the BPA by almost seven to one. A total of 2,826 pharmacists voted for derecognition (86.63% of voters), while 436 (13.37% of voters) voted for the agreement with the BPA to continue.

But the legal threshold for derecognition of the BPA was only narrowly achieved, with 41.02% of eligible Boots pharmacists voting to end the agreement, marginally above the threshold of 40%.

It was the first vote of its kind under UK law.

In its latest ruling, the CAC also confirmed that the original legal case brought by six Boots pharmacists to end the arrangement between the company and the BPA had ended.

Richard Bradley, Boots pharmacy director, confirmed that the PDAU had written to Boots asking for formal recognition of all pharmacists at levels 5, 6 and 7.

“We are considering this request and will respond to the PDAU over the next ten working days in line with the legal process,” he said.

Bradley added that until any new collective bargaining arrangement was agreed, the BPA could still represent its members’ individual interests to Boots.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205004

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