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PDA Union case involving Boots delayed for four weeks, says CAC

The Central Arbitration Committee which is assessing whether the PDA Union should represent Boots’ pharmacists on matters of pay and holidays has confirmed to PJ Online that it has put the case on hold pending the “final outcome” of the judicial review, which made an interim decision last week.

Simon Gouldstone, the chief executive officer of the CAC, said the CAC was awaiting the High Court’s final order. The judge, Mr Justice Keith, had said at the time: “It is not appropriate for me to make any final order on this claim until the PDAU has had a chance to consider whether to apply in this litigation for a declaration of incompatibility.” At stake is whether UK law is compatible with article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals in part with trade unions.

Peter Bainbridge, director of pharmacy at Boots UK,  said: “It continues to be my strong belief that it’s not in the best interest of the future of pharmacy, pharmacy patients or our pharmacists to formally recognise the PDAU for collective bargaining on pay, hours and holidays. While there is much we can agree upon, the PDAU sees the future of pharmacy in a fundamentally different way to us in some key areas.

“We welcome this confirmation from the Central Arbitration Committee as it allows all parties time to consider and understand the implications and effects of the High Court’s decision upon our pharmacists, our business and our relationships with trade unions.”

John Murphy, director of the PDA Union, said: “The PDAU is currently considering its position on applying for a declaration of incompatibility and whether to seek leave to appeal [to the High Court].”

· This article story was amended on 4 February 2014 to include a comment from John Murphy.


Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11133761

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