The result of the historic ballot was 3,229 votes (92.4%) in favour of the trade union, with only 266 votes (7.6%) supporting the senior management proposal. This also meant that 47.5% of those eligible to vote supported the union, which surpassed the 40% threshold required for the union to succeed.
On the question of the ballot and what happens next at Boots, the union will now reach a recognition agreement with the company under the guidance of the Central Arbitration Committee.
The PDA Union believe that the strength of feeling from pharmacists about the need to improve their employment is so strong at Boots that it was always inevitable that the union would win this ballot. This overwhelming result simply demonstrates just how detached senior management have become from the views of Boots pharmacists, over the last 8 years.
Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary said: “We mustn’t forget that every single day over the last 8 years the company have had the ability to voluntarily recognise the PDAU, but every single day they decided to keep fighting their own employees. As a result of this behaviour Boots will now be forced to recognise their employees’ choice of union.
Despite the clear message from pharmacists in the 2018 ballot, where 87% voted in favour of removing the BPA to allow PDAU recognition, the company continued to use everything it could to stop pharmacists securing an independent voice at work until now.
Three senior managers became the faces of the 2019 management anti-union strategy; they risked their personal and professional credibility by running a negative campaign. They not only lost, but this result shows support for the PDA Union has grown as this process has continued.”
The PDAU hope that the company will now finally agree to put the past behind them and work positively together with the Union so that we can improve things at Boots for pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, patients and the company. John Murphy, General Secretary of the PDA Union has written to Boots head Seb James, inviting him to create a new, positive chapter in employee relations at the company. Read more here,