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Boots UK and PDAU sign voluntary recognition agreement

12 July 2019
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Boots UK and thePharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU) today signed their first voluntary recognition agreement.  This means the PDAU will now have collective bargaining rights for negotiation on pay, hours and holiday, as well as consultative meetings on a range of topics, representing PDAU members who are store based Boots pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists.

The formal agreement means that the PDAU will negotiate the annual pay for these roles with Boots, starting with the forthcoming annual pay review for the financial year 19/20.

The agreement means

  • The PDAU will have one regional representative per region, with one per division stepping up to fulfil a broader role and also participate in annual pay negotiations
  • A Joint Consultative Committee will be set up, which all reps will attend.  It will meet four times per year to discuss proposals for any material changes to people policies against an agreed list, and to discuss health and safety matters relating to the Bargaining Unit
  • There will be a Joint Negotiating Board made up of a smaller subset of reps for the purpose of negotiations relating to pay, hours and holidays
  • We have also agreed a list of policy items which Boots will inform the PDAU about if there are any changes.  This includes items such as bonus payment, and changes to some HR policies.

Commenting on the announcement, Anne Higgins, Director of Stores Scotland and Northern Ireland, who co-chaired the meetings on the agreement said, “This is the start of 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.”

The signing took place at the Boots Store, Victoria Centre Nottingham. Present for Boots UK were Kirsty Pitcher, Director of HR Retail & Opticians and Anne Higgins, Director of Stores Scotland and Northern Ireland – Boots UK. 

Representatives of the PDA Union were Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary, Paul Day, National Officer and Helen Lewis, Regional Officer.


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Boots UK is the largest pharmacy-led health and beauty chain in the UK and its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to feel good. With 2,336* stores and a team of around 52,000* colleagues, of which approximately 6,600* are registered pharmacists, the Boots brand has been at the heart of local communities across the UK since 1849. Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care and being the first choice for pharmacy, beauty, healthcare and wellness, alongside offering its innovative portfolio of product brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and YourGoodSkin.

Boots UK is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) – a global leader in retail pharmacy, impacting millions of lives every day through dispensing medicines, and providing accessible, high-quality care. More company information is available at

*As of Aug. 31, 2020