Boots pharmacists will have a fortnight to cast their votes in the ballot to derecognise the Boots Pharmacists’ Association (BPA) it has been announced.
Ballot papers will sent out to eligible voters on 10 May 2018, and must be returned to the offices of Kanto Elect, the firm operating the voting process, by midday on 23 May 2018.
The official notice from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which resolves workplace disputes, outlines who will be eligible to vote:
“All pharmacists registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (excluding those of area management status or equivalent, and more senior to them) and pre-registration graduates who work for Alliance Boots in the UK and are employed by Boots Management Services Ltd,” it says.
The notice also contains details of what pharmacists should do if they think they should have received a ballot paper but do not get one, or if they are sent a voting paper but believe they are ineligible to vote.
The ballot will be the culmination of a seven-year battle by six Boots pharmacists to derecognise the BPA and secure independent representation at work through gaining collective bargaining rights for the Pharmacists’ Defence Association.
In November 2017, the CAC accepted a legal application by the six Boots pharmacists to dissolve the BPA. The case is the first to use current laws to try to derecognise a union.
The ballot papers will be numbered, but the CAC has reassured voters that the ballot is entirely secret and neither the CAC, Boots, or the unions involved will know who has voted.