The Boots Pharmacists Association (BPA) was given until the end Friday 11 August 2017, to respond to an application by a group of Boots pharmacists to have the association derecognised as the representative negotiating body for pharmacy staff at Boots.
Six pharmacists applied to the Central Arbitration Committee (which resolves workplace disputes) asking it to “derecognise” the BPA, which is a non-independent trade union. The application is the culmination of a five-year battle to secure independent representation at work through gaining collective bargaining rights for an independent union.
It is being backed by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU), which represents employed pharmacists in the UK.
The PDAU made an application to be formally given collective bargaining rights by Boots in 2013. However, a Court of Appeal judgment earlier in February this year said that the only way Boots pharmacists could have collective bargaining rights represented by the PDAU was by seeking de-recognition of the BPA.
The CAC has appointed an independent judge and two panel members to consider the application. The panel has 10 working days from receipt of the application in which to accept or reject it, although this period can be extended if necessary.
If the application is accepted, then there are a further 20 working days where there are opportunities for negotiation between all the parties to try to reach an agreement.