The Pharmacist Defence Association Union (PDAU) and Boots have jointly announced further pay increases for pharmacists at the company.
The annual salary for Newly Qualified Pharmacists* (NQPs) is to be increased to £36,600** with effect from February 2020 and a further increase is to follow in the Autumn for Boots’ lowest paid pharmacists including those who are currently newly qualified.
In 2019 the PDA union and Boots held a series of talks on pharmacist pay during which the union called upon the company to work together to improve the recruitment and retention of pharmacists at the company. This measure builds on the main pay settlement announced in November and is expected to help start to achieve that objective.
With another cohort of newly qualified pharmacists due in summer 2020, who will also receive the new £36,600 rate, this could have meant no differential between those qualifying in 2019 and those qualifying in 2020. The union and company have therefore agreed that the current NQPs will receive an additional 3.8% increase in August to increase their annual salaries to £38,000. Any other pharmacists at Boots currently earning less than this figure will also have their pay increased in August.
Joint Statement – Boots UK and PDAU Joint Negotiating Body
Further to the agreements made in the 2019 pay settlement and positive ongoing discussions, it has been agreed to award a further increase to Newly Qualified Pharmacists (NQPs)
In 2019 it was negotiated that all colleagues within the bargaining unit who are substantively appointed and performing in the role will be paid at least 80% of the market rate for their role. To complete the implementation of this commitment it has been agreed that from February 2020 the salary for NQPs across Boots UK will be £36,600 pro rata. “Newly Qualified Pharmacists” are those in their first year of practice post qualification This will also be the minimum starting salary for any individual recruited into a pharmacist role.
To maintain differentials between existing colleagues and those who will be appointed as NQPs after qualifying in Summer/Autumn of 2020, the 2019-20 Newly Qualified Pharmacists and any other pharmacist whose pay is less than £38,000 pro-rata will have their pay increased to this amount in August 2020.
Both Boots UK and PDA Union believe these steps will improve the recruitment and retention of newly qualified pharmacists.
Anne Higgins, Director of Stores Scotland and Northern Ireland – Boots UK
Paul Day, PDAU National Officer
The February and August increases mean that for current NQPs the overall increase to their current salary over the next eight months will be 11.8%.
Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary at the PDA Union explained:
“The NQP rate at Boots has remained static for many years and as part of our recognition campaign we pledged to tackle this unfairness. We are delighted to announce that after just seven months of commencing pay negotiations at Boots, we’ve been able to agree with the company a significant pay increase of 7.6% for newly qualified pharmacists. This will be a welcome boost for this group as they start their career journey with Boots.”
Mr Pitt concluded:
“Pharmacists can already see the benefit of PDA Union recognition in what we have achieved since we began representing Boots pharmacists last summer. Our influence increases the more members we have, so I urge any pharmacist at Boots who has not yet joined us, to consider joining us today so we can secure even more for pharmacists”
*Newly Qualified Pharmacists” are those in their first year of practice post-qualification.
** All salaries quoted in this article are full-time equivalents based on a 40 hour week. Part-timers are paid pro-rata salaries.