The PDA Union have successfully argued for an extension to the voting period for Boots pharmacists in order that more can participate in the ballot about who should represent them at work. The PDA Union’s original request had been declined but the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) had agreed to keep the matter under review and the issue of potentially inaccurate information provided by Boots caused the CAC to agree to an extension late on Friday afternoon.
Eligible pharmacists now have until noon on Friday 1 June to get their papers back to Kanto Direct in the pre-paid envelopes provided, although PDA Union are still emphasising the urgency to cast their vote as soon as possible.
Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary of the PDA Union said:
“We had been concerned that some people, including those on 2 weeks holiday, may have missed out entirely and we support the CAC’s decision to change the timetable as it will allow greater participation in this important decision. Although the deadline has been extended, we continue to encourage pharmacists to return their ballot papers without delay”
The new information which persuaded the CAC to extend the deadline was issues with the quality of address data provided by Boots to the CAC. At the time of the CAC’s decision almost 2% of those entitled to vote had contacted the CAC because they had not received ballot papers and this figure is increasing each day. A majority of these cases were allegedly due to the incorrect address being supplied by Boots.
Mr Pitt continued:
“This is the first time that the process has ever been undertaken, the CAC and Kanto Elect are working hard to ensure a fair process is followed, but the company were responsible for providing accurate information and have had months of notice that this was coming, so it is surprising we are in this situation.
“Boots did not appear concerned about the growing level of inaccuracies and twice opposed the application to extend. The BPA unsurprisingly echoed the company’s position. As with everything we do we have argued in the interests of pharmacists and look forward to the rest of the ballot period concluding without further issue.”
Anyone still not in receipt of their ballot papers should urgently e-mail email@example.com in the first instance with their full name, GPHC, PSNI or pre-reg number and full current address and contact telephone number.
For more information about the derecognition ballot, click HERE.