The PDA is in talks with GP federations in Northern Ireland to secure an agreement that allows pharmacists to negotiate their terms and conditions and have a stronger voice at work through the pharmacists’ trade union.
The federations are owned and operated by GP practices in an area, with the support of the NHS Federation Support Unit (FSU) and these federations employ practice-based pharmacists. These employers are governed by boards that have representation from the GP practices in the area.
Having had informal discussions on the subject with the FSU in previous months, the PDA Union submitted a formal application for recognition at the Newry and Mourne Federation in August, with an intention of following that with similar applications at other federations in due course. Once successful this process would secure consultation & negotiation rights for the PDA Union as the representative of the pharmacists, similar to the arrangement PDAU has secured nationally at Boots.
However, the application has not yet been progressed as representatives of federations have instead met with PDA negotiators to discuss a voluntary agreement covering all federations. A voluntary agreement could also deliver a consistent approach to positive working between employer and employees.
A PDA Spokesperson said:
“We would always prefer voluntary agreements and are hopeful we will create a great working relationship with the federations which allows our members to know their voice is being heard and that discussions will be resolved through agreement”