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PDA reaches agreement on pay of LloydsPharmacy members


PDA reaches agreement on pay of LloydsPharmacy members

By Neil Trainis

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has said it has reached an agreement with the holding company of LloydsPharmacy over the pay of employees who are represented by the union and work at the pharmacy chain.

In announcing that a deal has been struck with Hallo Healthcare, the PDA today published a letter that was sent on March 28 by PDA Union national officer and lead negotiator Paul Moloney to affected members confirming the details of the agreement.

It includes:     

  • A non-consolidated lump sum of 3.5 per cent payable this month to everyone in the bargaining unit, including employees threatened with redundancy or transfer.
  • A second non-consolidated lump sum of 2.25 per cent payable in October for everyone in the bargaining unit, including those threatened with redundancy or transfer, employed on October 1.
  • A continuation of the 1.5 times basic pay, overtime rate.

When Independent Community Pharmacist asked the PDA why it waited 22 days to go public with Moloney’s letter, its director Paul Day said: "The key audience for the information in the letter is the PDA members at Lloyds, and they were sent it as soon as the agreement was reached. And they are the people who needed to be advised of the agreement. That population is c.1,000, so that made it fairly 'public' at that time, certainly within the Lloyds estate who are the pharmacists to whom it relates."

Day also suggested "not all unions would make such agreements more widely known beyond the group for whom they have negotiated but we often do so, particularly for larger groups of members."

In his letter, Moloney said only individuals who voluntarily resigned and worked their notice on April 1 will not qualify for the 3.5 per cent lump sum payment while anyone who voluntarily resigned from April 2 will receive the payment in full.

He also said individuals who voluntarily resigned and are working their notice on October 1 will not qualify for the 2.25 per cent payment and anyone voluntarily resigning from October 2 onwards will receive the payment in full.

Moloney told members the PDA agreed to non-consolidated lump sum payments instead of payments added to their salaries because it would ensure anyone facing uncertainty about their long-term future, such as redundancy or a transfer to new owners, “will receive the same benefit from this agreement as those members who will still be with the company this time next year.”

“Normally the full value of any increase takes 12 months to accrue, essentially in monthly instalments,” he said. “With this agreement, we have ensured members will only need to be employed on 1 April to receive 65 per cent of the value of the deal, in one lump sum.

“Those who are still employed on 1 October will receive the remainder in October, rather than waiting until March 2024 to accrue the full value of the deal, as would be the case under a traditional percentage pay increase.”

Moloney also assured members that before accepting the offer, the PDA "benchmarked" it against other increases and its initial claim of seven per cent. He insisted the total value of the deal to his members is 5.75 per cent compared with five per cent recommended this year by NHS trade unions following "prolonged" strike action.

Insisting the terms are a significant improvement on LloydsPharmacy's offer of a three per cent pay increase last year and other offers on the table during talks, Moloney said: "We believe the acceptance of the offer is firmly in the interests of members in view of the particular circumstances of uncertainty that exist at the moment and the need to ensure payment is made as quickly as possible."

LloydsPharmacy: We have reached a good outcome

LloydsPharmacy told ICP it was “pleased with how the process has worked and that we have reached a good outcome.”

A spokesperson for the pharmacy chain said: “The last year has been another challenging period for us and the wider pharmacy industry. We continue to support our patients and customers across the UK and, as always, we are ever grateful to our pharmacists for their much valued contribution.

"This year we have taken a different approach to our annual pay review process and have taken account of the cost-of-living challenges. This innovative approach has been well received by our pharmacists and the PDAU. We would like to thank all of our pharmacists for their patience and continued focus during these discussions.”

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