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PDA: LloydsPharmacy rejects 7pc pay increase without making counteroffer

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PDA: LloydsPharmacy rejects 7pc pay increase without making counteroffer

LloydsPharmacy has rejected the PDA Union’s proposal of a seven per cent pay increase for pharmacists and asked for a fresh proposal 28 days before the outcome of an annual pay review is scheduled to kick in.

The PDAU wrote to members employed at LloydsPharmacy this afternoon revealing that the company had turned down the proposal – which the PDAU claims is “consistent with typical current pay settlements in the private sector, albeit below inflation,” and asked it to “submit a lower claim on your behalf instead”.

“This is something we are simply not prepared to do,” said the PDAU, describing the company’s response as “disrespectful” to the workforce. The union recognition agreement between the two parties, which involves an annual pay review, requires the company to provide a written response to the pay claim either accepting it or producing a counteroffer.

The PDAU has launched a survey of the bargaining unit asking whether it should continue with talks or declare an unresolved dispute with the Government’s arbitration service (ACAS).

PDAU national officer Paul Moloney wrote to LloydsPharmacy superintendent Victoria Steele today saying the company had repeatedly cancelled negotiation meetings around the offer, which was submitted three months ago, and then rejected the proposal three days before the next scheduled meeting.

Mr Moloney said: “This is frankly an insult to the hardworking pharmacists that keep your business operating despite the many challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.

“Our agreement requires you to provide a written response to the pay claim. We do not understand why you would be unprepared to explain what counter offer you are prepared to make, when we are less than a month from the review date [April 1].

“Your actions on behalf of LloydsPharmacy in constantly cancelling meetings, failing to provide a response to our claim, suggesting that we send a revised claim and doing so without any acknowledgement that these all breach our agreement evidence that you have not yet been prepared to make any offer of a pay increase.

"We have talked continuously about the recruitment and retention challenges face by the company. In our opinion your actions in this pay negotiation process are not ones that will help you with either of those issues."

The news comes amid intensifying rumours that large portions of the LloydsPharmacy estate may be sold this year. Pharmacy Network News reported in February that a “significant number” of branches are being sold in Great Britain, while The Sun reported today that the entire business may be “under review” by parent company Aurelius.

LloydsPharmacy has been approached for comment.

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