Around 100,000 doctors – members of the British Medical Association – could in theory take the action for 24 hours.
Those taking part will be in their surgeries and hospitals, but they will only see patients with urgent medical problems. A&E and maternity units will be operating normally.
What is it all about?
The Department of Health calculates that doctors will retire on a pension of £68,000 a year – twice the national average salary. It says the pension is fair and not up for negotiation.
Will the industrial action be solid?
What about my appointment?
Doctors like any public sector workers has a legal right to strike or any workers who believes that their term and conditions of employment has been breached which includes the private sector workers. It does not matter wether if you are working class or middle class.
You may think that doctors should not go on strike. I say that all if us has the right to differ. Doctors, Nurses, Local and Central Government staff are no different.
I have to admit that I work in the private sector after I was forced out of a job that I loved to do working in Local Government. But that’s life. I’m a manager who works for a recruitment company who for my sins recruiting doctors, nurses, and careworkers. Although the company is a one the term and conditions are the worse I have come across.
I’m not concern if someone is earning more money than I am as long as I can get a bus pass to travel to work, have food on the table and most importantly to pay my bills.
However I am very disappointed that the coalition continue to attack our national health services(NHS) and it’s staff national term and conditions. All public service workers deserve better. Instead this coalition decided to pick a fight with our doctors.
It does not help when the media attack with the help of ministers to lead the charge on our NHS staff, police, and arm forces by cutting back on staff, closing down hospitals, day centres and residential care homes.
The private sectors are no different they have a vested interest of wanting a slice of the cake to bid for services in NHS, Local, and Central Government contracts. Granted we all have different task to perform and sometimes some difficult decisions to ask ourselves is it Private vs Public Sectors who knows.
Unions urged high-handed government negotiators on Wednesday to get back round the table for talks over pensions after doctors voted overwhelmingly to take their first industrial action for nearly 40 years.
Their 24-hour protest will start on June 21 and will mean non-urgent care will not be provided and they’ll refuse to do paperwork. They will still carry out emergency care.
Doctors’ union the British Medical Association said it was taking action “very reluctantly” but attacked the government for going back on a deal on pensions agreed four years ago.
The BMA, other health unions and the then government negotiated a major reform of the NHS scheme in 2008, which all agreed made it fair and sustainable well into the future.
Doctors have been hit by a triple whammy of a pay freeze, increased workloads and the prospect of increased pension contributions.
Health-care union Unite said the BMA vote reinforces its repeated call for the government to get around the table for “genuine and meaningful talks.”
Head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The idea that the government can plough ahead with their arbitrarily imposed pension changes when such a large part of the NHS workforce is against them is unthinkable.
“It has alienated its hard-working and dedicated workforce by its high-handed actions. It needs to negotiate in good faith and not by diktat.”
Half the eligible BMA members voted – with 79 per cent of GPs, 84 per cent of hospital consultants and 92 per cent of junior doctors voting in favour of industrial action.
Further action has not been ruled out.
BMA council chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: “We are taking this step very reluctantly and would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution.”
The latest changes will see doctors paying up to 14.5 per cent of their salaries in pension contributions – twice as much as some other public-sector staff on a similar salary in order to receive a similar pension.
They will also have to work longer to receive their pension – up to 68 for younger doctors.
The BMA said doctors will see anyone who is ill, or believes they are ill, on the day of action, but will not do paperwork.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley claimed: “The public will not understand or sympathise with the BMA if it calls for industrial action over pensions.
“People know that pension reform is needed as people live longer and to be fair in future for everyone.”
The last time doctors took industrial action was in 1975, when consultants suspended goodwill activities and worked to contract over a contractual dispute and junior doctors worked to a 40-hour week.