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Senior hospital doctors ‘ready to strike’ in England

Senior hospital doctors ‘ready to strike’ in England

More than 17,000 NHS consultants in England have voted for strike action in a consultative ballot, 86% of the vote, the BMA has announced.

The ballot asked senior hospital doctors if they would be prepared to strike over the failure to address the ongoing pensions crisis and cuts to their pay.

Whilst a consultative ballot does not provide a legal mandate for strike action, the BMA has said that unless the Government outlines ‘serious proposals’ before 3 April about pay, pensions and the pay review process, the organisation will proceed to a statutory ballot of consultants in England, expected around the 17 April.

If the ballot is successful, it will provide the Association with a legal mandate for industrial action and allow consultants to take strike action this spring.

This follows the announcement of strike action for junior doctors later this month.

Dr Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA consultants committee, said consultants were ‘demoralised, frustrated and in despair’ and that the Government was ‘refusing to listen to consultants’ concerns, driving many out of the NHS entirely’.

He added: ‘Our position is clear. We will not allow the Government to continue to degrade consultants’ pay and pensions. This is having a hugely detrimental impact on patient care as staffing numbers plummet and things will only worsen unless we take a stand. Strike action is always a last resort and we have set out a clear timeline for the Government to put a serious proposal on the table. It is within the Government’s gift to pay doctors fairly for the crucial, lifesaving work they do and there are clear, straightforward solutions to fix the punitive pensions tax rules.

‘For example, the government can implement a tax unregistered scheme, similar to the one it has already done for judges in order to enable doctors to remain working in the NHS. Our door remains open; it is not too late to prevent consultants from acting. But if the Government refuses to propose a workable solution, our members have made it clear that they are prepared to strike.’

The BMA said hospital consultants have faced some of the steepest cuts to their pay of any group of workers over the last 15 years and since 2008/09, with the average consultant in England has seen their take-home pay cut by nearly 35% in real terms.

Strike action by consultants will mean consultants running a ‘bank holiday’ service on weekdays ensuring that emergency or urgent care remains in place.

The consultative ballot was launched on Friday 10 February and closed on Monday 27 February. The ballot was open to all consultants working for the NHS in England who are BMA members.

The BMA said 34,618 NHS consultants were entitled to vote in the ballot and there was a nearly 61% turnout of 21,031 votes.



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Some" Bloke 6 March, 2023 2:15 pm

can’t wait for us to go all salaried- will be striking all year round then
idiots in gov won’t know what they are loosing (GP Partnerships) untill after it’s gone