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BMA prepares for crunch vote on pensions industrial action

BMA Council members are preparing to meet for crunch talks to decide how to pursue plans to ballot the profession on possible industrial action on pensions.

Council members voted last month in favour of balloting the BMA’s 130,000 members on industrial action short of a strike – but will reconvene tomorrow to finalise the list of options to be put to doctors in the upcoming ballot.

The meeting marks a crucial juncture in the process, after the BMA was forced to postpone its series of pensions roadshows – designed to give GPs a forum to hear the options for industrial action – due to the ‘legislative mindfield’ surrounding the ballot.

Members are to be presented with fresh legal guidance at tomorrow’s meeting to help inform their decision on how to set the ballot, which could see the profession engage in industrial action for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The BMA said the timescale for the ballot is due to be announced shortly, along with rescheduled dates for the national roadshows, despite the ongoing legal question marks over the process.

Pulse reported earlier this week that the ballot will be counted separately according to craft, leaving the door open for some branches of the profession to opt in favour of taking industrial action while others do not.

In addition to the national roadshows, the BMA is also hosting a series of local workplace events around the UK where GPs can get information about the pensions ballot and pose any questions they have. A BMA spokesman said: ‘The plan is to have events both before and during the ballot period.’

A full list of the local events can be found here.