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GPs take to the streets to support public sector pension strikes

Dozens of GPs and practice staff in east London are to publicly protest in support of teachers, civil servants and other public sector colleagues striking over pension cuts.


Around 600,000 public sector workers are expected to walk out tomorrow over the Government's proposed changes to pensions. It comes as the BMA's annual representative meeting in Cardiff prepares to debate a motion calling for a ballot on 'all forms of industrial action' if consultants' final-salary pensions are replaced by a career average scheme.

GPs and staff from practices across Tower Hamlets are planning two protests in high-visibility spots in the borough: one outside the council offices on Roman Road, the other on a traffic island in the middle of the A13.

Dr Anna Livingstone, a GP in Tower Hamlets and member of City and East London LMC, told Pulse: 'We in Tower Hamlets feel very strongly against the [health] bill and in support of public service workers.'

'GPs normally work through their lunch break, but tomorrow we won't be doing so. Tomorrow we'll use the time to make a statement in solidarity with those on strike.'

She added that the stark inequalities between rich and poor communities in the borough, which ranked in the top ten areas listed in the 2010 Indices of Deprivation, compelled herself and her colleagues to act.

Another local GP, Dr Osman Bhatti, said: ‘It's not a strike, but it's a protest in support of strikers.'

‘The feeling locally is that pensions are worth striking for.'

At the LMCs annual conference earlier this month, GP leaders threw out calls for the GPC to consider the option of industrial action in its campaign to protect GP pensions.

View Tower Hamlets GPs' protests, June 30 2011 - #j30 in a larger map