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Scottish doctors to vote on strike action over pensions

Hospital doctors in Scotland will be asked today whether they are willing to take part in a second round of industrial action over pensions reforms.

The proposed action goes further than the 21 June day of industrial action. If the Scottish doctors vote in favour of strike action, only doctors providing emergency care will attend their workplace on 12 December 2012, with further days planned for 8 and 17 January 2013. In the June action, all doctors attended work, but those participating in the action only provided urgent and emergency treatment.

The Scottish Government is planning to implement the same reforms as the UK government, which will see staff contributing as much as 14.5%, a 6% rise on current contributions. Doctors will also have to work longer.

Dr Nikki Thompson, deputy chair of the BMA’s Scottish Consultants Committee, said this will mean ‘senior NHS staff will be paying almost double the contributions of senior civil servants, for similar pensions’.

Strike action was ‘a last resort’, she added, but the ‘intransigence of this Scottish Government has left us with little option but to press ahead with a ballot for further industrial action’.

‘We are not seeking special treatment, just fair treatment. The Scottish Government can avert industrial action by entering into genuine and meaningful negotiations,’ Dr Thompson said.