30/05/2012

Doctors To Strike Next Month

Doctors will go on strike next month in a pensions dispute, the British Medical Association has announced.

The first doctors' strike since 1975 will take place on June 21 in protest against the coalition government’s planned pensions shake-up.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said proposals will force doctors to work harder and for longer as their pensions would be decided by their career average rather than their final salary.

Emergency care will still be provided by BMA members on the day of the strike, but non-urgent cases will be postponed.

The BMA has clashed with government repeatedly over the past few years, most often in protest against changes to the structure of the NHS.

Union officials said a 50% turnout of its 130,000-strong membership had resulted in a majority in favour of strike action.

The announcement comes the day after teachers from the NUT and NASUWT unions announced a strike in September.

The BMA asked its members two questions: are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike, and are you prepared to take part in a strike?

The 12,060 junior doctors who took part gave the fullest backing to strike action, with 82% – the largest majority in the ballot – saying they were prepared to strike.

The BMA said doctors currently at the start of their careers would have to pay double the contributions they would have paid under the old system in order to get the same pension.

It amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds extra.

(NE/GK)

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