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Pensions strike

Lewis Morrison: BMA Scotland seeks further ballot on pensions strike action

3 Oct, 12 | by BMJ

On Friday last week, a leading Scottish national newspaper reported that “Scots doctors break ranks on pensions strike ballot.” This publicised the decision by the BMA in Scotland to seek a ballot of hospital doctors on further industrial action in protest against changes to the NHS pension scheme and particularly highlighted the Scottish government’s handling of the issue.

Earlier this year doctors across the UK took industrial action; I was among them.  The response to the ballot and action from Scottish doctors was particularly strong. The day of action publicised our opposition to the pension proposals but provoked no change at all in the UK government’s stance. more…

Tom Nolan: Industrial action – winners and losers

25 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

The dust has settled following last week’s industrial action on pensions. Online forums, Twitter, and blogs have been alight with doctors giving their views—who do they feel have been the winners and losers?



The unintended outcome of today’s industrial action

21 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

He said he was happy to pay extra for his pension. The country couldn’t afford the national projected pension costs and the economy was in crisis. But, as long as others paid too. He was fed up of being singled out—doctors are soft targets and scapegoats for government. He couldn’t see the judiciary and senior civil servants being treated like this. The greatest injustice was that our pension fund is in the black. For me, however, industrial action just didn’t feel right, I had favoured a more professional approach based on concern for patients and was uncomfortable with a hard line trade union attitude. But, by time the elevator arrived at our floor, I heard myself starting to agree with my colleague. more…

Helen Jaques: Industrial action live blog

21 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

Welcome to the BMJ’s industrial action live blog. Today doctors across the UK will be taking industrial action for the first time in nearly 40 years to protest against changes to the NHS pension scheme. Around a quarter of general practices and four out of five hospitals are expected to be affected by the action, in which doctors will postpone all routine appointments and provide urgent and emergency care only. We’ll be reporting on the action as it unfolds and keeping you up to date with the dispute.

How are you taking part in the day of action? Let us know at


NHS pension strike—we are preparing to make a stand

15 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

We are planning to take industrial action at our GP surgery. We’re unanimous about the blatant inequity being thrust down our throats by Mr Lansley and the anger we feel is palpable. We weren’t completely in agreement about what we’d be prepared to do about it—but when the date was announced, we realised that the two doctors who were less sure about what they wanted to do would be absent anyway on 21st June—and as long as we kept our patients safe, they didn’t stand in the way of the rest of the team taking action. In fact deep down they know it’s the right thing to do. On the day it has to be all for one and one for all—and so it will be. more…

Peter Bailey: Striking for a duck island

6 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

A few days ago I was asked by a local radio station to give an opinion about the strike action being planned by the medical profession over pensions.  I told them that in view of the fact that I was already retired and drawing my pension, I was perhaps hors de combat and should leave it those still in post to comment.

However, as each day has gone by, everything I see in the press or on television, or hear on the radio has contributed to my belief that the profession is misguided. When I heard the BMA’s council chairman Hamish Meldrum on the Today programme lamely trying to defend the strike, and I listened to my colleagues, friends, and family expressing their disbelief, I felt a rise in my bile and picked up my pen. more…

Edward Davies: Call for the spin doctor—this pension strike will need the mother of all PR campaigns

31 May, 12 | by BMJ

Edward Davies

This strike is not going down well. Or to quote the Daily Telegraph, this “unseemly spectacle” is not going down well. And it’s not just the Telegraph. “There is no gold left and the doctors need to recognise that this applies to them,” says The Times. “Doctors should be ashamed of themselves,” says the Independent. “It’s enough to make you feel ill,” says the Sun. And even the most pro-union and anti-government Daily Mirror is not happy: “Doctors must resist this midsummer madness.” more…

Rhys Davies: 21 June—is there a medical student in the house?

31 May, 12 | by BMJ

Yesterday, the BMA announced the results of its members’ ballot on industrial action. Tens of thousands of doctors across different branches of medicine responded, coming out strongly in favour of industrial action. With a mandate to move forward, the BMA have scheduled a day of industrial action on 21 June.

Doctors will perform only urgent and emergency work, with numerous medical leaders stressing that patients’ safety will not be compromised. The threat to patients’ safety on that day is no greater than the threat posed by the Jubilee bank holiday. However, the real battle between now and 21 June will be convincing the public that this action is justified and that doctors are not just self interested, and money grabbing. With opinion pieces springing up in the Daily Mail and other newspapers before the ink had dried on the BMA’s press release, the opening shots of that battle have already been fired. more…

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