Tag Archives: strike

Army poised to cover for striking NHS doctors

Army medical staff are expected to be drafted into NHS hospitals as cover for striking junior doctors, according to a document uncovered by The Telegraph.

The first of three strikes by junior doctors is due to begin on Tuesday Dec 1, when only emergency care is planned, with full stoppages on Dec 8 and Dec 16.

It would be the first full walkouts by doctors in NHS history.

In official guidance on industrial action issued by the British Medical Association (BMA), it said it expects medics from the Armed Forces will be used to help plug the gap on strike days.

The BMA advises striking doctors manning picket lines to be friendly to Army doctors – not least because as military employees, they have no right to strike.

In the Guide to Safe Picketing, published by the BMA, the professional trade union states: “It is likely that our Armed Forces colleagues will be asked to step in to provide support for clinical services on the days of action.

“The law does not permit them to take part in industrial action, but their support for services during the industrial action is welcome.”

A BMA spokesman said: “We don’t expect there will be a huge number of Army turning up at hospitals, but we are expecting a number of Army medics.”

The spokesman added: “We want to keep the NHS going. We have said from the very, very beginning we didn’t want to get to the stage of strike action. But junior doctors feel they have no other way of getting their voices heard.”

Army Medics parade through the City of London during the Lord Mayor’s ShowArmy Medics parade through the City of London during the Lord Mayor’s Show  Photo: PA

In the first strike, on Tuesday, doctors would offer emergency care only for 24 hours, while the following two strikes would mean a full walkout from 8am to 5pm.

It is expected that Army medical staff will cover Accident and Emergency services.

Department of Health officials remain locked in negotiations with unions.

Source The Telegraph

Junior doctors set to strike for three days in December if industrial action goes ahead, union announces

Junior doctors will strike for three days in December if the ballot comes back in favour of industrial action, it was revealed today.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced the proposed dates and type of action ahead of the ballot result next week.

If there is a yes vote, junior doctors will only provide emergency care for 24 hours from 8am on December 1, followed by full walkouts from 8am to 5pm on December 8 and 16.

The possible strike is over Government plans to impose a controversial new contract on junior doctors next year as part of moves to create a ‘seven-day’ NHS service across the country.

But the most disputed clause in the new contract remains a reduction in junior doctors’ overtime payments – which it has been estimated could slash their salaries by 30 per cent.

Whether the action goes ahead will be depend on the result of the BMA’s ballot of the 30,000 juniors it represents, which closes next Wednesday at 5pm. The result will become public the following day.

The proposed dates and type of action discussed and approved today by the BMA council are as follows:

    Emergency care only – 8am, Tuesday, December 1 to 8am Wednesday December 2, 2015
    Full walk out – 8am to 5pm, Tuesday, December 8, 2015
    Full walk out – 8am to 5pm, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In an email to all members in England, BMA council chairman Mark Porter said: ‘We are releasing this information at this early stage because we want to give as much notice as possible.

‘It sounds like an oxymoron when talking about industrial action, but we genuinely want to minimise any disruption to other NHS staff and, above all, to patients.

‘It sounds like an oxymoron when talking about industrial action, but we genuinely want to minimise any disruption to other NHS staff and, above all, to patients.

‘Our dispute is with the Government and our ballot for industrial action is a last resort in the face of their continued intransigence.’

The union has refused to get back around the negotiating table with the Government in the row over a new contract, which is set to be imposed from next summer on doctors working up to consultant level.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has made a bid to avert strikes with a fresh deal, including an 11 per cent rise in basic pay and overtime pay after 7pm on Saturday evenings, a concession on the previous 10pm.

Flexible pay premiums would be applied to more specialities than just general practice and A&E care, with acute medical ward staff and psychiatrists benefiting, he said.

Mr Hunt argued that just 1 per cent of doctors would lose pay because of the deal and those were limited to doctors working too many hours already.

He said maximum working hours per week would fall from 91 to 72 under the new deal.

Johann Malawana, the BMA’s junior doctor committee chairman, said the increase in basic pay was misleading as it would be ‘offset by changes to pay for unsocial hours – devaluing the vital work junior doctors do at evenings and weekends.’

Source Mail Online