Junior NHS Doctors Balloted Over Future Strike Action

By Gary Cutlack on at

The British Medical Association is asking its junior members if they'd be interested in having a strike as a disagreement over new work contracts turns nasty, with the end result being a possible strike or some sort of work-to-rule protest.

The case involves the drawing up of new staff contracts for learner medical staff, with the government saying it's necessary because existing terms and conditions are outdated. The current plan is to offer an 11 per cent pay rise to all, but to counter this by reducing the maximum weekly working hours limit from 91 to 72, plus the number of hours deemed "unsociable" of each week are being cut too, which would reduce the potential for overtime payments for many.

So despite the headline rise, some doctors may end up being paid less under the new system -- hence the call for a strike or at least some less severe form of industrial action to voice their anger. 

That said, doctors never strike entirely. Only non-emergency staff may take part in industrial action, and even then they still turn up for work in case someone does need emergency care -- so any possible strike is likely to affect only appointments and non-critical surgeries. [Guardian]