Junior doctors strike against imposition of contracts

EPSU supports  #JuniorDoctorsStrike
(9 March 2016) Junior doctors in England are taking 48 hours of industrial action today and tomorrow in protest at the decision by the health minister to impose new contracts.

The doctors, represented by the British Medical Association (BMA), have been trying to negotiate improvements to the health ministry proposals which they say will not only threaten the health and safety of junior doctors but also the quality of care they provide.

The three main issues for the BMA are:
- removal of strong, financial sanctions on health service employers who break rules on working time limits;
- changes to pay that will reduce the pay progression of doctors in training; and
- changes to pay supplements so that normal pay rates apply between 7am and 10pm Monday to Saturday rather than 7am-7pm Monday to Friday.

EPSU’s UK affiliates in the National Health Service are concerned that the attacks on the junior doctors’ unsocial hours payments will be a forerunner of government attempts to change these payments for other health staff.

EPSU sent a solidarity message to BMA at the time of the previous action in February and has sent a follow up message to support the current strike. General secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: “EPSU echoes the view of its UK affiliates in attacking the government’s handling of the dispute, undermining industrial relations in the health service instead of trying to negotiate better terms and conditions that are essential to ensure a quality service to patients.

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