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BMA prepares strike action over pension row

18 January 2012

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The BMA is to prepare for some form of industrial action as 84% of surveyed doctors have rejected  the government’s latest pension offer.

The BMA’s UK-wide survey of over 46,000 doctors on the government’s NHS pension reform found 63% members said they would personally be prepared to take industrial action to “pursue changes to the pension proposals”.

More than a third of doctors aged 50 and over that responded to the survey said they intend to retire early if the changes to the pension scheme go ahead.

Today’s (18 January) BMA Council meeting resulted in an outright rejection of the government’s pension offer and has kick-started work on “detailed” strike plans.

“The strength and scale of feeling among doctors is abundantly clear – they feel let down and betrayed, and for many this is the final straw,” said Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA Council.

“Industrial action remains a last resort and the government must urgently reconsider its damaging plans. The action we are considering is unprecedented in recent decades.  This demonstrates the current level of discontent among NHS staff.”

An emergency meeting of the BMA Council will be held on 25 February in which it will decide whether it should ballot its members on industrial action, should there not be a “significant change” in the government’s position.