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BMA steps up pension reform campaign

8 November 2011

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has launched an online campaign toolkit to encourage doctors to show their support for strike action over public sector pension reforms.

Campaign materials showing the words “Fair Treatment for NHS Pensions” are available and a toolkit aims to help doctors use the press and social media to express their concerns.

According to the BMA, the Department of Health received around 9,000 individual submissions during its consultation in England and Wales on contribution increases – most of which came from doctors and medical students.

Despite this, the BMA has remained firm that it will not ballot members on strike action, but the association has consistently voiced its support for the Day of Action.

While it has described an enhanced pension offer from the Treasury as a “possible step in the right direction”, it still believes current proposals to be unacceptable, saying that many younger doctors would have to pay more than £200,000 extra into their pension over their working lives.

”It is only three years since NHS staff agreed to major changes to their pensions. Yet under the current proposals – despite the recent announcement – most NHS staff would pay much more and work longer for a much worse deal on retirement,” said Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA Chairman.

”The fact is that the NHS Pension Scheme is not only sustainable in the long term – it is currently delivering very significant sums to the government.

“These plans aren’t about the affordability of the current scheme – they’re about the Treasury looking for a quick hit on public-sector workers.”

Is the BMA right not to ballot its members over the strike action?
Your comments 
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“No. The BMA has for years been considered by many doctors to be too passive. On many issues this was insufficient to make the membership discontented.  However the pension is considered by many doctors to have been the principal reason why he/she put up with unsatisfactory aspects of a career in the NHS.  If the pension is not defended, the BMA will risk many doctors leaving the Association.
Additionally at the last Annual Representative Meeting of the BMA the representatives gave a clear sign to BMA Council that industrial action must be considered.” – Peter Bamber, Halifax