BMA council debates results of Scottish pension ballots
28 November 2012
Doctors leaders are debating the next steps after receiving the results of a ballot of Scottish secondary care doctors on escalated industrial action over pensions.
There were four separate ballots of 6,422 doctors across Scotland. They were asked if they were prepared to take strike action with emergency cover.
A majority of junior doctors and SAS (staff, associate specialist and specialty doctors) who voted said ‘yes’ to taking part in a strike while consultants voted ‘no’ by a narrow margin. Public health doctors overwhelmingly rejected strike action.
Scottish hospital doctors were balloted on two questions: whether they would be willing to take part in industrial action short of a strike, and whether they would be prepared to take part in a strike. Doctors were asked to vote ‘yes’ to both questions if they wished to take the form of action proposed.
The results of the four ballots, published today, are:
- Consultants voted in favour of taking part in industrial action short of a strike, with 1,004 voting for and 486 against. They opposed taking part in strike action, with 756 voting against, compared with 734 in favour. Turnout was 44.6 per cent
- SAS doctors supported taking part in industrial action short of a strike, with 196 votes for and 96 against. They also voted in favour of taking part in strike action, with 153 voting ‘yes’ compared with 139 votes against. Turnout was 40.8 per cent
- Junior doctors supported taking part in industrial action short of a strike, with 580 votes for and 71 against. They also supported taking part in strike action, with 474 voting ‘yes’ compared with 176 votes against. Turnout was 28.6 per cent
- Public health doctors opposed taking part in industrial action short of a strike, with 26 voting ‘no’ compared with 14 in favour. They also opposed taking part in strike action, with seven voting for and 32 voting against. Turnout was 44.9 per cent.
The ballot of hospital doctors in Scotland was sparked by unhappiness with the progress of pension talks with the Scottish government on aspects for which it has devolved responsibility, primarily contributions.
Ballot papers were sent to secondary care doctors across Scotland on November 6 and the ballot closed this morning at 8am. The results, tallied up by independent scrutineers Electoral Reform Services, have been shared with employers and members.
See No strike but campaign for pensions fairness continues and bma.org.uk/scotlandpensions