Strike ballot about to start
2 November 2012
Secondary care doctors in Scotland should receive their ballot packs next week at the start of a vote on strike action over pensions.
Members will receive a voting slip, and will be asked to answer two questions: are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike? And: are you prepared to take part in a strike?
The BMA is urging members to vote for the action. For maximum legal protection, doctors should answer yes to both questions.
The ballot is being held following a decision by the BMA UK council in September.
If there is a mandate, there will be further, escalated industrial action over pensions, involving three or more days of strike action where emergency cover only will be provided.
The ballot will open on November 6 and run until November 28 unless the Scottish government puts forward a genuine alternative to changes taking place in the rest of the UK on those aspects of the NHS pension scheme in Scotland for which there is devolved responsibility, primarily contributions.
It will involve all hospital and public health doctors in Scotland but not GPs.
Doctors from across Scotland have been attending local meetings at which BMA representatives have been answering questions about the ballot and the proposed strike action.
Scottish Local Negotiating Forum chair Peter Curry, who has attended a number of meetings, said: ‘It’s clear that doctors are still angry and frustrated about the unfair attacks on NHS pensions.’
In order to give the health service time to plan, the BMA has announced the first proposed strike dates. The first day of action would be December 12, followed by January 8 and 17.