FORTY thousand junior doctors voted for strike action, with a majority of 98 per cent on a 76 per cent turnout, in protest at Government plans to impose new working conditions and pay structures.The proposed changes would remove enhanced wage levels for weekend working and could lead to junior doctors being forced to work for long hours that would leave them too tired to make safe decisions about patient care.
They’ve been in and out of ACAS several times but the government has refused to back down on imposing dangerous new working practices with Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Health failing to address doctors’ concerns regarding “robust contractual safeguards on safe working” and “proper recognition for those working unsocial hours” in the contracts being forced on the workers.
To drive their message home to the government the junior doctors will be having a 24 hour strike
If the government hasn’t got the message the action will be escalated to a 48 hour strike
The Junior Doctors will be on standby to return to work if there is an emergency but they will not do any routine work.
Then if the government still maintains it’s intransigence there will be a full withdrawal of labour —
Bristol Trades Union Council is urging all trade unionists to support the junior doctor picket lines and other events that they are organising over the next few weeks.
This will occur from 8am till at least about 12pm at the following hospitals:
- Southmead Hospital
- BRI – at first outside the main entrance/post-graduate education centre, may move later
- Callington Road Hospital
Junior Doctors are of course ever grateful for support and supporters are of course welcome to visit pickets, bring fruit for breakfast etc. and, if in cars, hoot in support. In view however of very tight picketing restrictions (6 per entrance) and anticipated appetite for doctors to also support pickets, you may be asked to move away from the actual picket.
A number of “Meet The Doctors” events are organised during the day to inform the public. These will start from approx. 10 am to 2 pm. There will be NHS selfie frames, petitions, leaflets and banners, but feel free to bring your own.
They will be held at:
- Clifton Triangle (by Jason Donervan), Bristol
- Fountains (opposite the Hippodrome), Bristol
- Turbo Island (opposite Hamilton House in Stokes Croft), Bristol
- North Street (by the Tobacco Factory), Bristol
We are encouraging Protect Our NHS supporters to visit these locations and show support for the junior doctors and sign their petitions!
A very clear explanation on the BMA’s current position: http://oneprofession.bma.org.uk/
A recent interview explaining the underlying key concerns with the proposed contract: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJpVAYOazeI