BMA surveys members on industrial action over pensions

The BMA is asking members whether it should ballot for industrial action, following the government's final pension offer.

Dr Bailey: the survey asked members if they were prepared to accept or reject the offer.
Dr Bailey: the survey asked members if they were prepared to accept or reject the offer.

The union sent out a survey on Thursday to all members, asking for their views on the government’s final offer for the NHS pension scheme.

GP Dr David Bailey, deputy chairman of the BMA's pensions committee, said the survey would ask members if they were prepared to accept or reject the offer.

The survey will ask members who do not accept the offer, what form of action they would be prepared to take - ‘withdrawal of labour, withdrawal of labour with emergency cover or another form of industrial action’, Dr Bailey said.

The survey had been sent out to all BMA members by post and can also be completed online. It will close on 16 January, in preparation for a BMA Council meeting on 18 January.

BMA Council will look at the survey results and use them to decide whether or not it will ballot members for industrial action.

‘Council will come to some sort of idea whether we ballot, on the 18,’ Dr Bailey said.

Although Dr Bailey said it was impossible to predict when a ballot could take place, he said it was likely to happen quite quickly after a decision to ballot was made.

‘Trade union law says a ballot is only valid 30 days after the decision to ballot has been made – there is a limited time in which the ballot remains valid,’ he said.

The BMA has stressed the importance of all members taking part in the survey.

‘We are encouraging everyone to take part. The only way to make a decision rationally is to get as many views as we can,’ Dr Bailey said.

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