Pension reform anger forecast for BMA conference

The number of ARM motions concerning pensions this year is 'unprecedented', according to the BMA's pensions committee chairman.

Dr Dearden: The ARM motion ‘is not asking for doctors to be balloted. It is asking for it to be considered if necessary’
Dr Dearden: The ARM motion ‘is not asking for doctors to be balloted. It is asking for it to be considered if necessary’

The ‘number, tone and consistency of the motions at the BMA's annual representatives' meeting in Cardiff from Monday demonstrates the depth of anger’ that doctors are feeling about pension reforms, says Dr Andrew Dearden, BMA pensions committee chairman.

The Solihull division calls on the BMA to ballot the BMA membership regarding all forms of industrial action ‘in the event that there is a government plan to halt the final salary pension scheme and replace it with an unfavourable career average (CARE) scheme for doctors.’

A similar motion raised by the south west regional council ‘demands the BMA ballot members over the pension issues’.

Earlier this month delegates at the 2011 LMCs conference voted against a motion to direct ‘the GPC to resist by all possible means, including the option of industrial action and resignation, any further attempt to renegotiate the GP pension scheme’.

Dr Dearden said it is important to recognise the ‘subtle’ difference between the two motions.

The LMC delegates voted ‘against being balloted’, he said.

The ARM motion ‘is not asking for doctors to be balloted. It is asking for it to be considered if necessary,’ Dr Dearden said.

The motion is saying to doctors ‘if the government doesn’t listen, would you like us to consider industrial action or at least the balloting’, Dr Dearden said.

Dr Dearden said that doctors were feeling increasing angry about changes being made to their pensions.

‘Normally the pension section lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and has eight motions. This year it will last for 50 minutes and 10% of all motions are to do with pensions,’ Dr Dearden said.
This demonstrates the ‘deeply and strongly’ felt anger of doctors.

Dr Dearden said that he is ‘hopeful’ that the government will change its mind over pension reforms, but currently that seemed unlikely.

‘The government doesn’t even seem willing to talk to us,’ Dr Dearden said.

‘At this point in time they are not really demonstrating a real desire to discuss and negotiate.’

‘I think this is where the anger is coming from; they’re not listening,’ Dr Dearden said.

Want to know more about what changes to the NHS pension mean for GPs and how to minimise their impact? Book your place at a GP conference on 15 September in London.

 

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