BMA petition urging government pension talks earns 17,000 signatures

A BMA e-petition calling for the government to re-open pension talks has gained over 17,000 signatures.

The e-petition, created by BMA’s pensions committee chairman Dr Alan Robertson, was launched last week as a reaction to the government's proposed pension reforms.

It calls on the UK government and the governments of the devolved nations, to resume talks with health unions on the future of the NHS pension scheme, following the BMA's rejection of the government’s final offer.

The BMA said that so far the government has shown ‘little flexibility’ in its position and no substansive talks have taken place.

Earlier this week BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum wrote to the Treasury in a fresh attempt to re-start talks with the government.

Dr Meldrum said: ‘We’re pursuing every avenue we can to get the government back to the table. Lines of communication are open, but we’d like to see more willingness to find a way towards a fair solution.

‘Since the '70s, no dispute between the medical profession and the government has reached the point where a ballot on industrial action was necessary. The fact that doctors are seriously considering it now is a sign of the unfairness of the proposals.’

The BMA UK Council will meet on 25 February to consider the options for balloting on industrial action, should there be no significant change to the government’s position.

A DH spokesperson said: 'We continue to hold weekly discussions with all the trades unions, including the BMA. Additionally, Hamish Meldrum from the BMA requested and met with the health secretary, along with two other unions, to talk through the heads of agreement.'

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