As you will be aware, over the past few weeks we have been consulting with HCSA members who work in the NHS in England over the question of pay, and what action to take. The result of this consultation is now in and you the members have told us clearly that you support industrial action. The results of the survey were as follows:
We surveyed 2590 members working in the NHS in England. Just under 39% of members participated in the survey
Of those voting 79.5% voting yes to industrial action and 20.1% voting no to industrial action.
(55.75% members voted for strike action, 74.5% members voted for Action Short of Strike (ASoS).
The HCSA executive held an extraordinary meeting this week and agreed to progress to a formal industrial action ballot which will take place in September.
The HCSA has always respected the independence of the DDRB, which gathers information from a wide selection of bodies so that it can make informed, evidence based recommendations. It is simply unacceptable for the Government to ignore these robust recommendations. It means that the many consultants and specialists have received no pay award this year, in what amounts to a real terms pay cut.
Now the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body (DDRB) has been told by Government not to consider making pay recommendations for 2015/16, as they will be taking the same approach to pay as in 2014/15.
The Government have said that implementing the DDRB recommendations would lead to job losses and risk patient safety. The HCSA wholeheartedly rejects this suggestion. Consultants and specialists are working harder than ever to meet increasing demands, cover for staff shortages and cope with underfunding. Morale is on a downward spiral, motivation is waning and doctors are feeling undervalued.
It is time to make a stand if we don't pay restraint could become the norm, doctor’s voices will be lost and we will risk losing more talented consultants and specialists overseas or to private practice.
The HCSA believes that consultants and specialists should stand up for what is right, and now is the time.