Dear Committee & Membership,
As I am sure you are all aware from the cascade of articles rippling though social media we are in worrying times for our profession. It is a challenge for us all to critically appraise each article and decide what is fact and what is fiction. Emotions are running high and I urge you all to look to your trade union – The BMA – for accurate and up to date information on this situation.
So what’s it all about?
The BMA have been in contract negotiations since 2013 in order to refashion a contract for modern day NHS junior doctors. After negotiations stalled the Doctors & Dentists Review Board (DDRB) were asked to step in and provide recommendations on contract that could work for both junior doctors and NHS Employers. Unfortunately these recommendations have been found to be lacking in many ways namely:-
Standard time & antisocial hours rates
Contractual safeguards and the banding system
GP Trainee supplement
Non-resident On-Call pay
Recruitment & retention premiums
For a full analysis please read the BMA’s article on this subject.
At the JDC meeting a new executive committee was elected. Many of you will wonder at the timing for a change of the committee however I can assure you we are in safe hands. I would ,ike to introduce:
Chair of the BMAJDC
Dr Johann Malawana
Lots of negotiating experience with BMA & GMC
Passionate regarding contracts
Clear idea of how to handle the current trade dispute
Deputy Chair – Terms & conditions of service
Mersey RJDC Chair
Informed and very up to date with contract negotiations
Clear plan of action
Deputy Chair – Education and Training
Dr Ellen McCourt
Keen for the current contracts dispute not to take away from our fight against shape of training
Deputy Co-Chairs – Professional Issues
Keen to Expand the role of the PI chair
Keen to support the other chairs in contract negotiations and Educational issues in addition to current role
Priorities very similar to David’s
Hence decision to co-chair.
After the elections unfortunately the meeting went into ‘camera’ which essentially means that any non-voting members (i.e. specialty group representatives like BOTA) were not party to the negotiation on balloting the membership for industrial action.
The outcome is now publicised and the BMAJDC will not re-enter negotiations until the following assurances have been made:-
Proper recognition of antisocial hours as premium time
No disadvantage for those working antisocial hours compared to current system
No disadvantage for those working less than full time and taking parental leave compared to The current system
Pay for all work done
Proper hours safeguards protecting patients and their doctors
So what’s next?
The BMA have asked all members to ensure their contact details are up to date. I strongly advise that you do this to ensure your ballot paper reaches you. If you are not a member I would suggest you become one, whilst it is possible to engage in industrial action in sympathy you will not be protected from dismissal should your employer wish to do so.
My next meeting is on Wednesday 7th October which is an update for specialty groups I will be keeping you posted as much as possible.