Saturday is a line in the sand

Many of you will be aware that the talks between the BMA, ACAS and the department of health lead by the newly appointed Sir David Dalton have broken down again. Whilst Johann has assured me that good progress has been made and hence the cancellation of the 2 day strike action in January was worth it the government refuse to accept that Saturday is not part of the normal working week. The simple fact remains that we do not choose our hours and all work weekends regularly. It takes time away from our family and friends that standard British social conventions dictate should be able to spend time together at the weekends. None of us mind working weekends but we should receive adequate remuneration for the sacrifice we make.

I have heard nothing on the issue of nonresident on calls availability allowances but I think this issue may be a major one for our specialty. The last offer included just 3% of basic pay per hour for on call availability. You would then charge for each interruption overnight. Having to stay within 20 mins of your hospital, not drink, and not have any plans that you can’t get out of quickly is worth more than 52p per hour!

We need to keep the momentum going on this campaign – I urge as many of you as can manage to attend the protest in London on the 6th of February and attend your picket lines on the 10th of February. We are in a fight for the future of our profession and it is one we must win!

I shall keep you updated as more facts become apparent

James Shelton