Crypto News

Thousands of hospital doctors are leaving Britain’s latest strike

LONDON: British hospital doctors began a three-day strike over pay on Monday, the start of a week that will also see teachers, train staff and civil servants quit in the latest spate of industrial action.

Doctors say years of below-inflation pay rises mean they’ve effectively had a 26 percent pay cut since 2008.

Before the hiatus, the body she represents, the British Medical Association (BMA), launched an advertising campaign claiming a newly qualified doctor was earning less than some cafe staff.

“Pret a Manger has announced that it will pay up to £14.10 (US$17.13) per hour,” reads the ad.

“A doctor in training earns on 14.09. sterling only. Thanks to this government, you can serve more coffee than save patients.

Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected on Wednesday, including teachers, London Tube drivers, BBC journalists and university staff.

For the past year, the UK has been plagued by strikes across the economy, from nurses and ambulance workers to lawyers and dockers, fueled by rising food, energy and housing costs.

They have all clashed with the government, which insists the country cannot afford inflation-dampening wage increases.

The strike by the so-called interns – a category of doctors who are not high-level specialists but may nonetheless have decades of experience – is the longest they have ever conducted.

According to the BMA, young doctors in England, who work mainly in hospitals but in some cases also in general practice, have suffered a 26 per cent cut in their pay in real terms since 2008/09.

– Public support –

“The problem for my younger colleagues is that they are financially burdened with debt and their income doesn’t give them the security that they should expect,” Vincent McCaughen, 37, who is studying to be a cardiologist in training, told AFP.

“People who feel more financially secure, whose standard of living hasn’t deteriorated, will be able to focus more of their emotional energy on their patients,” he said on a picket line outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London.

Leading doctors and nurses have repeatedly warned that poor pay and conditions are pushing UK-trained medical and nursing staff into a period of record waiting lists, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic backlog.

“Is it any surprise that young doctors are looking for jobs abroad or in other fields when the government tells them they are worth more than a quarter less than they were in 2008?” said Robert Laurenson and Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, in a joint statement.

Around 80 doctors and supporters joined a picket line outside Leeds General Infirmary in the northern city.

A steady stream of motorists signaled their support by honking their car horns while doctors chanted “Claps don’t pay the bills,” a reference to the country’s weekly routine of applauding healthcare workers during the pandemic.

“It’s really reassuring when members of the public come by honking their horns and sending us messages of support. It underscores again why we are doing this,” said Chris Morris, Physician and BMA Representative.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the BMA’s decision to go ahead with the strike was “incredibly disappointing”.

He said the body had refused to take part in formal wage negotiations on condition that the strikes were halted.

Other unions representing nurses and ambulance workers have suspended their strike action so negotiations could resume this week, he added.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button