The People's Assembly would like to express full support to the Junior Doctors who have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over the governments proposed changes to their contracts. The ballot result came in today with a massive 98% in favour of strike action on a 76% turnout.
Jeremy Hunt wants to push through changes to Junior Doctors contracts which will mean a 30% cut in pay in real terms, and is attempting to remove vital safeguarding legislation which places a cap on the number of hours doctors can work per week.
Lower pay with longer hours is not only unfair to junior doctors but unsafe to everyone who uses the NHS. This is just one part of a worrying picture when we look at what's happening to our NHS. The government has already sold off big sections of the NHS to private companies and last winter saw one of the worst A&E crisis yet in an increasingly underfunded NHS.
This is part of a much wider problem, the government is committed to cutting public spending to levels we haven't seen in decades. It's meant local council budgets have been slashed closing essential services, public sector pay freezes, more privatisation, and safety nets for the most vulnerable being taken away.
The strike action being taken by the junior doctors will send a powerful message to the government and, if they win, can be a step towards defeating a government addicted to austerity which is damaging our communities and punishing the poorest.
We will work as hard as we can to mobilise every section of society and create a wave of support behind the junior doctors and all other workers taking strike action against the government and in defence of our rights in the workplace.
Three days of strike action is being organised:
- Emergency care only — from 8am, Tuesday 1 December to 8am Wednesday 2 December
- Full walk out — from 8am to 5pm, Tuesday 8 December
- Full walk out — from 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 16 December
The People's Assembly National Conference will take place on Saturday 5 December where junior doctors Rory Hicks and Yannis Gourtsoyannis will speak. Full details and registration here