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13-05-2012 | Article

BMA urges GPs to use ballot vote


BMA - NHS Pension Reforms

GPs are being urged to use their vote in the BMA ballot on industrial action over pensions.

Ballot packs are being posted out today to 103,000 doctors across the UK, the BMA said, and members have until 5pm on Tuesday 29 May to return their completed papers.

The BMA set out the details of industrial action that GPs can take last week (click here).

As reported then by GP News, the union is urging doctors to vote 'yes' to both questions on whether they are willing to take part in industrial action short of a strike, and whether they are willing to take part in a strike.

But BMA treasurer and GP Dr Andrew Dearden told GP magazine that it was important for all members to take part, whatever their view. "The larger the response, the more validity it gives to the outcome," he said.

The BMA is encouraging doctors to "help us get the vote out", with stickers and posters as well as a six-step guide on the dispute to share with colleagues.

Chair of BMA Council Dr Hamish Meldrum said the BMA had been "left with no alternative" but to threaten industrial action.

He stressed that a 'yes' vote for strike action would not mean a full withdrawal of labour "as is normally understood by the public". "All emergency and urgent care would be provided and doctors would still be at their usual places of work," he said.

Results of the ballot are to be announced on Wednesday 30 May.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price