Hospital Dr News

Contract for juniors must be via negotiation

A new contract for junior doctors must be negotiated not imposed, the BMA has said.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chair Andrew Collier warned the new government “do not take for granted the good will of juniors, work with us not against us and if you value the NHS, value junior doctors”.

Potential industrial action over an imposed contract was discussed at the annual junior doctors’ committee conference, but did not become policy.

Dr Collier also said the BMA would fight ‘damaging’ training reforms proposed in the Shape of Training review through its place on the steering group.

Co-chair Kitty Mohan said that, last year, junior doctors had been hopeful of a new contract.

“We were faced with a Government that was prepared to reduce safeguards around working hours, to threaten high quality training and to ignore basic rights that other workers take for granted,” she said.

“We could not continue our contract talks [and] sign up to a contract that knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Introducing a recruitment and retention premium in certain secondary care specialties would not address the core reasons for poor recruitment such as working conditions, hours and training, junior doctors agreed.

The premium proposal — made by NHS Employers during negotiations on a new trainees’ contract — could lead to local contract variations, the conference concluded.

BMA juniors also urged the Government not to change the point at which a doctor is fully registered with the GMC, as recommended by the Shape of Training report.

Plans to move doctors’ full registration to the end of medical school should be dropped, the conference agreed.

It was suggested that Health Education England and the UK Government want to make GMC registration earlier in a doctor’s career because it releases them from the obligation to employ all UK graduates as pre-registration doctors.

The conference also agreed:

– All doctors in training at ST3 level and above, apart from GP trainees, should be included in consultations, correspondence and ballots about the consultant contract renegotiation

– To oppose significant changes to ‘plain time’, which the Government wants to increase to 7am to 10pm. Premium time for unsocial hours would be from 10pm to 7am

– Support for a national contract.

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