Hospital Dr News

BMA Scotland ends talks over pension change

The BMA in Scotland announced that it, along with the other health unions, had taken the decision to end negotiations with the Scottish government over changes to the Scottish NHS Pension Scheme.

The decision was taken following clarification from the Scottish ministers that there was little scope for negotiating alternatives to the reforms which will see NHS staff working longer and paying more into their pensions.

This means that the changes proposed by the UK government to reform NHS pensions are highly likely to also apply in Scotland.

Chair of the BMA’s pensions committee and member of the BMA’s Scottish Council, Dr Alan Robertson, said: “The BMA, along with the other health trade unions in Scotland have decided not to continue with the Scottish level talks on NHS pensions.

“At a meeting this week it was agreed that there was little point in pursuing separate Scottish negotiations on changes in light of the Scottish government’s inability to negotiate on any significant detail of the reform proposals. Tinkering around the edges will do little to mitigate the most damaging elements of the UK-wide pension reforms.”

Back in November, the BMA ruled out strike action in hospitals in Scotland. In a ballot, a 45% turn out among consultants saw 67% voting in favour of action short of a strike; 49% voted for all out strike. The council concluded that levels of support were not enough to mount effective action.

Read more on the BMA view.

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