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Union Executive statement on Junior Doctor contract changes

The University of Sussex Students’ Union Executive would like to reiterate their solidarity for strike action of any Brighton and Sussex Medical (BSMS) students and the British Medical Association (BMA) due to the proposed changes to Junior Doctor's contracts.

The proposed rescheduled days of strike action are:

  •  All except for emergency care — from 8am, Tuesday 12 January to 8am Wednesday 13 January
  •  All except for emergency care — from 8am Tuesday 26 January to 8am Thursday 28 January
  •  Full walk out — from 8am to 5pm, Wednesday 10 February

We also encourage other students to support BSMS students by supporting picket lines on the dates listed above. Picket lines are formed outside workplaces by striking employees to show support for strike action and discourage other workers from breaking the strike.

The proposed reforms outline plans to remove banding of junior doctor’s pay, remove the safeguards preventing doctors from working more than 60 hours in a week, and expand ‘normal working hours’ to 7am-10pm Monday-Saturday. These changes have been condemned by many members of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and a number of healthcare unions too. 

On Monday 30th November, the British Medical Association (BMA) agreed to suspend strike action until January 2016 while negotiations over the proposed contract changes continued. These strikes are now taking place after negotiations between the government and the BMA broke down earlier this week.

Bethan, Undergraduate Education Officer, said:

Bethan, Undergraduate Education Officer

We believe that medical students deserve to have a secure future in the NHS, a fair deal for work, and are concerned that the proposed changes will lead to doctors being over-worked, under-paid and therefore the safety and health of patients being compromised as a result of tired, disillusioned doctors in the UK medical system. 

This is not just an attack on the future of our medical students, but an attack on all those who will need healthcare provision in the UK throughout their lifetime. 

We will stand with our medical students and support them with their negotiations and campaigns against the contract changes.

The Students' Union advise BSMS students taking part in strike action, particularly those on a placement, to check with their tutor/placement supervisor about any potential impact of taking part if they are due to attend teaching/their placement during the strike action. We have been told that many members of BSMS teaching staff plan to support students taking part in strike action.

 

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