to think that doctors shouldn't go on strike over pension changes

(732 Posts)
starwarrior Wed 30-May-12 18:15:49

Why shouldn't they just suck it up like the rest of us?

Doha Wed 30-May-12 18:19:22

YABU becuase if the rest of us had the option to go on strike, we would.
Why should Doctors not go on strike? The Government try to play on the fact that lives would be at risk if they did go on strike---emotional blackmail.

and for the record l am NOT a Doctor

chibi Wed 30-May-12 18:20:09

why should anyone suck up anything?


SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 18:20:59

ATM dr's pay 26% of their wage into their pension - this is to rise to 28.5%. Higher than any other public sector worker.

TheCunningStunt Wed 30-May-12 18:22:13

Yep. They should just sit back and take it. That's a great approach.....hmm YABU.

BenedictsCumberbitch Wed 30-May-12 18:23:05

What a load of nonsense, suck it up? Good one.

PessimisticMissPiggy Wed 30-May-12 18:25:27

Why shouldn't they have the right to try to defend their pension against attack?

Good luck to them. Industrial action is not a decision taken lightly by public sector workers.

TeamEdward Wed 30-May-12 18:26:19


mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 18:28:01

But doctors are self employed aren't they? Isn't that why they pay so much? They have the option of coming out of the nhs pension scheme.

I don't think that they will do themselves any favours at all by going on strike. Although it's unlikey that the general public will even notice as the surgeries will still be open and other staff will be in work. drs will just take a day off from seeing their patients.

BlackOutTheSun Wed 30-May-12 18:29:33

Why shouldn't they strike? They have every right too and I support them 100%

FallenCaryatid Wed 30-May-12 18:29:34

Why should they stand by whilst selfish and egocentric politicians move the goal posts again? It's not illegal for them to strike, so if there is no other way to show their disapproval then they should strike.
What else can they do other than roll over and give up, and why is 'sucking it up' seen as a good thing by you OP?

Krumbum Wed 30-May-12 18:29:45

We should not be saying they should suck it up, we should be fighting for everyone to have better pension, pay and work rights. Blame the people in charge who cause these problems not your fellow workers.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 18:29:55

why should the rest of us suck it up either?

I hope that medicine stays a very desirable option for the brightest and best, otherwise long term there's be a recruitment problem and they'ld have to drop the standard of students they take on - GREAT news for the rest of us who put our LIVES in their hands! hmm

Lovelynewboots Wed 30-May-12 18:30:23

Yes Public sector workers, don't unite and strike, suck it up, after all its your career choice.

<loses the will to live>

Lovelynewboots Wed 30-May-12 18:32:14

I was being facetious.

TartyMcFarty Wed 30-May-12 18:32:25

YABU. That kind of attitude allows employers to ride roughshod over as all.

They should just 'suck up' having to pay more into their pensions, and receiving a lower lump sum AND lower annual pension!! hmm

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 18:36:01

Mirry only some dr's are self employed - typically GP partners (many GP are salaried, as are most other Dr's).

SwedishEdith Wed 30-May-12 18:36:10

Obviously you're talking bollocks but the rest of "us" aren't sucking it up are they?

Well personally I like my life and the lives of my loved ones to be in the hands of extremely well qualified and well trained medics who are comfortable in their jobs. The proposed changes to the pension scheme will have a serious impact. Medics have the right to strike to try and protect their rights and I support that.

They have the right to strike. They know the implications of their strike. It's their decision OP not yours. YABU.

Dawndonna Wed 30-May-12 18:39:35


alistron1 Wed 30-May-12 18:40:26

YABU. Why should we all be in a race to the bottom

^"ATM dr's pay 26% of their wage into their pension"
shock. Wow. That's one hell of a percentage to pay.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 18:44:41

monkeymona there will never be a recruitment problem. People are falling over themselves to get into medical school and there are masses of just as highly qualified potential students who could take their place. It is one of the very few professions which guarantee 100% employment, once qualified.

They have every right to strike but they won't get much sympathy from most of the general public.

bumperella Wed 30-May-12 18:44:43

Historically public sector pensions were set high because salaries were lower (than private sector). Now salaries are comparable, so pensions should be, too.
Defined benefit schemes are unaffordable, as witnessed by how few private sector workers enjoy a definied benefit scheme anymore.
I can totally understand why folk are cross- they are being expected to pay more for their pension. But their cannot be such a huge disparity between public and private sectors.
If we want an NHS then we need to get best value for the limited resources we have.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 18:46:09

y'think mirry2?, they have the support of most of this thread! we are general public too!

misslinnet Wed 30-May-12 18:46:33

I didn't realise that everyone else in the public sector was 'sucking it up'.

I must have been getting confused about why all the teachers, civil servants, prison workers, police officers and other NHS staff have been going on strikes (or protest marches in the case of the police).

Silly me, I thought it was about pensions.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 18:47:49

Why should they suck it up? Where would you b,e op without a doctor? Why not make the profession totally unattractive so we just get dunderheads treating us?

They perform an outstanding public service in the face of very difficult circumstances. Eg Fri/Sat night in A and E. It 's the public services that keep the country on it's feet. They should be honoured rather tha abused for performing a worthwhile public service.

Isn't the raise in pension contributions more do do with the fact the government are trying to raise surplus money than actually anything do do with pensions. I for one will be totally supporting my wonderful GP's

QueenEdith Wed 30-May-12 18:48:22

They're taking a much bigger hit than teachers (from a position of higher contributions in the first place).

Is any public sector strike ever OK?

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 18:49:36

This thread isn't representative. I would really doubt that the general public would support the doctors and I think it would cause damage to the profession as well as division within the profession.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 18:51:39

Mirry, you are right to say dr's are highly employable - but they are also very mobile. Over the past few years, more than a dozen of my DH's colleagues have emigrated to countries where they can earn more, have a better standard of living, better weather and, they feel, more respect.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 18:52:28

a lot of the general public work in the public sector and know first hand what it's like to be shat on from a height, I'm sure there's lots of teachers and police workers etc who will understand exactly where the doctors are comming from!

starwarrior Wed 30-May-12 18:52:34

IABVU because I work in the NHS, member of Unison, and voted to go on strike a few years ago confused
But worried about my 78 yr old mother who's already had hip replacement op cancelled once.

misslinnet Wed 30-May-12 18:54:11

Given that most doctors earn a lot more than the average, Mirry2 has a good point about the public probably not being too impressed by them striking.

But as I understand it, the strike will only affect non-urgent care, so people who have life-threatening conditions should still be treated.

lyndie Wed 30-May-12 18:54:46

I'm a doctor. The pension is currently in surplus and paying £2 billion into the treasury every year. We agreed changes in 2008 to make our pension sustainable and now they want to impose a new one on us. The increased contributions won't actually go into our pension and we will never see the benefits. If they want us to pay more tax, then put taxes up but don't pretend it's a pension problem when it isn't. I have accepted pay freezes and working until I'm 68 but I don't see why we should be paying this extra tax when similarly paid civil servants are not.

Bue Wed 30-May-12 18:56:41

Doctors do not pay 26% of their wages into their pension - some may have to pay up to 14.5% in future according to the BMA.

From the Guardian article:

By 2014, some doctors will have 14.5% deducted from their pay for their pensions, compared with 7.35% for senior civil servants on similar salaries, to receive similar pensions, said the BMA.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 18:58:16

As for the high pensions/low wages thing which has supposedly been resolved. As a public worker. I have never ever had

a bonus
a car
any shares
private health
even feckin' tea or coffee. I get my salary and that's it. Nothing extra ever.

Does that equal out the salary argument at all? DH gets car, private petrol, mobile, shares, bonus scheme, private health.

ScramblyEgg Wed 30-May-12 19:00:30

Mirry, you're wrong about 100% guaranteed employment - my sister's a doctor & has had periods of not being able to find work.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 19:00:31

Lyndie, very well said. Pretty much word for word what gets discussed round our dinner table frequently.

bumperella Wed 30-May-12 19:02:58

BUT if you look at actuarial valuation of the schemes - i.e. look at how much you'd have to save to get the same retirement income many public sector workers will get - then how can anyone possibly say that it's sustainable?
It's precisely becuase I value the public sector that I think pension reform has to happen: if it doesn't then in a very few years time we won't be able to afford many of our public services anymore.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:03:39

Even have to pay for Christmas Party

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 19:04:26

Bue, my DH does pay 26%, and will have to pay 28.5%. He is a GP and pays both employer and employee contribution himself. The healthboard he is contracted to does not pay the employer contribution.... this is the normal situation for GP's.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:06:31

Lyndie, mypoint exactly. I am a teacher, and it is exactly the same thing for us. The pension is sustainable. we will see no benefit from the increases. So it is actually a tax angry peddled to the likes of Daily Wail as a gold plated pension.

ENormaSnob Wed 30-May-12 19:07:12

I support the strike.

The pension changes to me are akin to my mortgage company telling me my payments are going up and I will be paying for longer. Ie, not what I signed up for.

I noticed a significant increase in ni payments from my wage this month too.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-May-12 19:07:35


I fully support the doctors.

Nobody should be "sucking up" attacks to their working conditions.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 19:08:28

I'd be interested to know how many on this thread are doctors.

RillaBlythe Wed 30-May-12 19:09:18

Mirry, bollocks that doctors have guaranteed employment. I know two at the moment who have been made redundant from their NHS jobs.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:09:19

Imagine a country without doctors................ Let's just hammer them to make sure it happens

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 19:10:10

not a doctor

sometimes a patient though so I support their strike!

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 19:10:20


oh, and YABU

bumperella Wed 30-May-12 19:10:32

orangesandlemons, as a private sector worker, I have never had a car, shares, private health (though there is coffee/tea). Neither have I ever had good job security, anything above statutory maternity pay, or a definied benefit pension scheme. This is pretty much the norm (am a chartered accountant).
The car and private petrol is now v unusual - it's v expensive from a tax point of view. IMO a mobile is not a "perk", it's a way to get your employees to be contactable and available 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year... but that's another issue entirely!

maples Wed 30-May-12 19:11:03

YANBU - drs did very well out of the pay deal agreed by the last government.

EdgarAllenPimms Wed 30-May-12 19:11:39

i think it makes them look pretty bad - some of the highest paid public sector workers refusing to accept what most people would still consider a fantastic pension deal.

the pay deal they got under the last government was so favourable it really beggared belief.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 19:12:42

Mirry, I've said my DH is. My DS is a medical student and is going to be badly hit by these changes.

What is your own profession smile ?

maples Wed 30-May-12 19:12:44

Exactly edgar

ShellyBoobs Wed 30-May-12 19:12:45

DH gets car, private petrol, mobile, shares, bonus scheme, private health.

Yes, everyone in the private sector gets all those things, you know.

EdgarAllenPimms Wed 30-May-12 19:12:52

and most of the doctors at our local surgery have come here for the better pay from other countries.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:13:00

Bet you get your Xmas do paid for though.

EdgarAllenPimms Wed 30-May-12 19:15:16

smile yes, it is all of £20 per head contribution from employer.

our pension fell 85% in value the year before last and has yet to fully recoup money would be better off in a sock under the bed!

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:16:23

Not saying everyone does. But a "package" is often used in private sector ( I had one when I was in private industry) but not often public sector (well not in my bit). From the people I know/have known, I know veryfew in ps who do get some sort of add on, even if it is only tea and coffee.

I get nowt

duckdodgers Wed 30-May-12 19:16:51

Oh here we go with the usual jealousy from certain private sector workers against the public sector. If things are so bad for you in the private sector come and join the public sector then and get a "gold plated" pension hmm

maples Wed 30-May-12 19:16:53

Xmas do? Laughs hollowly.

holidaysarenice Wed 30-May-12 19:17:31

I am so glad that so many people here are in favour of this 'strike' - i fully support every attempt to refrain from Government interference.

1) The NHS pension scheme contributes 2.8billion excess than is required last year. That is money that finances Governments, roads, nurseries etc - Services that every one of us use on a daily basis.

2) An average NHS pension (and i appreciate this is NHS generally and not Dr's) is 7500 pounds and 4500 for a woman.

3) in 2008 NHS staff accepted massive changes and slashes to pension schemes in order to ensure that they would remain financially viable in future years. It was under the agreement that no further re-negotiations would occure

4) Whilst current consultants and high grade staff will be afffected the massive changes will occur to lower grade staff and those who are currently training. Many staff have voiced that they will no longer stay in the NHS and many will move abroad to favourable conditions. Potentially this will leave a massive staff shortage for patients, increased costly locums and ultimately less funding into the coiffeurs.

The change to staff pension benefits will ultimately affect patients. I feel strongly that the current scheme is sustainable and that Government policies should look at alternatives to raise monies and not to sustainable schemes. I wholeheartedly believe that every Dr out there will put patient safety at the heart of all that they do.

maples Wed 30-May-12 19:18:18

Duck it's annoying to see people with final salary pensions moaning! Last Xmas eve my DH was told he might be sacked. Luckily all righted itself at his co, but how many gps have had that experience?

maples Wed 30-May-12 19:18:41

Holiday the general public won't be in favour.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 30-May-12 19:22:37

I wondered if there would be a thread about this.
The general consensus seemed to be that teachers should "suck it up" when they went on strike about pensions.

Doctors, not so much, it seems.

YABU, anyway.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:23:51

So you think the general public will be happy to see the people who care for them when they are at their most vulnerable, and save their lives being shafted?

I would be very suprised if they don't have a lot of public support

Doctors are highly paid professionals.. because they spend longer than almost any other profession training to a high level.. just to be a qualified doc takes 5 years then another two foundation years before they even get started..most continue a high level of training for decades.. they jolly well earn their salaries.

So why should they not be able to strike when their pensions are threatened as other civil servants can and have been? Just because they are supposed to be in a vocation?

And employment is NOT guaranteed... there has been a shortage of F1/F2 placements in recent years (that't the two training years following the basic 5 at university) . My DD is a med student and worried about thatsad

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:30:37

I don't understand the vocation thing either. Doctors have families, futures to plan for just like everyone else. Why shouldn't they strike?

they should have as much right as anyone else to strike, although i was told there was a similar protest in oz at one time and instead of striking the docs stopped signing death certs! no bodies could be buried so all got resolved asap x

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 19:36:24

I think they should go on strike. I also think though that they will always be able to get work in the NHS or in private practice or as some have said by going abroad. There will always be potential medical students and doctors who want to come here from oversease.

When do doctors start earning money or receiving a bursery for their work? Is it once they've done their 3 year training, their 5 year training or 7 years?

ENormaSnob Wed 30-May-12 19:40:11

I am not a doctor. I am a midwife with a nursing background.

I support the doctors and I support the teachers.

EdgarAllenPimms Wed 30-May-12 19:44:51

duck in case you didn't notice... there was the usual allegation that private sector workers get a whole load of trimmings (that most of them don't get at all!)

the average drs pension resulting from this change was quoted as £68k per annum ..if i heard the radio right.

that isn't going to sit well with the general public.

RillaBlythe Wed 30-May-12 19:51:26

Mirry, they strt earning after 5/6 years of medical school. Starting at 24k.

GrumpyCrossPatch Wed 30-May-12 19:53:40

The NHS pension scheme met all its costs and pumped £2 billion pounds excess income into the economy each year. Peak demand will be in approx 2015 I believe and costs will still be met easily. It is not a doctor pension, it is an NHS pension and the same one nurses, porters and paramedics took action over.

Contributions are income banded. Top earning employees will pay 14.5% - similarly earning civil servants pay 7.something and MPs have refused to negotiate any change to their pension. GPs pay such a huge amount as they pay both employee and employer contributions. Part time workers pay contributions on the amount they would earn if full time, not what they actually earn - how is that fair?

Similarly penalising to carers, mothers (and LTFT fathers!) and the lower paid is the shift from final salary to career average pensions. This is not about saving the economy because the NHS pension scheme actually positively benefits it. This is about a conservative, misogynist agenda of hatred for welfare provision, the state and women being in the workplace. Over 2/3 of budget cuts predominantly affect women and those on low incomes and this is yet anther one.

Mirry they get no pay until their foundation year(when they are qualified).. so they have 5 years of degree with no funding. The NHS pays tuition fees for nurses and other allied professions but only 5th year fees for med students. My DD1 doing medicine is worse off than her sister who is doing Nursingsad

Never understood the logic of that one....

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 19:54:50

Is it an allegation in the same way as gold plated pensions then? I was basing it on what I knew from friends/relations didn't realise it was an allegation as such.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 20:04:07


Medicine is a 6 year degree in some medical schools, a 5 year degree in others - it depends how the course is structured. For my DS, it's 6 years and medical students can choose to do an extra year at medical school to study an area of research/science which interests them. So potentially 7 years at uni before F1 year.

It's a long haul, and it's tough.

The general consensus seemed to be that teachers should "suck it up" when they went on strike about pensions.
That's because people don't see teachers as anything more than free childcare sad

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:06:53

Yes, it's a long haul but with immense rewards at the end smile

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:11:00

its a long haul, with a starting salary the same as some nurses they work with, and shittier hours than a lot of nurses they work with, and more responsibility and stress and scope for litigation..

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:16:53

Why do they do it if they get the same pay as nurses?

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:18:35

well exactly! a lot of doctors are ex HCAs, if medicine is made much more unappealing they'll just do nurse training wont they? I mean why bother if after YEARS of slog there aren't some long term rewards?

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:22:53

I think (hope) that doctors are in it for more than the salary they're paid, which is quite good anyway. I do think that GPs in particular are in danger of losing the respect of the public, no matter what other posters say.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 20:26:42

Well even if they lose the respect of the public what difference does it make?

Those who don't approve can choose to vote with their feet

Where on earth is the research to suggest that a lot of doctors are ex HCA?!!?!?!?!? I find that very difficult to believe to be frank, given the competition for medicine!

Yes there are places for graduate medicine, but that is even more competitive than standard entry and I don't think the NHS is THAT bursting with HCA who have the academic qualifications to jump into medicine ..

Nursing and Medicine are very different....both in the depth of study and core skills needed . Having children training in both professions it is pretty clear that my med student daughter is doing the more difficult course...

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:27:29

yeah but they are still people outside work, and there are other ways to work in healthcare with less of the downsides of doing medicine, its a huge sacrafice, do you know any junior doctors or partners of junior doctors? they often have to relocate every 6 months, and have to move all over the country, considering they are older than the average new graduate by then a lot are in relationships or have families and its a bit shitty, they have to consider their families too, is it worth it?

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:29:02

I'm a HCA, I work with med students who do HCAing on the bank, have seen loads of colleagues take the gamsat and go off to med school, lots of science grads interested in going on to medicine do HCAing while studing for the gamsat

ThePathanKhansWitch Wed 30-May-12 20:31:13


monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:34:01

but why would anyone reasearch it medusa?

HCAing is very flexible so it fits in well for students working towards medicine, and is easy to get into for people thinking about medicine, also cant hurt to have some hospital experience, why would you doubt it?

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 20:35:12

Mirry, the earnings are high, I am not denying that, but they also have a ceiling that doesn't exist in other (non public sector) industries.... effectively capping the earning potential of a group of individuals who, had they chosen a different career, would have had the potential to earn truly "immense rewards". These are very bright, very driven people........... why all the animus towards people earning a high wage (80, 90, 100k, whatever) because they have the title "Dr"? I think that just makes them an easy target to attack, Daily Fail style.
Their academic peer group outside the medical profession are able to earn "sky's the limit" salaries (without the legal responsibility Dr's face) - these very high earners in other professions will be buying themselves comfortable pensions too (and with more control of their pension assets), without their pension contributions being syphoned off to the treasury (as happens with the NHS fund surplus to the tune of £2bn a year).

The Government will of course be delighted to see public sector workers at the higher end of the earnings range being slagged off - it sugars the pill for others who are also under attack.
Divide and Rule.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:36:04

I don't think the relocation argument is exclusive to doctors. University academics have the same problem. They have also trained for 7 plus years, are usually employed on short term contracts and have to go where the work is. I do have sympathy for medics but they aren't a special case in terms of pay and job availability.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:38:04

but they ARE a special case because that starts later than for other grads who can start that process at 20 or 21 after only 3 years! they have to START that whole faff later
and they ARE a special case compaired to other health care grads who get bursaries etc

soverylucky Wed 30-May-12 20:38:26

I think being a doctor should be the most highly paid job around. What is more important than saving lives or improving lives. We all know someone who without a doctor would have died or been seriously, seriously ill. My own dh and fil would be dead were it not for the skill of two different doctors.

Doctors have my full support in going on strike. I think they should be paid a massive salary.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:38:52

SCOTCHandWRY the title DR is a courtesy title for most medics who would be the first to admit it. The only people who have EARNED the title Dr by examination are those with a PhD, DPhil or MD.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 20:40:17

Apart from the fact that they save I guess they aren't special terms of pay hmm

Mosman Wed 30-May-12 20:41:20

affect women and those on low incomes and this is yet anther one.

Yes that's true all those part time usually female GP's on £50k a year are being hit the hardest. Audi and BMW must be shitting themselves, only replacing the one car this year Dr ?

NovackNGood Wed 30-May-12 20:41:50

I don't understand the attitude of doctors striking when it was no doubt a high percentage of those Doctors who democratically voted conservative and have got what they voted for.

It would be sensible to remove their national bargaining rights and let the local health authorities deal with salaries locally.

TessTosterone Wed 30-May-12 20:42:25

What scotch said.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:42:34

monkymoma i don't understand what you mean. What do you mean by 'the whole faff'?

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 20:43:30

Mirry, you are just picking nits now smile. Of course on the other hand, any Dr of Medicine will tell you PhD stands for Pretend hospital doctor wink

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 20:43:42

Do public health doctors vote Conservative? I thought that was mainly private doctors.

soverylucky Wed 30-May-12 20:45:14

I know plenty of people with a phd. They most definitely do not deserve the title doctor when compared to those who work in medicine.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:45:16

you said that they weren't the only grads who have to move around after graduation before being able to settle, that's a faff, its okay if you're young with no ties, but the extra couple of years means that doctors are more likely to have to drag partners and families with them or have a lond distance thing with their partners and kids

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 20:45:34

Novack, I can assure you, most of the Dr's I know are staunch Labour supporters.... but then again I live in Scotland where conservative voters are almost as rare as hens teeth.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:46:04

SCOTCHandWRY if you really think that you are certainly not any doctor I know.

monkeymoma Wed 30-May-12 20:47:37

you know how your GP votes Mirry? I have never asked my GP nor has he expressed any poltical opinions to me

NovackNGood Wed 30-May-12 20:48:03

Scotland is a special case since they have not really voted conservative since the Poll tax and even then there were only 10 cons north of the border. Without scottish labour seats Blair would never have seen the light of day so we'd never have got into this mess.

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:48:57

Soverylucky, I'm not going to argue with you. Just become a bit better informed about what it takes to get a PhD and who deserves and doesn't 'deserve' the title. It's not a merit mark you know.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 20:49:31

I think the majority of public workers don't vote Conservative. Those that do probably keep quiet about it. And Mr Cameron is determined to keep it that way smile

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 20:49:56

monkeymoma -I haven't mentioned voting. i think you need to ask someone else.

FallenCaryatid Wed 30-May-12 20:50:23

'Well even if they lose the respect of the public what difference does it make?'

As a teacher, I agree. How does worrying about what the DM thinks about my job and me change anything?. Teachers have lost the respect of the public, but when we had it, it made little difference to our T&C and didn't stop all sorts of crap being dumped on us.

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 30-May-12 20:51:25

I agree mirry2, I think that the conditions of service are even worse for university academics. However, I don't think that is a reason for doctors not to complain about this outrageous tax on NHS workers.

I'm a junior doctor and was very skeptical about a strike for a number of reasons. I was concerned that any industrial action significant enough for the government to actually take notice would impact on patient care. I think the BMA has made the right decision to prioritise patients.

Secondly, I didn't think we would come across well as a profession in a time of financial hardship. Public trust is absolutely imperative if we are to be able to effectively care for patients, and I am unsure if this will hinder that.

I guess we will just hope that the public understand that the media hype over GPs earning 200k or whatever is exceptional, that jobs are not exactly guaranteed, particularly at the moment, and that this was all renegotiated to make the treasury a profit 4 years ago. Oh and my pension is NOT a final-salary pension!

NovackNGood Wed 30-May-12 20:58:19


Im sure you right after as they would be like turkeys voting for christmas if they voted con. And fee if any public service workers want off the gravy train.

maples Wed 30-May-12 20:58:37

Sovery that's quite funny grin that you think a phd which is 8 years of study counts for less than a medical dr training.

maples Wed 30-May-12 20:59:41

3 year degree + 1 year masters + 4 year phd (supposed to be 3 but takes 4)

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 21:00:21

Mirry, sorry, too many posts... if I really think what? If referring to Labour supporting GP's yes, very few of the GP's I know (dozens) have any Conservative leanings, but as I said, I am in Scotland, and also in a very deprived area where these GP's have CHOSEN to work, so maybe that attracts left-wing of the profession anyway.

I am well aware of the work involved in gaining a PhD, I have seen a number of people go through the process (close relatives and friends), and it is tough but not harder (or easier) than med school - just different pressures.

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 30-May-12 21:01:55

Has anyone got an MBBS/MBChB on this thread AND a phd? Which was harder? And what subject?

maxpower Wed 30-May-12 21:04:59

well said krumbum and lyndie

mirry2 Wed 30-May-12 21:05:34

Scotchnd Awry - yes comments are out of sinc - i was refering to the pretent doctor comment

I am an academic; DH is a doctor. He's not in the BMA and is currently employed by the army, so he's not striking anyhow.
But - my point. Both of us have the title 'Dr'. Do I expect to be paid the same as him? No, although we have trained for comparable amounts of time. Because I:
a) don't risk people's lives if I have a 'bad day at the office'
b) don't pay nearly £2000 per year in insurance, £700 in professional fees and memberships and close to £1000 per year for continuing professional development
c) don't get sworn at, threatened, abused and stressed to high heaven every day of my working life
d) don't have such an amazing capacity to improve and extend people's quality of life, relieve their suffering and support them at their most vulnerable.

Do I think that either of us 'deserves' the title Dr more than the other? Nope. Do I think that his job is more vital than mine? Of course - what kind of person could argue otherwise? confused

GrumpyCrossPatch Wed 30-May-12 21:11:43

Mosman What part of "this is not a doctor pension, this is an NHS pension" did you miss? I'm sure a part time HCA will thank you for your sarcasm. But hey ho, you Daily Fail away...

misslinnet Wed 30-May-12 21:14:24

Mirry2 the title DR is a courtesy title for most medics who would be the first to admit it. The only people who have EARNED the title Dr by examination are those with a PhD, DPhil or MD

Mirry2 - how are you defining medic? Surely most people would say that's the same thing as a medical doctor. They've earned that title by passing exams through at least 5 years of medical school. And in order to become consultants, they have to do years of post-graduate training (at least 2 before speciality training, and then typically at least 5 years speciality training), and pass many more exams on the way. I'd consider them more worthy of the title doctor than someone with a PhD.

Conditions of service may well be worse for university academics, but medical doctors have a lot more responsibility. Most doctors don't earn anywhere near as much as most people think they do, and they don't have the job security that people think they do either.

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:14:37

Hear hear Frozen north. Agree with every word as someone with a medical family.

SCOTCHandWRY Wed 30-May-12 21:19:20

Ah well, that was a joke MIRRY, one frequently bandied about between people I know as to who is the "real" Doctor!

knackeredmother Wed 30-May-12 21:25:26

If I had the energy I would write a detailed post about how YABVU.
I work around 30 hours a week of unsocial, bloody hard hours (can't remember the last time I ever managed a break) as a five year qualified doctor. This month I took home £1200.
I can't afford to pay more money that I won't actually see in my pension when I am finally allowed to retire.
Lack of public support will drive hard working doctors out of the profession/ to other countries and lower the standard of the medical profession.

Thetokengirl Wed 30-May-12 21:25:44

I promised myself I wouldn't post, but it's too hard!

Ok, firstly, to declare my interest -yes, I am a doctor (have an MbChB and a MD, so should satisfy everyone).
Secondly, I am a member of the BMA. However, I didn't vote as I couldn't decide how to vote. I'm still not sure what I will be doing on 21st June. What I will be doing, is ensuring that my patients are not adversely effected. As will 99.9% of doctors.

I am highly paid and am aware of how privileged that makes me. I have a comfortable life, but we are not rich. My take home pay dropped by over £100 a month in April when the new pension rates came in. For this extra contribution, I will have the privilege to work longer and get less money at the end of that time. I appreciate that medics are by no means alone in this.

We feel angry and not listened to (as do many in the public sector) and when we compare our 13-14% contributions to those of civil servants I'm not going to mention MPs as I think they are just taking the piss then it is frustrating.

I didn't go into medicine to make myself rich, but neither did I expect to have to work in the conditions that I have to work in, with the constant battle to do the best for my patients in a system that is consistently tring to save money year on year.

Lastly, I have never voted conservative and never will.

TheCrackFox Wed 30-May-12 21:27:40

How much is the average doctor's yearly pension?

Thetokengirl Wed 30-May-12 21:29:22

Oh, meant to add, I am happy not to be called Dr Token due to inverse snobbery from several centuries ago, I much prefer Miss Token

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 30-May-12 21:29:55

Couldn't agree more tokengirl smile

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:30:21

It's the reason we have left the country already, TheToken and Knackered. Come abroad, it's better. Better respect, better salary, better recognition of talent.
I don't think anyone studies for 5 years, then tons of years further with antisocial hours and endless exams to take home £1200.

knackeredmother Wed 30-May-12 21:35:10

1950s, thanks for the words of encouragement. We are seriously seriously considering it. I worked out my gross hourly rate to be about £10.45. Aldi are advertising for staff at nearly £10 an hour.
Am very disheartened but unfortunately love my job!

knackeredmother Wed 30-May-12 21:37:13

Sorry that should read my NET hourly rate before anyone questions my terrible maths!

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:43:05

Knackered - my revalation came a few years ago when my on call rate was £7 an hour. It seemed very odd that the surgeon could be paid less to be in theatre at 2.30 in the morning than the porter!

Took us a few years to finally make the move. I honestly would consider moving. My DH is amazed at how much more respectful the staff are to him, not making him God-like, but actually seeming to appreciate the fact that he is highly trained now and really happy he is there. He was treated like shit sometimes by the NHS. Co-incidently, 4 out of the 7 surgical trainees from his rotation have gone abroad. It's a little frightening.

missorinoco Wed 30-May-12 21:47:38

Studied for 5 years, started working when out of hours pay was poor, and the cleaner was paid more than the junior doctor working out of hours doing a 32 hours duty with four hours "protected" sleep.

Have now reached the end of my training, there are no jobs, despite many of us entering training programmes designed to meet anticipated need. (Awfully sorry, we cocked up and expanded the jobs too early, oops.)

Politicians earing the same as us will contribute less and take back more from their pension.

After paying childcare fees, indemity fees, GMC fees and Royal College membership fees (to pay for the training to get me the consultant job that has gone) I take home £200/month. (I get the idea DH's salary contributes too, but if I wasn't working I wouldn't be paying child care.)

Do I believe in striking? Not really, it's not quite the mentality with which I went into medicine. Do I feel shafted, misrepresented and utterly disillusioned? Yes.

Rant over.

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:53:47

OMG Misso, this happened to us as well!!!!!! Training places were a nightmare. There is a guy who followed on my DH in a fellowship who doesn't have a job next month. He is really highly trained up and now looking to the USA for a job. Is that what the NHS really is about? Spending hundreds of thousands of hours training junior doctors to 'give' them to other countries?

Again, I repeat - come abroad. I just wish we'd done it sooner but Dh felt such loyalty to the NHS. We were totally shafted.

missorinoco Wed 30-May-12 21:55:37

Where did you go?

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:56:52

Canada. It's fab.

missorinoco Wed 30-May-12 21:57:37

It's tempting, but it's far away from the family. Lovely quality of life thoug.

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 21:59:16

I know what you mean, although now people come for extended periods of time, we are surprisingly happy with how much we see people. And coming back once a year helps. In fact, it's been better as before I'd sometimes not see folk for 6 months at a time, and then it was just for Sunday lunch. Now we have them over for ski holidays etc. Also, we are on the east coast so the flights aren't too bad.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 21:59:44

Where's the OP?

soverylucky Wed 30-May-12 22:05:56

I don't think a Phd is easy. I don't think it is a merit mark. It is hard work. But I know people in my family who I have watched study for a Phd and I don't think that all Phd's are equal in work load to doing medicine. That is my personal experience from comparing the situations of people who I know who have studied in these two different areas.

justcheckingitout Wed 30-May-12 22:15:19

Also just want to point out that this isn't about opting in or out of a future system we have control over... No this is about the money people have already paid into the scheme from their take home pay over the last 20 odd years.

How would you feel if you paid into a saving account through work every month, only to find that 20 years later when the money should be there ready, the rules changed and they refused to give you the money back... in effect the govt have stolen this money from us

Am a doctor btw but have bu**er all pension anyway because I had some years out... but it just seems v unfair on those that paid in and now the govt have taken it for themselves. I think I will opt out of the scheme now just on principle.. its not v good value now anyway.

Nothing new about the govt shafting Drs btw... 20 years ago we got paid one third of normal wage for weekends and nights and Bank Holidays...the porters and cleaners were on double pay, we were on a third pay.. no one complained becos otherwise we would have been making a mint and the govt didn't want to employ more Drs to ease the workload... some of theses very Drs who have worked their butts off round the clock saving lives, now really need their retirement.

orangeandlemons Wed 30-May-12 22:17:33

JCIT. That is so shocking!

starwarrior Wed 30-May-12 22:24:42

orangesandlemons - just back from the pub thanks for asking smile. I posted on p2 of thread to agree that IABVU and explained why.

It is highway robbery.
The money to pay our pensions as they were renegotiated 4 years ago is there angry.
If you listed carefully to what government talking heads say, they never use the words 'unaffordable'. It is always 'it is a good scheme'.

They want/need our money because Big Money has cocked up and they are going to take it.

Do I think a strike is going to change anything? Not really.
Do I feel very strongly that we must strike to at least make a point? Hell, yes.

I am so angry, I could burst.
I pay over a quarter of my income into my pension, will have to work more years, get less when I retire.
Civil servants apparently pay 3% of their salary for their pension.

<<looks at job offers in Canada>>

EdgarAllenPimms Wed 30-May-12 22:39:39

"Spending hundreds of thousands of hours training junior doctors to 'give' them to other countries?"

oh the irony. huge numbers of our practicing NHS staff came from the third world...

1950sHousewife Wed 30-May-12 22:43:55

EdgarAllen. Not too sure what your post means? confused I might be being dense.

I read that it costs about £250K + to train a person to become a consultant. It just seems odd that either there are no jobs at the end or the pay and conditions becomes such an issue that over half the people my DH trained with have gone respectively to the US, 2 to Canada and one to Oz. I think one other may be off to S NZ.
Seems like a bad use of resources. But I'm off the pension topic. Sorry...

justcheckingitout Wed 30-May-12 22:44:52

I don't really find that ironic... work conditions in USA and Canada are better than here, in Eastern Europe, India,Greece conditions are worse than here

They want to come here, we want to go there, USA and Canadian Drs want to stay there

hiveofbees Wed 30-May-12 22:51:30

The NHS pension scheme makes a £2 billion/year suplus for the treasury.

What is the justifiation for asking people to pay more into it and have to retire later?
If the scheme was making a loss then I would understand better, but not when it is actually making the government so much as it is.

The scheme was renogatiated a few years ago, and people did 'suck it up', but why change it again? What is the reason?

plus3 Wed 30-May-12 23:02:02

I completely support this strike - Also supported the teachers.

Hope as a nurse, we will also be supported.

Thetokengirl Wed 30-May-12 23:02:38

Agree hiveofbees.
I think we are fairly apathetic when it comes to making a stand, so to have such a large turn out in favour of industrial action goes to show how annoyed we all are.
Unfortunately, I doubt it will make a difference sad

Thetokengirl Wed 30-May-12 23:05:31

I beeped my horn in support of Unison when they went on strike. Also gave to a whip round for coffee and bacon butties for those poor cold buggers on the picket line, if that counts?

plus3 Wed 30-May-12 23:10:38

grin thetokengirl! Although to be fair, I'm with the RCN & I work in critical care so technically one of the last to go out, but out I will go if this continues.

BoiledEggandToastSoldiers Wed 30-May-12 23:15:10

Agree totally with HiveofBees.

There is already a HUGE surplus each year already paid into the treasury, it is a tax on being a doctor.

Sadly less than 1% of doctors voted, but over 80% of those that did were in favour of striking.

They have my utmost support.

hiveofbees Wed 30-May-12 23:17:48

Apparently turnout was 51%, of those who voted a huge majority in fovour of industrial action.

Whatmeworry Wed 30-May-12 23:18:01

The last docto's settlement incl pension was ludicrously good, it is a hufe economic aberration and needs tobe brought into line.

But I also believe private company pension laws need to be reformed as they are worse than useless now.

hiveofbees Wed 30-May-12 23:20:24

'ludicrously good' confused

How much of a suplus do you think the scheme should be making and paying to the treasury? confused

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 30-May-12 23:24:14

Who is 'the last doctor'?

Lilithmoon Wed 30-May-12 23:27:06

I support the Doctors and will support any other groups, including nurses. We have to stand together on this, if the professions are divided we will fail.

hiveofbees Wed 30-May-12 23:28:43

I agree, this affects all NHS employees. They are striking separately because of the different unions, not because they dont support each other.

NovackNGood Wed 30-May-12 23:38:04

And after the strikes have disrupted everyone around the country and achieved nothing, what?

When was the last large scale industrial action that was a major success in the UK?

gasman Wed 30-May-12 23:40:13

I'm a doctor.

I have been training since 1995. I will get my CCT next year but there are 450 of us finishing and about 300 jobs predicted. That is 150 unemployed doctors.....

Anyway I fully support the strike but won't be striking as I'm on call on June 21st doing all the emergency shit - so you might see me in labour ward, or looking after a sick relative in resusc or helping out my colleagues in ITU.

I am really really angry that doctors have been singled out to contribute considerably more in 'pension' contributions than other equivalently paid civil servants. Even more irritating is that the MPs pension scheme hasn't changed at all.

They changed our scheme in 2008 and we all started paying more then. Our scheme as others have said generates a profit for the chancellor and is predicted to do so for a long time to come. All these extra pension contributions represent is an extra tax.

yes we are well paid but we are highly trained, highly skilled professionals comparing us with unskilled workers is not helpful. FYI I earn considerably less than my peers in banking, law and accountancy and work a fuck load of weekends, bank holidays and nightshifts. The trade off was supposed to be a good pension but now the government are moving the goal posts.

I'm also not sure how safe I will be working at 68....

TBH I'm tempted to take my UK funded medical degree, BSc and postgraduate qualifications to another country.

Whatmeworry Wed 30-May-12 23:40:31

Meh, IMOwhen the general public learns just how good Doctors' T&C and pension conditions are (which will happen as a result of the strike), compared to everyone else, you will lose the PR support big time.

Be careful of what youwish for.

gasman Wed 30-May-12 23:42:09

Oh and some of you might like to know that out of my 'excellent' salary I pay around £2500 quid / year to continue being a doctor with indemnity insurance (and I'm not even in a really high risk specialty).

All my friends in 'the city' get these costs paid for them (eg. law society, journals, courses etc.....)

Whatmeworry Wed 30-May-12 23:42:09

I am really really angry that doctors have been singled out to contribute considerably more in 'pension' contributions than other equivalently paid civil servants. Even more irritating is that the MPs pension scheme hasn't changed at all.

That I agree with,they are all relatively overblown. Best hope for Doctors is to threaten to bring politicos down with them.

maples Wed 30-May-12 23:48:31

Doesn't the average GP earn about 65k and do no evening/weekend work now?

maples Wed 30-May-12 23:50:16

Just checked on NHS medical careers website - gps get 53-81k. Not a bad salary surely?

maples Wed 30-May-12 23:50:44

Consultants 74-100k

hiveofbees Wed 30-May-12 23:50:47

That sounds plausible.
Does that have anything to do with pensions though?

I presume that the government are claiming that there is some sort of pension related justification for changes to the pension scheme and not just 'we think you are paid too much so will nick some of your savings' hmm

maples Wed 30-May-12 23:52:05

And by the way that is salaried gps. Average GP partner paid 100-110k per year.

maples Wed 30-May-12 23:53:28

As I understand it the position is that the last government did a new deal with drs whereby they accidentally allowed the gps to cut their working hours for a lot more money. I think this government are trying to claw back.

misslinnet Wed 30-May-12 23:55:19

Most doctors are hospital doctors, not GPs.

Hospital doctors have to do evening, night and weekend on-calls.

gasman Wed 30-May-12 23:55:59

Salary is relative to experience.

Why don't you go and google what other professional groups with 15+ years of training get and compare it with the average Consultant salary.....

Yes an NHS Consultant gets paid more than a cleaner but they also have a huge amount of training and responsibility. If you want to be treated by someone with fewer skills and qualifications support this government they are demolishing the NHS.

I will always be able to work and afford good quality healthcare (not necessarily in this country). Will you?

FreeSea Wed 30-May-12 23:57:15

Not read all if thread Si apologies if repeating. Go Lyndie and gasman
Doctors are not going walking out as the stupid press are putting it. Every doctor will still be at work as usual, but not do non emergency work. But to be honest there's not much in a doctors day that won't be classified as urgent so they will still be doing pretty much the same as usual

EverythingInMjiniature Wed 30-May-12 23:59:22

I'm pretty sure

NovackNGood Wed 30-May-12 23:59:44

They don't seem to have a problem affording their BMA dues of over 400 quid a year though.

Why is that unions like that are allowed to strike and therefore picket those going to work when less than half of them even voted to strike?

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 00:01:34

With all the NHS doctors focusing in emergency work for a day I wonder if care might be better on that day for acute cases, as understaffing for that aspect will not be an issue.
Harder for people who have planned appointments that day. I expect that most of the 21st's routine appointments will already have been sent out.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 00:02:39


It isnt a strike and there wont be a picket line because the doctors will all be at work doing emergency work.

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 31-May-12 00:07:01

I'm pretty sure the general public know how much consultants and gps earn whatmeworry.... or at least the upper reaches, unless they haven't opened a newspaper for the last decade.

If it makes you happier I'm a doctor and I earned more per hour on a Sunday shift in waitrose age 18 than I do now. My salary will increase with my level of experience but I've spent over £1000 this year of my own money on courses, exam fees and books in the hope I have a job in a year. 182 of my graduating year did not have a training post when they sat finals, so a job is not guaranteed even at the lowest level.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:10:41

What counts as an emergency? At my GP surgery, all ring up on the day appointments are classified as emergencies. Does that mean that all the GPs will be available for same day 'emergency' appointments as they won't be available for planned ahead ones?

NovackNGood Thu 31-May-12 00:11:08

hiveofbees In which case what's the point of it all? To register a protest? All the vote seems to show is that more than half do not support the industrial action.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:15:18

Is this industrial action in respect of pensions and retirement arrangements for all NHS staff or just for doctors? I'm getting confused.

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 31-May-12 00:18:00

All nhs staff mirry. Different professions have different unions. Unison went on strike before Christmas.

gasman Thu 31-May-12 00:19:05

This industrial action is for doctors.

The other health service unions took different stances - I think the midwives acquiesced. Unison were waiting to hear what we did and I can't remember about RCN and the physiotherapists.

Novak - are you not a member of your union? Personally I prioritise it and get v. frustrated when the BMA forget they are my union and instead become a public health lobbying group. Quite frankly I don't care much about smoking in cars and boxing head injuries. I care about my terms and conditions of service and the slow dissolution of the NHS.

Many doctors lean left. The guardian features heavily in doctors messes (not that I've ever been to the mess in my current hospital).

misslinnet Thu 31-May-12 00:19:59

mirry2 This particular industrial action is just for doctors.

Other NHS staff have their own unions.

According to the news tonight, the GP surgeries will be open, but won't be taking routine appointments. I suspect that the receptionists will be told not to let people make appointments on the day unless they sound really sick.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:20:58

I think that working to 68 years will be the norm for us all and while I don't really want a batty old dr to treat me I assume there will be tests of competency in the future, especially as employment law allows people to work for as long as they want to now. I've heard that air traffic controllers have the highest stress rates of all and wonder if they will have to retire at 68 as well.

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 31-May-12 00:22:02

Just realised that made no sense. It is just doctors taking industrial action but the pension changes affect everyone.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:24:46

mislinnet i hope it won't be just for people who 'sound' sick grin. I envisage lots of receptionsists having to fend off people groaning and moaning over the phone. I pity them their job on that day.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:25:55

Thanks for clearing that up everythinginminiture

Whatmeworry Thu 31-May-12 00:37:05

If it makes you happier I'm a doctor and I earned more per hour on a Sunday shift in waitrose age 18 than I do now.

You're a minority of 1 IMHO.

Doctors' salaries on average are way above national averages, as are the pension provisions, and I believe you will be crucified in the press.

Best tack IMO is to try to show that politicos, senior civil service are hypocrites.

mybabywakesupsinging Thu 31-May-12 00:51:39

I'm a doctor. I routinely work 2 hours before and after my rota hours; there is always more that can be contributed to patient care. I have plenty of colleagues doing the same. I've 2 degrees, have membership of the College of Physicians, have nearly completed an MD and will sit my speciality exam next year. Work for these occurs outside the hours I'm paid for, too, but presumably patient care is better if doctors work hard at knowing their stuff... There are no jobs coming up in my speciality for when I want a consultant job (started training 1997, due to finish 2014, have never been part-time). Many friends have already moved abroad or are thinking of doing so.
I don't feel badly paid now but when I started work I was paid £3.04 an hour for my on-call hours - fancy a shift from Saturday morning till Monday 7pm, anyone? No breaks, of course, couple of hours of interupted sleep if you're lucky? Conditions for today's juniors are much better but don't forget those of us who are older have put these sort of hours in over and over again.
I make decisions/perform procedures that have a life-or-death issue most days. I know the people I look after value the work I do. I would prefer it if others did too. I don't really see the point of a strike - in any case all my work would count as emergency work - but I can see where the frustration is coming from.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 00:58:29

^ I'm a doctor and I earned more per hour on a Sunday shift in waitrose age 18 than I do now^

Everthing inminiture the hourly rate for working in Waitrose is £6.48 gross. I'm surprised you earn less than that.

1950sHousewife Thu 31-May-12 02:45:16

Mirry - it's honestly true. Taking into account the number of unpaid hours doctors are expected to work and how pitifully they are paid on call, it's amazing but true. I believe Mybaby and it's why I left the NHS eventually.

grimsleeper Thu 31-May-12 05:06:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holidaysarenice Thu 31-May-12 05:23:30

As someone who was a health professional and is now a training doctor, I appreciate why you are calculating such a low hourly pay.

As a health professional I was paid per hour, standard, work the hours get the pay. work extra - get extra.

As a doctor - thats a yearly pay, the twelve hour shift that gets two hours added and becomes 14 hrs, because say your labour got complicated DOESNT EQUAL 14hours pay! Add that up on every shift, and remember that weeks are not 37 hours and you have soon got Drs on little money per hour.



Grrrr Thu 31-May-12 05:34:08

"Doctors pay 26% of their earnings into their pension."

Really, where is your source of information to support this statement ?

We are all having to pay more into our pensions, work longer and receive less.

No-one is a special case. Whilst I support anyone's right to strike, the government are having to tackle the public sector pensions group by group.

The time for protest is when they fail to address civil servant (whitehall staff) pensions in the same way.

There simply isn't the money to support the level of pensions being received by public sector retirees and as the "we earn less so we should have better pension benefits/sick pay/annual leave" has been disproved, the pension funding needs to fall into line with the type of pensions obtainable by private sector workers as this is fairer all round.

"Why should we all be in a race to the bottom" This one makes me hmm because when Gordon Brown stealth taxed the private sector pension pots as far back as 1997 (yes, that's right, as soon as he and Tony got into power), no-one in the public sector cared as their pensions were protected from the hit by being topped up from tax revenue paid by all workers (incl private sector). So the private sector worker had to pay more into their own pension and see some of the tax deducted from their earnings used to make up the contributions into public sector pensions.

They either didn't know about it because it didn't affect them (blinkered public sector way of life) or they didn't care to get involved beacuse it simply wasn't their battle. Either way, I personally have had my retirement age increased by 7 years to date and it's still rising plus I'll get less pension even with paying more into it so I can't agree that it is unfair that this sort of problem is shared by all sections of the UK's workforce.

How unstable do we want our economy to become ? Do we want to end up like Greece et al ?

ToothbrushThief Thu 31-May-12 05:39:03

If the pension scheme was unsustainable I would probably not support the GPs. however it is self sustaining through their own payments so it's a tax to prop up other areas of society.

Why does everyone focus their wrath on public sector gold plated pensions (remember the stat quoted earlier -£4500 is average pension for women) when politicians are seemingly sat on a pedestal claiming expenses and setting their own wages/pensions etc?

Not a Dr btw

I was chatting the other day to one who said people resent him earning a good wage. He's done the course, training, hours and has really highly developed skills and people think he should do it as a vocation.... They don't feel the same about lawyers?

Grrrr Thu 31-May-12 05:40:44

To those working out pay rates per hour by factoring in the extensions to shifts and on-call hours etc.

Do you not realise that pretty much all professionals/ middle managers and above work in excess of their contracted hours ? We could all do the sums to come up with a pitifully poor hourly rate of pay, even solicitors !.

Whatever happened to mediciine being a vocation ? It seems you all went it for the pay and pension judging by your arguments on here.

cricketballs Thu 31-May-12 06:37:54

so Grrr if you want a vocation in life you forgo any compensation to accommodate the years of learning, training etc?

Thetokengirl Thu 31-May-12 06:48:40

It is a vocation, hence doctors are not striking on 21st June, but withholding non emergency care.

However, vocation or not, I still need to pay my mortgage, child care, utility bills, etc. I am well paid (already said that in this thread last night) but it took me almost twenty years to get to that situation. At consultant level, any on call commitment is paid as an added percentage of salary, so I get an extra 5% to provide cover on a one in four (night or day) basis.

I am not saying others don't have it worse - you only have to read some of the threads in her- but two wrongs do not make a right.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 07:03:31

Novack - More than half voted. Everyone could have voted if they felt strongly enough either way. People who did were overwhelmingly in support of action, which I'm pretty surprised by and I suppose indicates how strongly people feel.

If you feel that way though, maybe we should talk about how much of a mandate the current government have given the level of voting in the general election - 65% turnout, with 36% voting Conservative.

wildswans Thu 31-May-12 07:03:41

I think we need to separate general T & Cs from pension entitlement.

The training for a doctor is long, hard and expensive. Many work long hours and most of them are extremely dedicated and perform at and beyond the call of duty. They deserve to be well paid - £50-100k is extremely reasonable for what they do.

However, I don't think public sector pensions should be better than private pensions. An individual's pension should be based on a commercial rate ie what would they be able to buy with their pension pot (the pension pot which they have individually contributed to not a general pot that strangers and colleagues have paid into).

I know a number of former police officers who have retired in their late 40s on final pensions that most people - including relatively high earners - could only dream of.

Having said that, I support the right to strike and the doctors are doing it in a responsible way which puts patients' needs first.

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 31-May-12 07:06:16

Honestly, i wasn't trying to argue that I live in poverty. I live very comfortably and I'm grateful I can earn enough to do that in a job I enjoy. I just get a bit annoyed when people seem outraged that doctors earn above the national average. I also didnt go into medicine for the money.

Fwiw I wasn't adding extra hours. I earn £22412 plus a £2400 supplement for London weighting. A 45 hour week (contracted - not including all the staying late) = £10.60 per hour. When I was 18 waitrose paid double on a Sunday so I earned £11.00 per hour. It doesn't really matter, it was just an illustration, but it's true.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 07:06:49

"There simply isn't the money to support the level of pensions being received by public sector retirees"

Grrr - the NHS pension scheme makes a surplus, and pays £2 billion per year into the treasury. What reason do the government have for changing it. It obviously isnt that there isnt enough money to support the pensions scheme.

Grrrr Thu 31-May-12 07:15:39

Many vocational type roles are poorly paid. Medicine just happens to be one that isn't due to the level of education and skill/responsibility involved.

What people are saying is that it's not fair, Drs signed up for x,y and z financial benefits. I'm pointing out that as a vocation it's unlikely that new entrants to the profession will be put off unless they're only considering it for the money/status.

We all have mortgages. childcare, utility bills spiralling upwards etc etc. Public sector workers uttered not one squeak of support when private sector pensions were raided 15 years ago and the value of pensions was reduced and we all have to suck it up and cut our cloth. We simply can't afford the same level of lifestyle in this country as we have been used to and it hurts but if we want economic stability for our children we need to take the unpalatable medicine at this point in time and adjust our retirement expectations accordingly. Horrible isn't it.

FallenCaryatid Thu 31-May-12 07:21:35

I hate that word vocation.
It's used far too frequently to explain expectations of how much and how far someone should go in their job without being paid for it. How much shit they should put up with because 'It's not a job, it's a vocation'

Whatmeworry Thu 31-May-12 07:53:10

As I understand it Doctors still get a very generous final salary pension settlement. As do other senior public servants. No one else does in the private sector, even if they too have spent as much time/money getting their various professional qualifications (BSc/MSc/PhD etc) unless they get onto company boards or are investment bankers.

I suppose the game is to scare the government into backing down, but if they feel they have public support you weaken your hand considerably. I think doctors have lost touch with how grim the whole pension thing is outside the wellpaid bit of the public sector, IMO you will get virtually no sympathy from the public once they see how featherbedded it all is.

Then what do you think will happen? I don't think this has been thought through at all.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 08:11:01

Once again, whatever you think of the pension arrangements, this is a scheme that makes a suplus anyway.

Public sector pensions have always been seen as being good, which is a reason why people have opted to work within the public sector rather than private.
I work in an area where it would be very easy for me to work (for a significantly higher salary) in the private sector. Pension is a big reason why my colleagues stay in the NHS. If the government remove that as a factor I think more people might leave, but then it is possible that a shift from people working in the public sector to private is exactly what the government want anyway hmm

Mosman Thu 31-May-12 08:30:20

The pension was golden handcuffs for those paid less money to work in the public sector than the private sector - however there's more recently been an argument that to attract the best people away from the private sector the salaries need to be attractive.
So basically they want it both ways and the tax payers to put up and shut up.

herecomesthsun Thu 31-May-12 08:38:27

This is an attack on the NHS.

Traditionally, doctors and nurses have worked for less pay, and in worse conditions, in the NHS than in the private sector, knowing that they would get a decent pension at the end of their career. There has always been a lot of idealism and good will, and going beyond the measure of duty. Also, working very long hours, (1 night in 3 on call, coming into work early, staying late, worrying about patients in the middle of the night, thinking through difficult cases in any spare moment etc.) there was a culture of being freed up to focus on the job in hand rather than on getting the best deal.

The pension arrangements have been a bedrock for the NHS in retaining the best and most experienced staff, even at below market rates.

It is galling, 20 years in, to have these huge changes to the game plan (yes, disclaimer, I am a dr). The risk is that highly trained and skilful professionals will find it easy to transfer to private hospitals where they can do similar work but get paid a much higher wage "upfront". In many specialities, there are still problems getting enough drs to work in the NHS in particular areas. If drs move away from the NHS and there are more vacancies then services will become more pressured and remaining jobs will appeal less.

Slashing pensions is a wonderful way for the Con-servatives to undermine the NHS in competition with private medicine while letting the blame for problems appear to lie elsewhere. (No, I don't vote conservative).

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 08:38:28

'they want it both ways' confused You arent born with a mark on your head that says 'private' or 'public' People can move between the different sectors if they wish, but I think that public sector pensions have always put people off moving to the private sector, even for a higher salary, because of the pension. If the government reduce or remove that benefit then people may make different choices.

orangeandlemons Thu 31-May-12 08:41:35

WTF is this shit about vocation? I work in a vocation type industry. I still have bills, mortgages and childcare to pay.

Why should being in a vocation make you have different needs than someone else. I would say that the majority of peole who work in a vocation have a strong sense of public justice, which is hy they are being shafted by the government

But I hate that DM insisdious whining holier than thou attitude to vocations

flatpackhamster Thu 31-May-12 08:43:26


If the pension scheme was unsustainable I would probably not support the GPs. however it is self sustaining through their own payments so it's a tax to prop up other areas of society.

I thought that was the whole point of socialism? From each according to his ability and all that? And is it really self-sustaining? Who's seen the figures? If it is self-sustaining now, will it be in 30 years' time?

Why does everyone focus their wrath on public sector gold plated pensions (remember the stat quoted earlier -£4500 is average pension for women) when politicians are seemingly sat on a pedestal claiming expenses and setting their own wages/pensions etc?

The reason everyone focuses their wrath is twofold. Firstly, public sector workers are not contributing enough to pay for those pensions. They're retiring too early. So the private sector workers are subsidising the pensions of the public sector workers. Secondly, the pension was supposed to be a way to make up the difference in earnings between private and public sector. However average public sector earnings have been higher than the private sector for at least 5 years. So now lower-paid private-sector workers are subsidising their better-paid private sector workers.

The £4,500 figure is irrelevant. It's a union smokescreen. It's not the amount that matters, it's the ability of the state to sustain those payments, however large or small, over the (possibly) 30-year retirement of the worker.

Not a Dr btw

I was chatting the other day to one who said people resent him earning a good wage. He's done the course, training, hours and has really highly developed skills and people think he should do it as a vocation.... They don't feel the same about lawyers?

Yes they do. Lawyers are nearly as despised as politicians. Doctors aren't despised. They are, however, very highly paid and the sight of very wealthy people demanding more taxpayers' money is - unedifying.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 08:48:15


They arent demanding more taxpayers money. The scheme is in surplus. The government are asking NHS workers to pay more, have lower pension and later retiral.

poshbird1 Thu 31-May-12 08:51:27

They have the right to strike but NHS pensions are some of the very best in the world. They are waaaaaaaaay better than what you'd ever receive in the private sector. While I appreciate the very important job that doctors do, should they be entitled to a much better pension than me, because they do such an important job, even though I've worked just as hard and perhaps under just as much stress? I am not saving lives, no, but not everyone in the world can save lives can they? I mean we need street sweepers and heaven forbid, even bankers... so why do the get much much better pensions than nearly everyone else? (ah, except MPs, now don't get me started on them!)

poshbird1 Thu 31-May-12 08:52:26

the scheme is not in surplus, there's £1 trillion black hole in public sector workers pensions - and who do you think 'put them in surplus'? You and me, the taxpayer. They don't produce anything you know? They save lives thanks to our hard work and tax-take.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-May-12 08:55:04



They arent demanding more taxpayers money. The scheme is in surplus.

Who's got the figures to confirm this? I keep reading this but nobody's shown me the numbers. Will it be in surplus in perpetuity?

The government are asking NHS workers to pay more, have lower pension and later retiral.

Yes, they are, and they should. Retirement at 60/65 arose when life expectancy was around 70. Now life expectancy is nearly 90. It's fantasy economics to pretend that's sustainable.

Mosman Thu 31-May-12 08:55:40

You know very well the point I am making, hiveofbees you either have the security and conditions that the private sector can only dream of, wrongly I might add but that's the way it is or you can have the salaries that compete with the private sector.

herecomesthsun Thu 31-May-12 08:55:49

It's not just because HPs have a vocation.

It is
-doing a difficult job
-requiring skills which have demanded training over many years
-for which there is a substantial demand in the private sector, with an alternative of working there and being paid more highly.

There are a large number of newly qualified medical graduates - med school places have increased in recent years. Also, the time taken for postgrad training has been cut. However, would you really want an exodus from the NHS of more experienced staff, to be replaced by staff with a much diminshed breadth of experience and training?

looktoshinford Thu 31-May-12 08:56:11

Its funny isnt it - how all these public sector schemes are 'in surplus', yet still cost the taxpayer billions.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 08:57:48

I dont know if it would be in surlpus for ever. There must be all kinds of variables that would effect that. Who knows what will happen in 20, 60, 100 years? Of course the way that David Cameron is behaving there probably wont be an NHS in the next 10 years...

orangeandlemons Thu 31-May-12 08:58:09 is the public workers who make the difference between a cvilised and uncivilised country.

We doctor, nurse, teach, care, bring babies into the world,deal with birth deaths and marriages,, police, firefight, clean streets etcetc. All the basic infrastructure items that cover all the important life events.

How would the country operate without them? Why should we be shafted? It is our JOB to look after the public. A bit of appreciation would be nice tbh.

If we weren't there who would educate YOUR children? Respond to YOUR medical problems?

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 09:02:09

I think we agree Mosman - People have stayed in the NHS because of security and pensions. The private sector does pay more. I know that it does, and I know that if I moved to the private sector I would be gettig more money. tbh money isnt the main motivator for me, I like my job, and I like the people that I work with. But the prospect of losing the NHS pension is a thought too. The government are doing their best to remove that factor from the equation.

Mosman Thu 31-May-12 09:14:14

With respect there are very few roles within the NHS that exist outside of it and would pay more money.
And most of the Dr's I know wouldn't be employable, highly intelligent but I don't know how they get dressed in the morning by themselves !

looktoshinford Thu 31-May-12 09:20:44

The public sector do all those things orangeandlemons, and will continue to do them on lower pay and smaller pensions.

Public sector workers are are overpaid, over pensioned and over here. The public has cottoned on and sentiment is turning. The doctors in particular, who are paid huge salaries and pensions, should have the good sense to recognise this and take the hit. They will still be better off than 99% of the rest of the country, but wont have made a name for themselves as a profession more interested in pay than caring.

summerintherosegarden Thu 31-May-12 09:20:47

everythinginmjinature on the whole I think I agree with your viewpoint but your maths doesn't stand up re the hourly wage - presumably you get holidays as a doctor? (Sorry, this is so pernickety, I'm just a bit anal when it comes to this kind of thing)

Thetokengirl Thu 31-May-12 09:48:19

Right last post, summerintherosegarden - yes, I get holdays (32 days), but when I do my job plan, these weeks are taken out, as is my study leave entitlement (10 days). For example, I am paid to do 42 clinics on a Monday morning. I am not paid for the other 10 weeks, whether I take the annual leave/ study leave or not. this occurs for all my activities, so in effect, I am not paid for my holiday time!

Of the point of pensions, I can't remember who made this point, but I agree that I think this is part of a conservative policy to degrade the NHS. I am proud of the NHS. I am proud to work in a country that has a NHS. I am proud that I work for the NHS. However, I think my job in 10 years time will be very different and the NHS will be left to deal with the chronic illness, the emergencies, the difficult (as in to manage) and expensive patients.
If you want your elective surgery - those things that are relatively easy and cheap to deal with, you will be in the private sector. It is happening already, with choose and book, but at the moment it is still free at the point of care. How long do you think that will last for? and btw, the effect for me? More money (potentially lots more), but for the NHS? A two tier system that will cost at the point of care i.e. not a National health system. I suspect Aneurin Bevin is rolling in his grave.

Thetokengirl Thu 31-May-12 09:48:56

Sorry, off not of

Cockwomble Thu 31-May-12 10:00:35


I applaud the doc who was on BBC news this morning - he made it clear he would never refuse to treat a patient (ie go on strike, this is 'industrial action' not a strike he said) as it goes against everything he is as a doctor. (One would assume the hypocratic (sp) oath?)

summerintherosegarden Thu 31-May-12 10:14:25

Thanks for the clarificiation tokengirl.

Fwiw my first year working in one of the best paid professions in the private sector worked out at less than minimum wage on an hourly basis, but I'm not using that as a slight against the arguments of the doctors here (and I don't think I've seen a single doctor on this thread complaining about the status quo of compensation/hours/pension, just the proposed changes, which is quite reasonable)

outofteabags Thu 31-May-12 10:31:29

I know alot of Doctors and their lifestyle is good. Yes they have worked bloody hard, but frankly who doesn't. Yes they hold our lives in their hands (apart from the ones who with their negligence nearly killed me) and yes they are well renumerated for that. They are well trained but in all these they are not alone.

We live in a mad world when someone can stop work at 60, get a lump sum, over £100,000 and then receive £68,000 a year and can possibly live for the next 30+ years. No amount of contributions leading up to that pays that out!

But this doesn't just hold for Doctors, its MP's, police, judges (now that is an incredible deal) and many others. We have a sector of society in the private sector whose sense of entitlement blows me away.

My husband and I both work, we earn well, we are trying to build pensions, we are highly qualified and work bloody long hours but the moment we stop the money stops too. Who is going to give us a pile of cash then a fantastic pension for the next 30 years. We ARE going to be working until we drop.

The problem is the deals for these were done in the 70's, life expectency was lower.

I know a senior policeman who retires next week at 48, he is open about the deal he is on, he is also open about the last 30 years on the force and it is hard not to feel quick sick when we are killing ourselves to get through every day.

I know High Court judges who retire next month - crikey, don't get me started!

I know two consultants who retire after them. They are both 58, they are also open about their situation.

This is 5 people and you are talking about nearly 3 million pounds in cost to the public purse. Yes they have made impressive and vital contribuitons to our society - but 3 million pounds! Scale that up and feel ill!

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 10:39:17

What is the current retirement age for doctors in the NHS?
Why do all the ones I know (about half a dozen - I don't have time to add them up) work a 4 day week maximum, send their kids to private schools and have at least one second home and pay for their kids to go to university so that they don't have to take out a student loan?

fragola Thu 31-May-12 10:46:48

The figures that they quoted on Channel 4 new last night were:

For a consultant on £120k retiring at 60, they would receive a pension of £52k with a lump sum of £157k.

To buy this pension in the private sector would cost £1.6 million.

SusanneLinder Thu 31-May-12 10:50:17

Completely support the Doctors Action. Public Sector Worker here with a DH who is a nurse, a DD who starts nurse training in September, and another DD who wants to go into Medical School.

I am fed up about hearing about all these gold plated pensions. I do benefits Advice, and older people who have private pensions get hammered for everything. Have to pay Council Tax, Dental Treatment, Rent etc, Nursing Home Fees etc. People who have no private pensions get Council tax rebates and most things free, don't have to pay top up fees in care homes et etc. The system punishes people who work hard and put money away for their later years.

My pension on last forecast will be about 7 grand a year.Seriously thinking about stop paying into it and let the state keep me. Think I would be better off smile

loobylu3 Thu 31-May-12 10:58:59

Apologies as have only read the first and last page.
Just noticed this from mirry2

''What is the current retirement age for doctors in the NHS?
Why do all the ones I know (about half a dozen - I don't have time to add them up) work a 4 day week maximum, send their kids to private schools and have at least one second home and pay for their kids to go to university so that they don't have to take out a student loan?''

Mirry- I think that these Drs must be in their 50s rather than 20s or 30s.
These people have benefited massively from the housing boom of the last 20 years and have already benefited from the lower pension contributions.
My husband and I are Drs (late 30s) and we work an average of 90 hours or so a week between us. I can assure you that we do not send our children to private school (we cannot afford it) nor have a second home (the thought is laughable at present). Obviously, for our DC, University is a long way off and I think that proves my point that you are talking of much older Drs not the ones who will be most affected by the pension changes.

The pay of doctors has always been considerable lower than those of comparable private sector professionals (I know lots of those too). Yes, they work hard but so do we and they reap much greater financial awards.
The advantages of public sector work (good pensions and a job for life) are being eroded.

I would never claim that I am badly paid - now. This is after qualifying in my late 20s (mature student) having worked and supported myself throughout. I have worked 102 hrs/wk rotas 1:3 with prospective cover (which made it a 1:2. To clarify, you arrived at work at 8 or 9am, had a 'normal' working day til 5pm, then worked your arse off at 1/3 of you normal pay as only 'on call' which in reality ment you worked harden than during the day, to then go back to your normal day duties from 9 to 5. Then evening/night off - and repeat).

I now nominally work 25 hrs/wk ie that's is what I am being paid for. As I am a partner in a business (GP partner) there is far, far more to it. In reality I work more like 40-50 hrs. I have 35 hrs paid childcare which means the remaining hrs occur at evenings (after bedtime ie after 8pm) or weekends. If my husband isn't working.

I do not make a quarter of a million pounds/year.
I do not make 6 figures/yr.
I don't think that I should make that kind of money.
I do not have any kind of private income.
My kids go to the local school.
We do not have a second home.

HOWEVER - I do think that I should get the pension I signed up for.
As should anybody else who enters a job knowing what's expected of them and what they can expect in return.

The doctors pension scheme is in surplus as over the years our contributions have been very high and in fact have subsidised some other NHS workers' pensions.

I pay employers and employee contributions which will now be 26% of my income.

All of you saying 'you drs are so well off compared to others' are of course right. ONe could argye that we are also worse of than some really top earners.
SO?? How does either argument make any difference??

The thruth of the matter is, the country is skint, and the government will claw pack money wherever they can.
Just not from the superrich/taxevaders etc pp.

Yes, I am angry.
I know it won't make one blind bit of difference.
I also see this as an attack on the NHS. Once it's gone, we'll all be in deep shit. Providing health care for all will never be as equal as it currently is (and yes, I know it is not truly equal - you try referring patient from different postcodes entitles to different services and justifiying that to them).

I will now hide this thread. I really despair at the lack of some of your ability to see the wider picture here. This is not about 'woe betide me' it is an undermining of a wonderful prinicple.
Big Society - my arse!!

lyndie Thu 31-May-12 11:07:44

Since none of the increase in pension contributions is going anywhere near the pension pot, why not just put taxes up? If the government wants to increase revenues then just do it.

This is nothing to do with salaries, conditions of work, long hours - simply that no one else in the public sector on similar salaries is having to put this extra money in. It's basically just a tax on doctors.

By pretending it's a pension issue when it isn't is a clever way of undermining doctors even further and don't blame us when you're struggling to recruit and the exodus to Canada, New Zealand and Australia continues.

Wandastartup Thu 31-May-12 11:55:37

I too am a doctor. I have MBBS, MRCP and a PhD which I finished in 3 hers whilst working part-time in a clinical job. My MB BS was by far the hardest due to the breadth and volume of work required. As a part-time consultant I will ironically have a better pension under the new rules but I have voted for industrial action as I believe the students and juniors coming after us who are graduating with hundreds of thousands of debt deserve to be able to get on the property ladder, afford childcare and retire with a decent pension. Most doctors of my generation are actively encouraging their children not to go to medical school which is a sad reflection of the current working conditions and vision of the future. This is obviously not all due to the pension changes but they are certainly not helping.

mirry2 Thu 31-May-12 11:56:52

I am also highly qualified and trained and provide a valuable service (but earning less than half a doctors salary) and could also move abroad and earn lots more money, but I don't go on about it. I really don't like these 'you'll be sorry when we're gone' remarks. They may be true, they may not be but they definitely aren't endearing.

loobylu3 Thu 31-May-12 12:27:20

I don't think that trying to endear oneself to other posters is the point of AIBU.

I see that you haven't answered my question re the ages of your medical friends, mirry.

We also have an relatively easy option to work abroad (my DH is not British) and may well take it, for various reasons, not just financial.

Being a doctor is extremely privileged in many ways but the thought of a high salary (per hour and relative to the number of years of training and degree of responsibility) is not one of the attractions. I remember being paid £3.72 (gross) for all my out of hours work as a junior doctor. The cleaner was on £10 per hour.

Strix Thu 31-May-12 12:30:34

It real says something when people making some 100k think they are hard done by. I haven't got a routine appointment on the 21st. But this hacks me off on behalf of all those who do.

Can I have a reduction onmy taxes for the service not being provided?

The strike will probably do more to encourage public support for private GPs than it will to prolong a pension agreement they have not yet earned.

SparklyRedShoes Thu 31-May-12 12:40:22

I fully support their strike. My GP great. She deserves every penny she gets.

I hate this "well we put up with shit conditions, so why shouldn't they have shitty conditions too" attitude. People who spout it are rather lacking in intelligence in my view.

wfrances Thu 31-May-12 12:40:31

im sure they didnt enter into lightly, ive got nothing against striking.
emergencies will still be seen to,so ???

Grrrr Thu 31-May-12 12:51:42

No-one going to link to evidence re the "scheme surplus" ?

Teachers maintained their scheme was in surplus too but we couldn't get a link to credible evidence statistics.

The employer pays into the scheme too. The employer is the government and this means it comes from tax revenues.

The schemes have to be brought more into line with the average that any worker can obtain, anything in excess of that is a luxury.

Austerity years don't provide for funding luxuries, not even if you are a doctor. Lots of people work unsocila hours/shifts/on-call for far lower wages.

No-one is a special case, sorry

Ultimately if civil service pensions (whitehall and MP's) aren't tackled in the same fashion there should be appropriate action.

itinerant Thu 31-May-12 12:54:19

I am a doctor and spent the nineties working 90 hour weeks shock. I still routinely work far beyond my contracted hours - on NHS work, not private. Whilst I get an immense deal of satisfaction from my career, I find it difficult to understand why, when I pay into a scheme that generates a surplus, I am being asked to essentially pay more for less. I will be taking action in June.

merrymouse Thu 31-May-12 12:58:20

Although life expectancy is increasing, we don't know that we will all live longer in good health.

I'm not sure that I would want to have open heart surgery carried out on me by somebody in their 60's. Many of those who have been striking (doctors, police, prison staff) do jobs that require good physical health.

£100K a year isn't a lot of money compared to other professions. To be a doctor you have to study for many years and achieve very high exam results. If we all work hard, why aren't we all doctors?

NovackNGood Thu 31-May-12 13:03:32

The scheme surplus is a mis-direction. Don't forget that during the 90's many final salary schemes also ran at great surpluses allowing companies to take pension holidays then the late 90's and 2000's came alone and the great deficits lead to almost all final salary schemes disappearing.

Comparing the doctors scheme to MP's is again another mis-direction. We expect MP'S to cut off their careers to be our democratic representatives and of course if you do not like how they perform you are free to turf them out on their arse again every 5 years now. Perhaps you'd all prefer to go back to rotten burghs and only the wealthy or union stooges being able to afford to sit in parliament?

Comparing doctors to footballers is again nonsense unless a doctor can entertain 60,000 folks all at the same time paying about 40 pounds a wack. If they wanted to be entertainers they could have gone that route a la Harry Hill etc or perhaps international rugby player like JPR Williams etc. etc.

If Doctors want more money then I've no problem if the NHS wants to birng in charges per appointment but alas I think most would baulk at that including the same minority of doctors who voted for action.

wamster Thu 31-May-12 13:13:30

I know it's comparing apples to oranges, but I don't mind doctors getting more pay. What pisses me off intensely is celebrity worship and footballers getting paid ridiculous sums of money.

Angelina fricking Jolie 'supporting' some cause or another. Yeah, just putting her name to some document. hmm.

Well at least doctors save lives and GENUINELY do good!

Grrrr Thu 31-May-12 13:18:02

We've all had the goal posts moved. When I entered the workplace and started pension scheme, I would have been able to draw pension at 60, it's now 67 and rising.

We're all going to have to pay in more (thanks Gordon), for longer and get poorer returns (thanks again Gordon).

No-one is a special case.

wamster Thu 31-May-12 13:18:16

We've got the cult of celebrity, footballers on ridiculously high salaries, the leeches of the royal family (nothing against them as people, just the concept of royalty), the frigging massive waste of taxpayers money that is the olympics and doctors are being slagged off?!!! How about tackling the REAL leeches on society?

YABU OP, they are professionals they have not taken this decision lightly, and they have as much right to protect their futures as best they can, as the next man. We need our medical profession to attract the brightest and the best, and a good pension and salary is vital to this.

NovackNGood Thu 31-May-12 13:26:42

Wamster Footballers work for private companies paid for by income from television viewers.
Royal Family don't leech off anyone they provide a surplus.

Olympics are a once in a lifetime occurance and it was labour who saddled the country with them.

Doctors are paid for by a bloated NHS paid for out of our taxes which are more than high enough.

You are right the leeches of society should be tackled which is what the government are tying to do by reforming payments to the feckless getting handouts for housing etc.

PanicMode Thu 31-May-12 13:26:53

I will confess I haven't waded through every page of this, but I was quite sympathetic towards the doctors (my bro is one so I know how hard they work) until I heard Andrew Lansley on World at One yesterday saying that the BMA Pensions representative didn't show up to any of the meetings that they had regarding pensions changes. I also found it hard to be sympathetic hearing that a newly qualified doctor, starting this August and working to retirement could expect to have a pension of £48,000 a year - a private sector worker would have to have a pension pot of £1.5 million to generate that. A consultant gets a pension of close to £60k a year and a six figure lump sum on retirement. It doesn't seem to be that stingy a pension scheme to me, at a time when everyone is having to take a hit and will expect to retire on a LOT less than that, even allowing for how long they train. (Ignoring the stress factors, I expect an architect or vet doesn't get a pension that generous and they train for a comparable time.)

outofteabags Thu 31-May-12 13:28:53

I hate this "well we put up with shit conditions, so why shouldn't they have shitty conditions too" attitude. People who spout it are rather lacking in intelligence in my view.

Lacking in intelligence for 'spouting' this. No, just sick to death with this woe is me attitude. You train as a Doctor, you know what you are taking on. Other careers choices demand a great deal from the individual and do not have the protected godlike status afforded to Doctors. They are not gods, they are doing a job, a well trained one yes and a caring role (hmmmm, might have to remind a few doctors of this factor). Many nurses I know would have an awful lot to say about that!

No-one in this day and age should be living with such protected special status - not when others who may also be highly trained etc etc are facing poverty in their retirement.

Someone else up the thread commented about the doctors they know, private school etc etc. I have just counted up the Doctors and consultants we know... 27. Every single one has their kids in private school, most have more than two holidays a year, many wives don't work etc etc. If I contrast that with others we know, many of whom are very highly qualified and hitting the tops of their professions, majority of wives work, money is tight. The disparity is massive.

And finally, If we all work hard, why aren't we all doctors? there are many kids who would have liked to choose to become a Doctor, Lawyer etc etc but due to the limitations placed on the education experience at 14 for vast amounts of people those options simply aren't there.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:42:18

Why is this action taking place?
Despite agreeing to major reforms in 2008 that made the NHS pension scheme fair and sustainable, doctors are now being asked to work even longer, up to 68, and to contribute much more of their salary, up to 14.5 per cent. These contributions are twice as much as those of civil servants at the same level of seniority and pay, for the same pension. We are not looking for preferential treatment from the Government but are taking action because we want fair treatment. Doctors feel let down by the way the Government has torn up a deal that was fair, sustainable and affordable.

This is the first industrial action by doctors since 1975 and it is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have consistently urged the Government to reconsider its wholesale changes to the NHS pension scheme and, even at this stage, would much prefer to negotiate a fairer deal instead of taking action.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:42:40

Worth repeating:

We are not looking for preferential treatment from the Government but are taking action because we want fair treatment. Doctors feel let down by the way the Government has torn up a deal that was fair, sustainable and affordable.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:43:25

Why do doctors feel so strongly - everyone has to do their bit in this financial climate?

The NHS pension scheme was compeletely overhauled in 2008 to make it sustainable and currently delivers a positive cashflow to the Treasury of £2 billion a year. Despite this, the UK Government is making further, major changes to the pensions of NHS staff. Doctors would be particularly hard hit, with those at the start of their careers typically paying twice as much in lifetime contributions and working until they are 68.

Although the country is now in a different financial situation from 2008, this has not altered the sustainability of the scheme. As part of the 2008 agreement, NHS staff took on responsibility for any future increases in costs due to improved life expectancy.
Only last year, a report by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee found that the 2008 reforms are bringing substantial savings to taxpayers, with the scheme set to be sustainable well into the future.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:44:00

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:45:22

We won't have final salary schemes for long...

"In 2015, there will be a switch to a new career average revalued earnings (CARE) scheme for all doctors. For hospital doctors, this means the end of the final salary scheme, resulting in around a 30 per cent reduction in value on a like-forlike basis. GPs already have a CARE scheme but they will also see their contributions rise very significantly."

flatpackhamster Thu 31-May-12 13:45:55


We are not looking for preferential treatment from the Government but are taking action because we want fair treatment.

Mmm, that old weasel world 'fair' again.

Doctors feel let down by the way the Government has torn up a deal that was fair, sustainable and affordable.

I still have yet to see anyone post the actual figures for the accumulated pension surplus and prove it sustainability. So please point us all to the pension figures and let us review them for ourselves and judge their affordability and sustainability for ourselves.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:46:30

"I heard Andrew Lansley on World at One yesterday saying that the BMA Pensions representative didn't show up to any of the meetings that they had regarding pensions changes."

Don't know what he is talking about here given that the Government have refused to negotiate with the BMA on this and have just said, "This is what's happening. Get over it."

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:48:55

Doctors feel let down by the way the Government has torn up a deal that was fair, sustainable and affordable.

"I still have yet to see anyone post the actual figures for the accumulated pension surplus and prove it sustainability. So please point us all to the pension figures and let us review them for ourselves and judge their affordability and sustainability for ourselves."

The report is here:

From that:

Government projections suggest that the 2007-08 changes are likely to reduce costs to taxpayers of the pension schemes by £67 billion over 50 years, with costs stabilising at around 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or 2% of public expenditure.

Dawndonna Thu 31-May-12 13:52:47

My son wants to be a Dr. So, out of his salary he will have to pay his student loan back at a fairly high rate, and 14% of income on pensions. So, the government will be taking a significant amount of his monthly wage. Wonder how he'll pay rent?

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:53:01

The £2billion surplus:

Public finances supplementary data - Economic and fiscal outlook November 2010

then table 1.5

NovackNGood Thu 31-May-12 13:54:04

Bartlet the average doctor costs the NHS an extra 14K a year over and above their salary in pension costs and reaps benefits far in excess of what their contributions buy.

You are right that there needs to be a fair and wholesale revision of the pension scheme. Why should a doctor starting today get a similar pension scheme to those who already are retired or are about to retire? Most industries already have crossed this bridge and got rid of the old style ponzi scheme pension pots.

You will find in all walks of life A, B, C and even D Scales of pay for the same jobs. Why should it be that new hires in a new economy get the same contractual benefits or that contracts cannot change to cover changes in economy. It's not like there are real redundancies happening in the NHS unlike the economy as a whole.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:54:38

We are not looking for preferential treatment from the Government but are taking action because we want fair treatment.

"Mmm, that old weasel world 'fair' again."

Not sure what the problem is there with parity across the public sector. hmm

By 2014, some doctors will see deductions of 14.5% from their pay for their pensions, compared to 7.35% for civil servants on similar salaries, to receive similar pensions.

PanicMode Thu 31-May-12 13:55:43

Bartlet - he stated that they have had meetings throughout last year and the BMA Pensions Rep "didn't turn up". I don't know about the ins and outs, I never have time to talk to my brother about it - he's permanently on call or in theatre, so I am happy to accept he was being economical with the truth.

My pension (private sector professional) has changed dramatically - from when I started, an expectation of a 'gold plated' final salary scheme, to a defined benefit scheme, to a place where I have to provide my own pension. Had I withdrawn my labour, I would have lost my job. I am struggling to have much sympathy with public sector workers bleating about how it's 'not fair' that the goal posts have changed. They have for everyone - the country has run out of money - and we all have to make sacrifices.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 13:55:47

"there needs to be a fair and wholesale revision of the pension scheme"

There was in 2008.

"Why should it be that new hires in a new economy get the same contractual benefits or that contracts cannot change to cover changes in economy."

The 2008 pension takes this into consideration.

NeedaClearout Thu 31-May-12 14:03:48

Can't speak for hospital doctors but I've worked in a large GP practice for years and seen how they manipulate the system to minimise workload and maximise profit. They use all kinds of dodges, only employing women past child bearing age or otherwise unlikely to need maternity leave, keeping patients on practice register even when they've moved away/gone abroad so continuing to get paid for them, just a few examples. They can get away with it because they're outside the NHS and manage themselves as a business.
They should have private - not state - pensions.

BartletForAmerica Thu 31-May-12 14:06:43

Needaclearout, that sounds all very dodgy, but certainly not representative of all GPs.

People interested in the facts of this all might want to read the official BMA site:

merrymouse Thu 31-May-12 14:45:04

"You train as a Doctor, you know what you are taking on."

Well, apparently not, because apparently the terms are being changed.

We will have to agree to differ on the concept that the only difference between a doctor and a non-doctor is that a doctor has had the opportunity to have a privileged education.

CremeEggThief Thu 31-May-12 14:48:03

YABU, why shouldn't they stand up for themselves?
And I speak as a 34 year old with no pension and probably no likelihood of ever having one that's worth it.

flatpackhamster Thu 31-May-12 15:44:21


Not sure what the problem is there with parity across the public sector.

Why should everyone in the public sector get the same pension and conditions? Are you doing the same job?

The report is here:

From that:

Government projections suggest that the 2007-08 changes are likely to reduce costs to taxpayers of the pension schemes by £67 billion over 50 years, with costs stabilising at around 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or 2% of public expenditure.

That quote makes it clear that public sector pensions are in deficit and will remain in deficit for half a century. The word we ought to be seeing in any pensions report is 'self-financing'.

You seem keen on fairness. Is it 'fair' that I should subsidise your pension when I can't afford to save for my own retirement?

SCOTCHandWRY Thu 31-May-12 15:48:17

*What is the current retirement age for doctors in the NHS?
Why do all the ones I know (about half a dozen - I don't have time to add them up) work a 4 day week maximum, send their kids to private schools and have at least one second home and pay for their kids to go to university so that they don't have to take out a student loan?*

We have 4 children. None privately educated, no way could we afford that. Of the Dr's I know who are privately educating, all are double professional income families, probably a fairly typical situation that you would find in other higher paid careers outside medicine. We have no second home. I only know one Dr with a holiday home.

As for university - yes, our eldest is at Uni, and the second starts in Sept, we are paying hand over fist (to the extent that we are currently having to re-mortgage our house to keep DS1 and 2 at Uni). We are not paying this because we don't want to take them to take out student loans, we are paying/will be paying (£500+ per month to EACH CHILD) because we are legally obliged to pay - they are not entailed to the usual living cost loan (each gets £900 per year only). Many higher rate tax payers unexpectedly find themselves in that situation - I had no Idea my DS's couldn't borrow the normal student loan until we applied for it!

DS1's course is 6 years, DS2 is 5 years (each course potentially has an extra year on top of that), and for at least 2 years, we will be paying for 3 DS at Uni (£1500+ per month). We are going to be running up serious debt to pay their Accommodation costs. As I said- we are not doing this to avoid the kids taking out big student loans, they simply are not entitled to any living cost loan above a very small one of £900year sad

relativity Thu 31-May-12 16:17:24

Sorry, I haven't read the thread. Doctors are fab and hardworking and caring etc BUT their pensions are over inflated and much larger than was ever intended. A friend of mine is just retiring as a psychiatrist at 55 (normal retirement age for psychiatrists) and will get a pension of 70k for the rest of his life. I have looked up annuity rates (very low) and the cash lump sum needed to provide that is about £3.5 million. Now, even if he had paid in 30% of his salary for years, he would not have paid in anything like £3.5 million. Hard as he has worked, much as I love him, I do not think it right that our children will be working just as hard, earning 20k or so, and paying through their taxes for him to live at a much higher standard of living than them for the next 30 - 40 years doing nothing when he could easily work for another 10 years. Doctors of our children's generation will never get that kind of pension as it is NOT affordable for the country long term. This is one generation (the existing fifty something doctors) robbing the next generation.

YANBU doctors should count themselves lucky not having their pensions drastically reduced as they would be had they been anywhere near self financing. I would love to get a lump sum of just under £4 million on my 55th birthday but would feel bad taking it from the state (ie all taxpayers, most of whom would be poorer than I am). We are all in this together and those of us in the private sector are finding that our pension savings will buy us VERY little in the way of annual pensions....much less than we ever planned for due to low interest rates. It was never intended to provide retiring doctors with MILLIONS of pounds. But that is how it is currently working out and something needs to be done.

prettybird Thu 31-May-12 16:50:22

Interesting analysis here of the life expectancy of doctors.

A psychiatrist (to use the example in the previous post) has an average life expectancy of 73.3 with a standard deviation of +/- 14.3 years.

FWIW, I do think the government is being disingenuous in targeting doctors when their pension fund is in surplus. As someone said earlier, a fairer approach would be to tax more - but that would mean taxing all high earners and you couldn't possibly do that hmmhmm.

winniemum Thu 31-May-12 17:16:23

My Uncle was a GP and would never ever have gone on strike. He was totally dedicated to his patients. His pay was proportionally a lot lower than it is today. (I remembering him saving for years to have a new roof on his house).
Our friend is a GP earning well over £100,000 a year and he works 3 1/2 days a week because as he says, he doesn't need that much money (he is single). All the GP's at his practice work P/T and were laughing at the previous government when they gave them a huge wage rise and took nights and overtime off them. They couldn't believe their luck!
I agree that everyone has the right to strike but I thought most GP's would want to put their patients first, you have to be very dedicated to take the job on in the first place.
I know many will disagree with me, but that's just my opinion

RevoltingPeasant Thu 31-May-12 17:39:42

I feel really divided on this.

On the one hand, I have to say doctors moaning about the long hours they do annoys me. I'm an academic.

*8+ years at university? - check!

*80-90 hour weeks during term? - standard!

*working 7 days weeks? - normal!

*not having guaranteed employment? - tick! In fact, in my area fewer than half of people who graduate with a PhD will gain a permanent contract

*having to move halfway across the country? - yep! Uprooted DP and everything and hauled 350 miles away for first job. Many academics 'commute' across the country to sustain their marriages.

*lots of peers leaving the UK to work abroad? - again, loads of my peer group have taken much better jobs in Canada and the US.

So sometimes, when I see doctors writing things like 'I work 90 hour weeks', I have to admit I do think ffs, suck it up - because you know, it's a competitive profession and these days, that's what a competitive profession demands.

However. With something like the pensions - drs were, as I understand, given a deal which is now being reneged on. Academics' T&C have been shat all over, but that's no reason why others shouldn't fight. I'd support doctors fighting for their pension rights for that reason.

BoffinMum Thu 31-May-12 17:43:53

I have to say I am not sympathetic to the cause. GPs are technically self-employed, so can sell a practice and so on (as I understand it), but have all the benefits of being public sector employees in terms of pensions and maternity leave, etc. I think they rather want to have their cake and eat it.

freerangeeggs Thu 31-May-12 17:49:46

It's a bit different though, RevoltingPeasant. If your work a 90-hour week and exhaust yourself, maybe you'll make a few typos in a paper you're writing or a student will get a dodgy mark or something.

When doctors are exhausted, people die.

As a society we need our doctors to be on top of their game.

And your job sounds frigging awful. Maybe you should go on strike.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 17:53:35

The retiral age for psychiatrists is 55 for people who entered psychiatry before 1994. After that time there is no preferential retiral age. That is itself will be interesting, because it means that from when 2024 onwards there will be a period of around 10 years with a hugely reduced retiral rate (beause the people who could go at 55 have gone, and the others have to wait to get old enough to retire at the usual age). That could be a problem for anyone looking for a career post in psychiatry over that time.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 31-May-12 17:54:43

Freerange - yes, totally! Which is why I am happy earning about 1/3 of what my consultant earns.

Although - if I may big myself up wink - I think students doing final dissertations etc would be pretty hacked off at 'just a dodgy mark'.

But point taken.

And we did go on strike just the same, a few months back - except no one really noticed because we all worked from home confused

RevoltingPeasant Thu 31-May-12 17:57:11

hive yes it is a massive problem in academia too - now that the retirement ceiling has been raised, the jobs market is even more competitive because older people are staying on, not retiring and opening up jobs.

It's so competitive now that just to make a shortlist in my field, not only do you have to have a PhD, you also have to have published a book + 4-5 papers in peer-reviewed journals - that's just to be seriously considered for an entry-level position.

I guess the point is, this is a wider problem for public sector professionals and drs are doing what they can to secure their rights - fine - doing them down won't make my life better. Good on them.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 17:57:16

Boffinmum - I dont think that GP's do get the same benefits as other NHS staff, I think that for maternity leave the partnership bears a large brunt of the locum costs.

hiveofbees Thu 31-May-12 18:02:50


I think that you are right. And that the government would quite like a bit of divide and conquer and see different professions get so occupied arguing with each other that we miss what the government is doing to the NHS.

Its obvious that the NHS cant continue as it is, there just isnt the money for constantly increasing funding, but I dont think that the David Cameron approach of chopping the NHS into little bits and giving it to his mates is the one we should be taking.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 31-May-12 18:06:35

hive - absolutely - the government is so good at that type of spin!

Like, with us, the whole 'now universities are charging 9 grand but academics still expect decent pensions yada yada' - conveniently ignoring that we are 'charging' (hmm) that because the govt cut our funding from other sources, so we still have the same amount of money!

Yes, people need to pull together more. We are all in it together. Doctors save lives; teachers and nurses are necessary; university academics do all the initial training for doctors and teachers - it's not a competition between professions!

ohmeohmy Thu 31-May-12 20:02:28

I support the doctors and I am not one myself. Govt evil once more

BettyBathroom Thu 31-May-12 21:07:37

It's a closed shop - very rarely does a doctor get the boot, complain abut one doing a shit job and it will get you nowhere because they all refsue to talk. They don't have my sympathy - the GPs anyway, I think they do a fairly ordinary job, they screw up frequently. There is not one GP I trust the opinion of. So as far as I'm concerned they are over-paid. Teachers on the other hand are underpaid - they have lives in their hands too....

wheeldog Thu 31-May-12 21:31:38

Haven't had time just now to read the whole thread, but I am a GP, and I voted 'no' to the BMA strike. I feel privileged to do an intellectually and emotionally satisfying job, where patients trust me and for which I feel fairly remunerated. It is not always an easy job, but I don't think any job is. I will not be striking on the 21st. I fear that we are shooting ourselves in the foot over this. We are all living longer and need to pay more for our pensions just like everyone else.

bruxeur Thu 31-May-12 22:01:55

It's not a strike ffs. Can you actually read?

TheQueensKnickers Thu 31-May-12 22:10:19

It is the MPs, bankers and tax dodgers who should be sucking it up, no-one else.

Whenthetoadcamehome Thu 31-May-12 22:10:55

I find it very hard to feel sorry for any person earning over 100k a year (and I personally have 3 friends who are all GP's and earn at LEAST this much) who has to pay extra into their pension. ESP when the nurses they work with often earn too little to survive adequately and work just as bloody hard if not harder.

Amd isn't their pension still final salary? It was being discussed on radio 4 the other day and they'll still get at least 68k a year pension...I can see how they'd struggle on that hmm

I don't think they are any more deserving of sympathy than fat cat big businessmen tbh, they've had it far too good for far too long, and the argument about our health being in their hands and so it being important that they are happy is tosh, as it applies to the nurses and support staff in the hospitals and also to every person doing ANY of that could effect the lives and safelty of us on our daily travels. Op you ARE BU though in saying they shouldn't strike, that is their right. But personally I think they are bloody lucky and should stop winging when their lot is so much better than most people's!

sophe29 Thu 31-May-12 22:32:50

For Fucks sake people!!!!!

Who cares if it is doctors, nurses, cleaners, or even ice cream men who are the issue.?Or how much they are paid?

People are pissed off because they signed on for one thing.
Then the government changed it and took money away that was promised.
Then they took more money away in other areas of the work and changed who aspects of the training and what the work is to be done.
NOW they are changing it all AGAIN.

All of you moaning that things are terrible in the private sector, or how hard you work etc. How would you feel if this happened to you????? Pretty bloody pissed off I reckon!? Wouldn't you want to do something about it?

For those saying " Well I had to lump it, why don't they?" - WHY WHY WHY did you have to lump it??? Why didn't you fight? Why didn't you strike? Or make a stand?

For those saying how lovely the gold plated pensions are - Come on then. Work in the public sector. Train for 5years + at a cost of £50K in student LOANS as doctor to be hated at every opportunity by the daily wail. Or spend your friday nights dealing with drunk, drugged up lunatics a police officer. You come and wipe a poor old lady's shitty bum as a HCA and nurse. You deal with 30 snotty, know it all 15 year olds and try and get them to actually learn something. You collect rubbish all day long in back breaking work, all weathers as a Bin man. You work as a civil servant (who lets face it - everyone loves to hate) running a country and dealing with all the farcical changes each new government dictates as policy.

None of the people who are affected by this caused the financial crisis. Yet why are they having to pay to fix the governments mistakes?

HmmThinkingAboutIt Thu 31-May-12 22:42:58

DH has just had a phone call from a friend who is a doctor. Shes very upset by the strike and thinks its a bad idea, not only because she doesn't think she the pension changes are unacceptable, but also because she thinks it will damage the profession. She thinks its unreasonable to strike when she paid the amount she is, under the circumstances. She thinks that ultimately damaging relations with the public on this one will make her job even harder and its not worth that.

She's still a junior, so this will hurt her more than most.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 31-May-12 23:18:16

Yabu, what MammaBrussels says. I'm bored now

Trish123 Fri 01-Jun-12 06:44:25

We all have a right to strike over our terms and conditions. I have been a doctors wife for 20 years. My husbands contribution to the health of our community has had a massive effect on our family life. You never know when he will get home ,over the years he has had to miss countless family events;the birth of our first child,been on call in another hospital whilst I'm standing in intensive care with a dying child and my 18 month old in my arms because we had no family close by to look after him whilst I was at the hospital. The 90 hour weeks he did in the early days when he was being payed less than the porters,the long telephone conversations in the night regarding seriously ill patients, The huge amount of stress at what he sees and deals with on a daily basis, the physical and verbal abuse, I can go on and on.... oh and for any body who says that he doesnt pay for his pension do you realise for every pound he earns over a certain treshhold he has to pay 40p in tax. He will have earned his pension

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:06:15


You say "People are pissed off because they signed on for one thing.
Then the government changed it and took money away that was promised"

Is that really true ? I think any benefits earned so far are kept. If an employer wants (or needs) to change the terms of a contract then I have absolutely no problem with that. Give them the correct notice period, and then they have the chance to accept it, or if it means the new remuneration is not goodenough they have the chance to go and find a different job. When people are working 40+ years, I don't see how they can expect that a contract made on day 1 won't change ! No-one complained when it was changed (for the better) under Labour.

My DH (private sector) was put in the same position. He walked from his employer as the changes meant he could do better elsewhere. Now self-employed and making his own pension provisions.

bamboostalks Fri 01-Jun-12 07:08:09

People would be more sympathetic if drs had striked a couple of months ago when the NHS reforms were coming in that will threaten its very existence. Instead they decide to strike only when their hugely inflated pensions were brought into reasonable levels. We ALL know their pensions are too generous, It does not matter what they are doing or have done to receive them. The idea that this will prevent people training as drs is laughable. Medicine is highly desirable and competitive.....there is a reason for that.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 07:23:04

Can the BMA take industrial action on a non T+C issue? Its one thing to take ation over pensions, but I dont know if they could withold routine care on the basis of not liking the NHS reforms?

btw it isnt a strike. Doctors will be at work and available for emergency work.

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:29:58


You say "Government projections suggest that the 2007-08 changes are likely to reduce costs to taxpayers of the pension schemes by £67 billion over 50 years, with costs stabilising at around 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or 2% of public expenditure" means that it is sustainable.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if it was sustainable there should be no cost ( i.e. 0% of GDP) to keep it going. As you state it, it means every-year the public sector are taking out more than they are putting in. This money comes entirely from the private sector, and the workers there have taken the brunt of the troubles. Do you think this is "fair" ?

And before anyone starts spouting off about the private sector just sucking it up and not standing up for their rights, my experience is that the private sector did fight, but they understood that the current situation was unsustainable so they fought for job protection for all (in preference to pay-rises for some, redundancy for others).

As I said in my previous post, and this is the key, if what is proposed is such a bad deal then go and get something better elsewhere (with all those private sector perks that people seems to believe in). As far as I know benefits earned-to-date are protected, so what are people complaining about ?

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 07:33:22

Floralfancy - its not unusual for there to be an employer contribution to pensions, in private or pulic sector.

Hopefullyrecovering Fri 01-Jun-12 07:34:47

I earn a similar amount to a doctor, work similar hours etc. I contribute 25% of my salary into a defined contribution scheme, and can expect a pension of around the average salary.

Doctors pay around 15% of their salary into their scheme and can expect a pension of around 3x the average salary.

So forgive me for eyerolling.

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:39:53


True, but in the private sector that come from money earnt by the private company. In the public sector it also comes from money earnt by the private company. Why should that contribution top-up public sector pensions in preference to private sector pensions ?

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:41:36


Exactly the situation for my DH. What you say is true, so the arguement for "fairness" used by public sector workers just never stacks up. Whatever people pay in should be directly proprtional to what the get out.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 07:43:09

Because its part of the package?

Why are we wasting money on letting staff take annual leave then?
In fact why are we paying NHS staff at all?

BTW the pension changes involve the loss of the final salary scheme.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 07:44:58

Floralfancy - you do know that across the public sector people dont all pay pension contributions at the same rate? Different staff groups pay different percentage of their salary.

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:49:04


Come on... you can't answer those questions yourself.

Maybe you can't shock
Why are we wasting money on letting staff take annual leave then?
Because if there was no leave, there would be more errors and besides no-one would want the job.

In fact why are we paying NHS staff at all?
No-one would do it if it didn't pay anything.

And with ref to your BTW comment: Doesn't the pension earnt up until the recent changes still work on final salary ? And the future pension contributions switch to career average ? What is wrong with that ? No-one has had anything taken from the yet, and if they don't want something they expected to be taken away then they can go and get another job ? No ?

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:55:29


You say "you do know that across the public sector people dont all pay pension contributions at the same rate? Different staff groups pay different percentage of their salary"

Yes. Can you tell me which staff groups pay enough contributions that would actually fund their pension were it sourced in the private pension sector. The answer is none. So I guess your point is that some staff groups get huge subsidies from private sector tax payers (net taxpayers), and some staff sectors can smaller subsidies from private sector tax payers. My point is that none should get subsidised.

When I see public sector workers marching with their "fair pensions for all" banners I think it must make a lot of people angry. What they are asking for is "fair pensions for all public sector workers".

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 07:57:03


And no need for a long game of reply-tennis here. I think everyone is entitled to an opinion. I know mine and feel it strongly, but don't want to force it onto others.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 08:36:07

Yes this could go on all

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 08:45:55

And we did start early smile

My little one (first) has really just started teething, and last night was his first really hard one with red face, runny nose, and lots and lots of screaming at full volume. Not that any of that influences my posts here of course !

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 08:47:47

Have a nice (non teethy!) day smile

sillylily Fri 01-Jun-12 09:25:55

Doctors have a justified grievance. At the moment the NHS is nearly a monopoly employer/contractor for doctors in this country so there isn't much option of going off to get another job elsewhere. Besides, do we really want trained doctors to leave and get other jobs or, god forbid, do the government a massive favour towards privatisation and find ways to continue to 'doctor' outside the NHS?

FreeSea Fri 01-Jun-12 09:44:28


" hard to be sympathetic hearing that a newly qualified doctor, starting this August and working to retirement could expect to have a pension of £48,000 a year - a private sector worker would have to have a pension pot of £1.5 million to generate that. A consultant gets a pension of close to £60k a year and a six figure lump sum on retirement."*

That's whole point! Doctors used to get 60k a year, and that junior doctor will take the same amunt of years training, work as a consultant for loner , retire later and only get 48,000. me think you have shot yourself in the foot there

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 09:55:28


But that situation hasn't really change for decades, so when UK doctors trained they knew they were signing up for that. And I am not sure what you mean when you put apostrophes around doctor in your last sentance. If my NHS GP decided to go private would she suddenly lose all her ability and professionalism ?

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 10:16:20


You say " That's whole point! Doctors used to get 60k a year, and that junior doctor will take the same amunt of years training, work as a consultant for longer, retire later and only get 48,000. me think you have shot yourself in the foot there"

The amount wasn't the point though, so no idea why you think he shot himself in the point. The point... is that the "only" 48,000 per year pension requires a pension pot of 1.5 million pounds. To reach that in the private sector I would need to put in 1,600 of my salary for the next 40 years. Doctors are not puttting that much in, so they shouldn't get the 48,000 pension out. It is simple.

LittenTree Fri 01-Jun-12 10:28:28

Weighing in here!:

I must admit I feel a bit equivocal about the doctors situations, though I am in favour of public servants in general taking action (I am one and I did on that on the first Day of Action). My reasons for doing so are:

-The government is in breach of contract in reneging on the pension deal. I don't recall anyone shouting for my 'rights' when I was a newly qualified HCP in London in 1983 working 27 hour shift and earning practically nothing. The 'pay-off' was reasonable T&Cs, a reasonable pension and a steady job. All of those are gone now

-The fact not a single banker, lawmaker or regulator has been punished for the mess we find ourselves in

-Our present government is turning itself inside out to preserve the wealth and influence of the rich

-The campaign to make all non-public service workers genuinely believe that The Crisis was caused by the nasty, greedy public sector workers, not poor governance and banker greed. The ensuing 'race to the bottom' we are all apparently buying into.

BUT... the 'problem' is-

As Gerry Robertson/Robinson found out (sorry if I got his name completely wrong!) in a Panorama style programme about 6 months to a year ago, a major barrier to change in the NHS is the entrenched, inflexible and unmoveable position of many (not all!) consultants who still feel it to be their birthright to play golf on a Friday afternoon and sweep through the wards in a glorious trail of housemen..

Where I work, my jaw frequently drops open when I see how recalcitrant our consultants are. We're just been 'merged' with another Trust and whilst it means a 30% cut to the pay of our junior staff working out of hours (yes, we're fighting it!)- to give them apparent 'parity' with the other hospital, all the departmental consultants have been given a (secret- note your and my money...) £10,000 'sweetener' to help ease them through the strain of the merger. I'd say 70% of them will not do a jot of work over and above that 'contracted'; most turn up at 9.20am and are nowhere to be found by 4.30pm; many openly go skiing on paid-for, all expenses 'study leave' with maybe one or two lectures thrown in at the Gstaad based 'conference'. All park illegally on site and are never 'done' like the rest of us who don't use the P&R 2 miles away.

Two work hard and conscientiously, one or two can be 'persuaded, the others are in a free-for-all, loudly proclaiming their 'rights' having studied so hard for so long. They are 'the bankers' of the NHS, and whilst this born-to-rule arrogance is on the wane in the modern NHS, stripping them of these 'rights' is costing vast amounts of public money to soften the blow (I recall the GPs were the ones who opposed the NHS in the first place, til they were offered ££). In short, it annoys me how the rest of us public workers are told, straight, here's your pension cut, tough sh**; but the docs will make a huge fuss, then will appear to 'accept' the new (probably improved) deal, but in reality be being given, privately and covertly, 'expenses' deals or better contractual arrangements to keep them on side.

Finally it pee's me off that the docs didn't ballot til after the first strikes, wanting to see how badly the rest of us were cut down before making their stand!

elastamum Fri 01-Jun-12 10:34:34

I can see that doctors feel hard done by, but in the current economic climate I dont have much sympathy for the bleating of highly paid public sector workers. I work in health in the private sector and in recent years we just cant recruit medics of any sort as they all know they are now much better off in the NHS. Previous negotiations of the GP contract massively improved their T and C's. More money for less work and poorer service, i.e. no night cover for patients.

Their employer has every right to change future conditions of employment and it is ridiculous to expect a struggling private sector, where no one has anything like the benefits they have, to keep funding them at the level they have become accustomed to expect. Private sector wages have been frozen for 2-3 years in many areas and final salary pensions are long gone. We deal with doctors every day and none of my professional private sector colleagues have any sympathy for them at all.

Why should doctors see themselves as so special hmm

elastamum Fri 01-Jun-12 10:39:38

Litten tree, I completely agree with you, that is exactly what we see. BUT I do wish people would stop talking about bankers when they talk about the private sector. They are not at all representative of the majority of private sector workers

renaldo Fri 01-Jun-12 11:11:00

I fully support the strike ( and I'm not a doctor - though I am a HCP

LittenTree Fri 01-Jun-12 12:47:17

elastomum- what I meant by 'bankers' was bankers! I didn't mean to use them as shorthand for 'everyone who isn't a public employee'!

I think a lot of private sector employees are getting a bum deal as well, really I do, but one of my comments was about how the government is doing quite a good job in convincing everyone who isn't a public employee that the Crisis was caused by 'those greedy nurses and their adequate pension provision'- but the answer isn't to give all employees a bum deal!

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, however, I'd say I do support the strike as the doctors, too, signed up to a given T&C deal which is now being reneged upon, but I don't think their 'case' is as water tight as say a nurse's as we all know the government will do a deal with the doctors as they are 'one of their own'. It won't be 'open' or open to easy scrutiny, this deal, but it will be struck, as much as anything because no one has yet tackled the idea that doctors are 'above suspicion' (see putting GPs in charge of the NHS budget!- What I want is a impartial, benign, humanitarian accountant in charge of the health pound, thanks, not a group who can be so utterly self-interested as doctors have been known to be!).

JuliaScurr Fri 01-Jun-12 13:10:12

yyy Litten

nb - tax relief goes up the hgher your income
how much does that cost then?

private sector pensions are crap because of private sector employers, not public sector workers

summerintherosegarden Fri 01-Jun-12 13:12:27

Um...huge numbers of bankers have been fired over the past few years...many have seen their pensions take a massive dive in value...only a very, very few played a role in the events that led up to the financial crisis.
I'm not crying out "pity the bankers!" but please don't tar all with the same brush or assume that none have suffered as a result of this economy.

flatpackhamster Fri 01-Jun-12 13:28:56


private sector pensions are crap because of private sector employers, not public sector workers

No, they're crap because of Gordon Brown.

PanicMode Fri 01-Jun-12 13:38:35


"and will only get a pension of £48,000"

No, I think you may have shot yourself in the foot by saying that it's 'only' that amount.

When I started my job I could have expected a final salary scheme, probably with a similar pension as stated. That got taken away, and I was given a defined benefit scheme (after I had already signed my contract with my 'gold plated pension' as it were). Then, after a further period of time, that was scrapped.

There is very little sympathy when that is a significantly large pension being accrued, and most people cannot DREAM of a pension pot that big nowadays.

The country doesn't have the money. Almost everyone has has to readjust their expectations of retirement - why should doctors, teachers, nurses be any different to everyone else in the private sector. Yes, they work hard, yes they are very important to society, but there are hundreds of thousands of other people who also work damn hard and make a difference who won't get anything other than a state pension.

SESthebrave Fri 01-Jun-12 14:40:41

Am feeling v frustrated and have only followed link to this thread from Active Convos but my instant response is:

What difference would a strike make ? I've just been to see my MW at 40+5 and been told that as I'm hoping for a VBAC, I can't make a plan for an induction or CS or have a sweep until next Wednesday as no clinics available. My only option is to go to the ante natal day unit tomorrow morning at 10.30am and wait until the one Dr on duty is available to see me which (I quote) "could mean you are there for the day".

I guess I've just seen this thread at the wrong time and have probably gone off topic on a rant but really?! I have huge respect for anyone working for the NHS but the overall organisation is just wrong - why should there be less care just because of a weekend or a bank holiday? you were....

Collaborate Fri 01-Jun-12 14:50:10

From Wednesday's Guardian:

"By 2014, some doctors will have 14.5% deducted from their pay for their pensions, compared with 7.35% for senior civil servants on similar salaries, to receive similar pensions, said the BMA."

If I, in the private sector, wanted a pension paying the same benefits as the doctor's scheme I would have to pay much more than this. I think that there is an argument that everyone who works should be able to pay a % of their income into a state scheme that mirrors the benefits of public sector scheme, but why do that when it would truly bankrupt the nation, unless contributions were designed to mirror the actual cost.

IMO all public sector pensions should cost, in contributions, what it costs the state to put enough aside to pay the pensions in retirement. Our children and grandchildren are going to have to pick up the tab for today's unfunded schemes, when they won't get to enjoy similar benefits themselves. I can't see how that is justified.

FloralFancy Fri 01-Jun-12 15:18:24


Your points are spot on... as you mention the BMA say:

"By 2014, some doctors will have 14.5% deducted from their pay for their pensions, compared with 7.35% for senior civil servants on similar salaries, to receive similar pensions"

Just because something is less wrong than something else that is wrong, doesn't make it right. So BMA, what would be the percentage in the private sector ?

bumpsiedaisy Fri 01-Jun-12 16:20:35

Mirry - no NHS doctors are not self employed. If you see a doctor in an NHS hospital then they are paid by the NHS. If you see a doctor in a private hospital / clinic then yes they will be.

bumpsiedaisy Fri 01-Jun-12 16:23:54

I feel that you can't compare private and state sector pensions. Yes you would pay more if you were in the private sector but then you wouldn't have to work a 12 hour or 24 hour shift as a doctor does. The other thing that seems to have gotten confused is that the government want to renegotiate this pension - it is not in defecit it can easily support the number of doctors due to retire. They also want to re-negotiate the retirement age of doctors to 68. There is a school of thought that would say you wouldn't have a 68 year old paramedic or fireman so why would you have a 68 year old surgeon.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 17:29:59

Bumpsedaisy - are GPs self employed? what about NHS hospital doctors who also take on private patients? Surely they are partly self employed? how many hours are the allowed to devote to their private patients. I've been seing an NHS consultant who also has a Harley Street address and 2 other private hospital addresses plus a secretary at each address. He must be devoting only a fraction of his time to his NHS patients.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 17:33:18

To continue my previous post, if doctors (GPS and consultants) are also seeing private patients and taking on private insurance and other work how are they making time to see NHS patients. I wonder if the reason they say they are working 40+ hours is that some of these hours are devoted to private patients?

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 17:37:32

I'm sure I posted this before but if an employed person is no longer competent to carry out his job (because of physical or mental impairment) he or she can be retired early. That would be the same in any walk of life so I assume it would be the same for doctors.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 17:39:44

GP's are self employed.

NHS consultants will have contracts for a certain number of hours. They have to spend that long on NHS work. The idea of consultants being able to spend working time on a golf course is a myth.
The idea of paid holidays at the expense of drug companies is also untrue, not least because the pharmaceutical industry has got very strict standards on how money can be spent on promotional activities.

elastamum Fri 01-Jun-12 17:40:43

bumpsidaisy. Doctors are not unique I have a senior private sector job - in a health related field. My contract is for 37.5hrs or whatever is needed to meet the demands of the job. Often late nights, weekends, overseas travel. If I didnt do the hours required I would be out pretty fast. Most senior private sector jobs are like this. I dont know anyone in my field who does a standard working week

Am sick of listening to highly paid public sector workers such as doctors bleating about losing their final salary schemes when none of us in the private sector have had one of those for years. My SIL will retire at 55 on an NHS pension next yr as she is in the mental health field. We simply cannot afford to keep funding schemes like this.

vintagewarrior Fri 01-Jun-12 17:41:17

I agree OP. No one is having an easy time of it, they shoukd suck it up!! I also studied for years & I work 70 hours a week, can't afford a pension, and cannot get back on the property ladder. Why do I have to suffer these strikes?

Collaborate Fri 01-Jun-12 17:44:24

bumpsiedaisy you can't say that the NHS pension is in surplus. It isn't a funded scheme. It is completely unfunded. It is only because the NHS and the public sector in general has so many workers today in comparison to the relatively small numbers of pensioners that the contributions received outweigh the pensions paid out. But if the state were to go to actuaries and ask how much should be put aside to provide a fund capable of making good on the promises made to the public sector workers it would be a hell of a lot more than has been paid until now.

And GPs are technically self employed. Their contract with the NHS involves them being given membership of the NHS pension scheme.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 17:49:06

hiveofbees I didn't mention working holidays. I do know, however that some GPs of my acquaintance are paid hadsomely to complete surveys and other similar projects do other non NHS work. I just find it strange that they are all complaining that they have to work excessive hours for which they aren't paid but at the same time they have the time to take on private work. I wonder if they did less private work they wouldn't be so worn out.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 18:05:54


It was mentioned by someone else earlier in the thread.

I agree with you, that it doesnt really make sense to be struggling with the day job and do large amounts of private work. The option would be there to request a part-time contract if the hours of work are too much, or to not do a large amout of private work. There are some bits of private work that arent easily avoidable, eg if you need your GP to do write a letter that isnt covered by NHS work eg to your employer, or about fitness to fly, etc then it wouldnt be that great for the GP who knows you to refuse to do it, and then you have to go and find someone else to do it.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 01-Jun-12 18:11:51

An NHS consultant will have a defined NHS contract stipulating hours/terms and conditions. Outside his/her contracted hours working for the NHS, they can work privately.

The consultant may have a be part-time NHS contract (and be paid pro-rata).

Some GP's are technically self employed (but only have 1 client, the NHS), they pay 26% of income into pension ATM, but many GP's are employed (employed by GP partnerships or directly by the health board), and a few work as private GP's - mostly in London.

There are strict rules about what private work GP's are allowed to do (they can't just charge NHS patients for services that they should provide for "free"). So insurance medicals for employment reasons for example - people pay for those, as the NHS won't.

40+ hours? My DH has been working as a GP for 20 years, I don't think he has ever had a week where he's worked anything like 40hrs, typically the "half-time" partners at his practice work around 35hrs a week and the full time ones 60+hrs - DH has taken on several additional roles in the area of health service reforms ...... for which, he has pointed out, he gets paid less than the cleaner..... this takes him up to 80 or so hrs a week. He works most days with no lunch break or other breaks. He is choosing to do extra work (the health service reform roles) of around 20hrs a week because it is benefiting (actually saving lives), in the exceptionally deprived area he works in.
He is getting pretty hacked off with the constant Daily Fail style "GP's are over-paid and must be punished" comments. Having a high income does not mean you are overpaid. I think the NHS gets excellent value for money from my DH and his partners - they are worth every penny and more. They work in an a very challenging environment dealing with some of the most socially and economically vulnerable families in the country.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 18:24:45

Excuse me SCOTCHandWRY - 40+ means anything over 40 and anyway if he chooses to do extra work , taking him upto 80 hours a week, that is his perogative. nobody is making him.

I'm getting pretty hacked of myself with all the posts referring to being paid the same as or less than the cleaner/plumber/postman etc. Maybe posters don't mean to do it but it really comes across as patronising to me.

relativity Fri 01-Jun-12 18:30:52

Collaborate what well put, logical points. And elastamum.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 01-Jun-12 19:01:25

Maybe Mirry, people are continually posting about the fact they are taking on additional hours/roles where they get paid less than the cleaner because they are trying to get across the point that they are choosing to do work (often like my DH this will be committee and consultation work aimed at improving patient safety and outcomes), for which they get paid LESS THAN THE CLEANER!
Yes, my DH chooses to do this work.... from across the dinner table he is saying "because nobody else wants to do it"..... because he believes it NEEDS to be done.
Would you prefer it if he (and his partners), just didn't bother?

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 19:09:00

Does it really matter if they're paid less than the cleaner? Whose cleaner are you talking about? I'm not in the fortunate position of having a cleaner so I don't know what their rates are.

1950sHousewife Fri 01-Jun-12 19:12:06

Mirry2 - if people make the commitment to put so much of their lives towards working and studying and then are paid less than a cleaner, yes, I think it's a valid point to make.
I feel equally horrified when I hear the same about qualified nursery nurses being paid less. Cleaners are important, but there is a difference in the responsibility and education levels for Drs/nurses/nursery nurses etc.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 19:17:47

If there werent so many comments about doctors being paid too much, spending afternoons on the golf course etc then I doubt they would bother to make posts comparing their wages to other positions.
I dont think that anyone is not valuing the job that cleaners do, but there is a difference in the level of education, skills and responsibility.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Fri 01-Jun-12 19:30:12

I know lots of private sector people who put in the hours and have the education, and end up getting paid less than the cleaner as overtime isn't paid. Some are self employed, some do it as its the only way it advances their career, some do it because its just expected and part of the culture of the industry they work in.

So lets not say that only doctors have this problem to contend with.

The one thing they all have in common though, is that they generally know that, that level of work and commitment is expected of them, when they take the job.

All this stuff that doctors are complete martyrs gets on my nerves. They could have a lot of similar problems in other professions. Some that carry an extraordinary level of reasonability and concern for public health and safety too. Its not something restricted exclusively to doctors.

I object the emotional blackmail when it comes to doctors striking in that respect. I have no problem with their right to strike, but I do take issue when they lay it on thick.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 19:47:02

HmmThinkingabout it, yes I agree with you. I think it's the martyrdom that irritates me. I'm gong to be spending all of the next 4 days working on a work project but it wouldn't even occur to me to worry that I'm not getting paid for it.

bruxeur Fri 01-Jun-12 19:48:44

Again. It is not a fucking strike. The level of illiteracy on here is staggering sometimes.

Aboutlastnight Fri 01-Jun-12 19:51:34

I'm a healthcare support worker who is sucking up paying more into her lowly pension to receive less back. And yes I work hard, have degree ( almost two degrees actually) and have three children, a mortgage and whatever else.

The OOH dr sitting across the room on £1000 a day can also suck it up as far as I am concerned.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 01-Jun-12 21:11:18

I'm gong to be spending all of the next 4 days working on a work project but it wouldn't even occur to me to worry that I'm not getting paid for it.

Really Mirry? Perhaps therein lies the root of your bitterness towards those earning more than you smile

Aboutlastnight, £1000 per day? Unlikely.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 21:25:19

I don't care whether they earn more or less than me, what I can't stand is the whining and sense of entitlement that some of them express. They really don't seem to understand that they are not special in that other people have jobs that are just as demanding, need a high level of skill, and require long and expensive training.

mirry2 Fri 01-Jun-12 21:28:34

Bruxeur if it isn't a strike it is definitely refusing to carry out part of their job for which they are contracted and paid to do.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 21:30:59

Aboutlastnight - Did you strike earlier in the year? I dont think that doctors are saying that they are any more special than any other NHS employee, just that with different unions the strikes were on different days.

Aboutlastnight Fri 01-Jun-12 21:37:31

Yes I did strike hive. You make a good point. Doctors have the right to defend their pensions, as we are trying to do.

I get irritated by the 'ooooh we work so hard,' justification though.Doctors are well rewarded financially for their work. Lots of of people work very hard for far less.

hiveofbees Fri 01-Jun-12 21:50:06

I agree with you. Lots of people do work very hard. I think that the level of responsibility is a big thing also in determining wages. I know a lot of band 6 nurses who wont think of applying for a 7 (and 5's who wont go for 6's), and staff grade dr's who have opted to do that because they dont want a consultant level of responsibility.

justcheckingitout Fri 01-Jun-12 22:47:24

I do actually think medicine is harder than most jobs on every level.. The only similar jobs would be military jobs senior govt or senior police.. Medicine in hospital anyway taxes you on every level to the extreme of your endurance and though hours have come down shifts are still a lot longer and harder than other health care professional such as nursing staff.. And at every moment,you can be responsible for Several emergencies all unfolding at once, you will be at 5 am of a compulsory night shift and the cardiac arrest bleep will go again, anything from a pregnant woman to someone with asthma who has a cllapsed lung. It is physically and mentally exhausting and you really do it for love of the job not the money.. Hospital money is not that great anyway.