Every day, consultants and SAS manage complex cases, make difficult decisions and handle life and death situations. We shouldn’t be worth a third less now than we were 10 years ago.
Modelling from the Institute of Fiscal Studies demonstrates that consultants have experienced greater pay erosion than any other NHS staff group. With chronic understaffing, we are being asked to do more for less.
SAS doctors have been overlooked for too long. For many of us, moving to a new contract worsened our pay erosion and multiyear deals left us locked out of national pay awards.
This year’s pay award, which once again fails to address years of pay erosion, demonstrates the government’s disregard for the retention crisis facing the NHS.
We cannot go on like this. For patient safety and for the medical profession, it’s time to address pay erosion.
Consultant and SAS members have voted 77% in favour of strike action in a formal ballot.
UPDATE – CONSULTANT MEMBERS TO VOTE ON REFORM PACKAGE
HCSA is to ballot members on proposed reforms. Further details are to be announced on the ballot.
A new briefing is available for download outlining key aspects of the government offer. We urge you to familiarise yourself with this to make an informed decision.
HCSA is also asking members to ensure that their details are fully up to date by logging in to the member portal. This will assist in preparing for possible future strike.
Please consult FAQs below or for advice and guidance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01256 770999.
In the event that members reject the consultant pay reform package, HCSA Executive and Dispute Committees will consider next steps including strike.
We will communicate to eligible members without delay in the event a strike is called.
HCSA Dispute Committee will carefully consider possible actions and dates, taking into account the plans of other unions.
Employers are ultimately responsible for maintaining the safe provision of their services during all times, including during industrial action. In the event of a strike vote, HCSA will support employers in making contingency plans. This includes fulfilling our legal obligations by providing advance notice of strikes. HCSA will expect elective activity to be cancelled on strike days in order to prioritise emergency cover.
Strike is not a decision doctors take lightly. That strength of feeling has increased so dramatically in recent consultations reflects that pressure on the medical profession has become untenable. We need to make the government understand that the current situation cannot go on.
For more information, read the GMC’s position on industrial action.
Doctors, like other UK employees, have the right to take part in lawful industrial action under employment law. The GMC has confirmed this. There are legal protections from unfair dismissal for the first 12 weeks of taking lawful industrial action, and there is limited protection after 12 weeks.
It is possible that an employer could attempt to discipline you for taking industrial action, but it would be impractical and counter-productive where there are many employees taking action at once. HCSA will coordinate with other unions to make it impossible for employers to target individual members. If any employers decide to take action against HCSA members for participating in industrial action, HCSA will provide support to affected members.
Taking industrial strike action does not break continuous employment if you return to work after the strike ends.
If you are absent from work to participate in legally organised industrial action, then this will not affect your work visa and your sponsorship cannot be withdrawn on these grounds.
Reduction in your pay as a result of industrial action also will not affect your work visa. Your employer is legally required to report reductions in pay to the Home Office, but if it is as a result of legally organised action then this cannot be used to end your sponsorship.
Please be aware that consecutive, unauthorised absences of 10 days or more are reportable to the Home Office, including those related to industrial action. HCSA Dispute Committee will confirm planned actions and their durations after the ballot has closed. In the event that actions will affect your unauthorised absence period, contact HCSA for advice on Advice@hcsa.com.
For more information on above, please see government 'Workers and Temporary Workers' guidance.
If you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), absence related to industrial action will not have a negative impact on your application. Your employer will have to provide a list of absences from work to support your application, but any related to industrial action will not detriment the decision.
Reductions in salary as a result of industrial action will not have a negative impact on ILR applications. Your employer should confirm your gross annual salary to demonstrate you meet required thresholds in Immigration Rules.
Please be aware that consecutive, unauthorised absences of 10 days or more are reportable to the Home Office, including those related to industrial action. HCSA Dispute Committee will confirm planned actions and their durations after the ballot has closed. In the event that actions will affect your unauthorised absence period, contact HCSA for advice on email@example.com.
For more information, please see the Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules Sept 2019.