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Support Junior Doctors, Defend the NHS!

Dear colleague,

Junior Doctors  are currently in dispute over the imposition of new contracts, which their trade union, the BMA, have described as “an existential danger to the NHS”. They have directly appealed for the support and solidarity of other workers and trade unionists. The following is part of Bath UCU’s response to that appeal.

A series of doctors’ strikes were due to commence last month after a 98% ballot in support of the action. These were suspended in the hope that the government would engage meaningfully in negotiations. The BMA says that it has since encountered “only intransigence” from the government and has announced the recommencement of industrial action, starting with a 24 hour doctors’ strike from 8 am on Tuesday 12th January, during which only emergency care will be provided.

Bath UCU Committee has passed a policy to support the Junior Doctors and their campaign. We would like to reaffirm that support, and encourage members to take the following actions:

1) Attend the picket lines at the RUH or your local hospital, on Tuesday (from 8 am) and subsequent strike days
For more information on local action, speak to a Bath UCU branch committee member, follow Bath Doctors on Twitter, or contact Bath Trades Union Council (to which Bath UCU are affiliated).
Read the BMA statement for dates and times of planned nationwide strike action.

2) Change your university email avatar and social media profile pictures to demonstrate your support.
For your university email avatar, an example image can be found here.
Facebook and Twitter pictures can be amended using this tool: http://twibbon.com/support/i-support-junior-doctors-2

The BMA has said that “It is clear that the government perceives our contract issue as pivotal for its attempt to “reform” the NHS towards a neoliberal, commercialised system.” This will seem all too familiar for many of us who work in higher education.

Trade unions play a vital role in defending the public services that their members work within, and we will always be more successful when we stand together. Please do what you can to support our NHS doctors and get in touch if you would like to be more involved.

Warm regards,

Christopher Roche
Vice President, Bath UCU

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