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Junior doctors call for ballot on industrial action

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 18 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1592

same old story

Dear sir,

I am currently an RMO working in Western Australia-working only a
50hr week to be precise, which is why I can afford the time to read this
article. I left the UK in August with a large contingent of newly fully
registered junior doctors, spurred on in no small part by the great
dissatisfaction and dissolutionment created from working for a year within
the NHS.

I, and I know I am not alone, left home with high hopes of an
imminent improvement in working conditions, and employee management, after
the overwhelming support the JDC's proposals received. However it appears
to have been mainly hollow words backed up by very little action. The
governments rejection of the proposed improvements, and subsequent issue
of a derisory pay offer were quite frankly insulting to all junior doctors
working within the NHS.

Surely following such a united show of solidarity over working
conditions, the time has come for a harder stance on negotiations. If the
propsals of the JDC are not met with a realistic, respectful offer then a
final deadline for industrial action should be set.

The greatest negotiating weapon of the JDC is the junior doctors
themselves-maybe its time to use them.

Yours faithfully,

Dr.Tim Chesworth.

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 December 1999
Tim Chesworth
RMO Perth, Western Australia