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Doctor's strikes

(82 Posts)
shev123 Thu 31-May-12 16:24:00

Is it just me or are Doctor's being unreasonable striking? They get £50k pension and are going to inconvience lots of people who will have to cancel operations. I don't know anyone who has had an opertaion cancelled but there has to be people out there. At a time of national austerirty they rae doing better than most other in the NHS. It just seems unfair. What do you think?

Ozgrannie Thu 31-May-12 23:01:15

Was always led to believe a career in medicine was a vocation.Worked as a healthcare assistant in hospital for 26 years. Have never known a financially poor doctor or nurse for that matter. Very few people who pay into pensions receive the projected pension .the world is changing .Uk an extremely indebted country.Be fair and be grateful . We must all play our part.

Nanban Fri 01-Jun-12 07:03:24

Why is it that whenever nurses/doctors are agitating for a pay rise or less hours the pictures we see are of intensive care paediatric wards! Well, of course, it's to put across the 'angels of mercy' message which is a million miles from the truth with 90% of the rest of the workforce. They have attracted a sympathetic public in the past but now that worm is turning. There is no longer any mystique about the health service and its employees.

Greatnan Fri 01-Jun-12 07:27:52

You can find pay scales for all grades of doctors if you google it. There is a big difference between the incomes of employed doctors and those of partners. The average pre-tax income of the latter appears to be £100,000 p.a. Even the CEO of their own union was surprised at the generosity of the last reworking of pay and conditions.

Junior hospital doctors can still be on call for very long hours and it can't help their concentration if they have been without sleep for over 24 hours.

I am contemptuous of the claims of banks that they have to pay ridiculous bonuses to stop their staff decamping to other countries, but in the case of UK trained medical professionals I think there may still be some justification, in spite of increased earnings and no obligatory 'out of hours' duties.

kittylester Fri 01-Jun-12 08:28:56

As I said Greatnan, the doctors have really good negotiators! grin

Maniac Fri 01-Jun-12 08:34:00

Pharmacists have 5 years training.stressful,demanding work,long hours on their feet all day.They often have to self fund their pension unless they work permanently for a large firm.Their salaries/pensions are a fraction of those of doctors. They havenever gone on strike.

susiecb Fri 01-Jun-12 09:17:04

Doctors have always been very well organised and have a very strong professional body. they also have the ear of the governement in a way that most workers dont. I dont think they need to strike- they will get what they want one way or another. i speak as someone who used to sign the cheques for locums!!!!

Lilygran Fri 01-Jun-12 10:10:25

I don't believe anyone strikes just for money. Doctors (and everyone else who works in the public sector) have been subject for years to vilification at the hands of politicians of every hue. Their professional commitment to their jobs has been called into question and they have been subjected to ever-increasing monitoring of every action in a simple-minded check-the-boxes fashion that ignores any aspect of the job that can't be quantified. Doctors ended up with a good deal partly (mainly?) because the policy makers really had no idea what NHS staff actually did. The same thing happened with teachers a few years before. In an attempt to control their activities, new contracts were introduced which resulted in many extra-curricular, mainly voluntary activities coming to an end. It's all about central government control. They're going after the civil service now.

AlisonMA Fri 01-Jun-12 10:23:51

nanaej I think I share the view that public sector workers are better off than others because everything I have read or heard says that they do.

Many years ago those in the public sector earned a little less than in the private but did have genereous pensions to compensate. I understand that now their salaries are higher than comparable salaries in the private sector and they also have protected, final salary pensions although I think some have now settled for career average. I think the difference is abou 33% but I'm not sure about that and it probably depends which statistics one reads.

jeni Fri 01-Jun-12 10:24:37

They've been after the civil service as long as I can remember!

Mamie Fri 01-Jun-12 11:18:25

I do get fed up with this argument about private versus public sector and I think you have to be very careful about comparing like with like.
I worked in public sector and DH in private. We both had good salaries for which we worked long hours and spent lengthy amounts of time away from home. He got bonuses, share options and good expenses, but he didn't have a union to protect the terms and conditions of his work. We both have good pensions, for which we planned and made hefty contributions all our working lives.
I think it probably true that the poorest paid workers with least in the way of pensions are in the private sector, but do we really want a race to the bottom? Shouldn't we start by redistributing wealth from the people who avoid paying tax, in an effort to try and ensure that everyone gets a decent wage and a pension at the end of it?

Greatnan Fri 01-Jun-12 12:05:20

Mamie - what a very lucid and interesting post - thank you.
There seems to be a great deal of envy/hostility towards public service employees in some sections of the press.

shev123 Fri 01-Jun-12 12:13:38

What gets me is that people may have non urgent operations cancelled. Does anyone now anyone who has theirs cancelled as a result?

JessM Fri 01-Jun-12 12:38:22

I defend their right to withdraw their labour. But they don't necessarily have a right to our sympathy. I don't understand why GPs have publicly backed pensions either. University lecturers do not. They have their own pot which is invested in things like shopping centres.
But the fact that future taxpayers will have to foot the bill is concerning. Todays young doctors can expect to be drawing their pensions well into their eighties and beyond. The argument for raising the age at which they will retire is a very strong one.

absentgrana Fri 01-Jun-12 12:50:01

"If this is the case for the private sector is there any reason why the public sector should not be treated the same?"

Yes. Two wrongs don't make a right.

AlisonMA Fri 01-Jun-12 12:52:53

Where is the money to come from? Maybe the people who are having to pay it feel it is unfair.

Mamie Fri 01-Jun-12 13:34:11

Well not to put to fine a point on it, some of the money could come from profits made in the private sector, from the outrageous salaries and bonuses paid to bankers and captains of industry, from getting to grips with tax evasion etc etc
Can we also be clear that by no means all public service pensions are subsidised; mine certainly wasn't, it was and is funded by contributions alone. I understand that the doctors' pension scheme has a large surplus
I think people sometimes forget that public sector workers also fund the private sector by buying goods and services.

absentgrana Fri 01-Jun-12 13:39:24

Public sector workers are also taxpayers. smile

Mamie Fri 01-Jun-12 13:44:37

Indeed and when they move abroad they still have to pay tax in the UK on their pension even though they don't live there! (Like me and a few others on here.)

absentgrana Fri 01-Jun-12 13:49:13

Oh Mamie Don't get me started on that one. I think you live in the EU so your state pension is increased yearly in the same way as it would be if you still lived in the UK. When I emigrate to New Zealand, probably early next year, my state pension will be frozen at the 2013 rate. However, I shall still be expected to pay taxes in the UK because of money generated in the UK.

absentgrana Fri 01-Jun-12 13:50:10

The government wants its cupcake and eats it too.

Greatnan Fri 01-Jun-12 14:06:04

Absent, at the risk of being accused of being 'informed', may I just say that your state retirement pension will not be taxable in the UK once you are non-resident, but it will be frozen. If you have a UK government pension, i.e. in respect of government service, such as teaching or civil service, that pension will remain taxable in the UK if you move within Europe, but I will check my facts about what happens re taxation if you move outside (I will be in the same boat as you in a few years). Unfortunately, I very honestly returned all my taxation guides to the Inland Revenue when I retired! Watch this space!

absentgrana Fri 01-Jun-12 14:10:54

Greatnan I shall get proper advice from my accountant but I think I have to pay tax in the UK on income (above the personal tax allowance) generated in the UK. I'm not quarrelling with that (although I still don't understand why, then, I had to pay tax in the UK on income generated in New Zealand instead of in NZ), but if I'm paying tax, I think it is hugely unfair to freeze my state pension. (I reckon that's unfair anyway, but this seems like a double whammy.)

Greatnan Fri 01-Jun-12 14:35:45

I have telephoned the International Pensions Office and Teachers' Pensions and at least I have been able to find out that UK government service pensions are not frozen, only our State Retirement Pensions (I agree, not bl**dy fair, when we have paid all our contributions). Teachers' Pensions told me they would continue to tax my pension at source until the UK tax office told them differently.
I have found the terms of the double taxation agreement between UK and NZ and I am working my way through the pages and pages of it!
At least as such an agreement exists, we won't be taxed at both ends!
I will continue my searches, and if you have any information I would be grateful if you would pm me with it!

Greatnan Fri 01-Jun-12 14:49:50

I finally found the page I was looking for on the site for UK government service pensions. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Cyprus have special arrangements whereby exemptions can be claimed for UK govt. service pensions. For all other countries, these pensions remain taxable at source in the UK.
So it looks as if our govt. service pensions will continue to be uprated annually, as they are classed as occupational pensions, our UK state retirement pensions will be frozen, but all of them will be taxed in NZ - I am not sure whether that will be beneficial or not so I will have to research tax rates and personal allowances for NZ!
I have benefited in France because I have been given the personal allowances for both countries!

Jacey Fri 01-Jun-12 14:50:11

Perhaps some of us would feel less inclined to justifiable go on about the unfairness of pensions if those who set these rules ...members of parliament ...did something about the monies they received!! The back handers they get when they lose their seat; their pension levels; the subsidise they get for travel/housing etc; cheap booze in the House of Commons bars ...need I go on!! shock

After all MP never seems to be in the 'house' or attending committees!! I'm lucky if I get an e-mail each month telling me what 'questions' he has raised ...and some of those are written not actually in attendencehmm