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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?

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 15:32:54

I think you are therefore very lucky goldengirl . This is certainly not typical of the private sector and certainly not in North East manufacturing or retail.

goldengirl Thu 07-Jun-12 14:37:00

Gillybob please don't tar all private sector businesses with the same brush. We have a company with 30 employees and like to think we are family orientated - time off for emergencies; shifting of hours for school runs, sports days, nativities etc and no pay docked. Many have elderly parents needing help and we do our best to accommodate requirements. We are not alone in this because businesess find that overall employees don't take advantage but give of their best if there is understanding. After all we spend a great deal of time at work! If they do take advantage then that's a different story and luckily very rare.

Anagram Thu 07-Jun-12 13:18:17

I agree with you, POGS, gillybob and Alison.

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 13:12:56

I fail to see why the public sector should not be affected in the same way as the private sector. Yes, we are all in it together whether we like it or not and there is no good reason to treat either sector differently.

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 13:12:17

This is what really gets me POGS there is no money left and "they" just don't get it. Still pushing for more money, better pensions etc. and still heaps of non-jobs.

I have friends working in the public sector who don't actually know what it is they are supposed to do and are now biding their time to retirement. why do we think this can continue?

Manufacturing in this country has been ignored for so long. Speaking from experience it is impossible to get any help from the bank, loans and grants are very much a thing of the past.... But the economic development department in our local authority is thriving ! Doing what I wonder?

POGS Thu 07-Jun-12 13:03:12

Neither did the private sector!. The Banking system did cause the Global financial melt-down but after government prolific spending that gave us the highest debt in Europe with little to show for it also shares a responsibility. It failed to regulate the banking system and cosied up to that economy and left manufacturing to fend for itself. Now we know that choice has failed our chance of a quick recovery, it was O.K. while the sun shone but we are in a b....y hurricane now.

As I have just said on another thread. As Liam Byrne said on leaving government, ' Good luck, there's no money left'. Said it all to me.

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 12:57:46

I think perhaps the comment ......"would someone please explain how the public sector caused Lehman Brothers to crash" may have been directed as those of us who are "sticking up for" the private sector.

absentgrana Thu 07-Jun-12 12:53:26

Because the banks have caused the problems through their casino trading so all this stuff about austerity, belt tightening and how we must all put up with smaller pieces of pie because the government has no money is infuriating. The question was both rhetorical and tongue in cheek.

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 12:38:47

absent I don't think anyone has said the public sector caused the banking collapse have they? Where did that come from?

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 10:21:12

I don't believe the public sector caused the Lehman Brothers to crash. I believe that the Banks have totally lost the reason that they exist in the first place and thrive on greed and misery.

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 10:18:00

Hi Alison I totally agree with you. I am never not at work (if you know what I mean) I spend 4 days a week in a grubby little office in the corner of a grubby factory and then go home and take over where I left off. my husband is even worse and is "in" work 7 days a week. I do wish I had encouraged my children to work in the Public Sector but sadly neither of them do. The private sector is totally inflexible when it comes to families and childcare. In my sons job if he had to take a day off work because one of the children became ill or some other family emergency he would have his pay docked, simple. Holidays are the bare minimum as set out by law. No more no less.

Don't get me started on teachers. My 2 grandaughters school merged last year with another school nearby. the school was closed for 9 weeks in the summer . teachers laughing their heads off, working parents tearing their hair out. Finding and paying for 6 weeks child care is very hard but 9 weeks??? Local authority said it was unfortunate !

absentgrana Thu 07-Jun-12 10:15:22

Would someone please explain to me how public sector workers caused Lehman Brothers to crash and banks across the world to incur massive amounts of bad debt. Also, please explain that while we're all in this together, bankers aren't.

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 09:47:41

Gilly it is good to sound off and I truly sympathise. So many people have so little security that it is very hard to see those with protected jobs and pensions whinging when they don't know how lucky they are. Sometimes the public sector sound so remote from the reality of many people that it is hard to stomach. Teachers and nurses often sound as if they think they work harder than the rest of us but I don't know many people who work 9-5 and then come home and forget their work. At least teachers can fit around taking their children to after school activities and do their lesson planning at time to suit themselves. I think of all the times I was at work at 0700 and worked a 12 hour day without any extra pay. Of the times I had to be logged on at home to solve issues on a 'follow the sun' basis. I'll stop now!

gillybob Thu 07-Jun-12 09:36:17

Hi Everyone. I haven't posted for a while and have been following this thread carefully.

Having run a small Engineering business for the past 20 odd years I know exactly what it is like to have to cut back. I can honestly say that over the last 3 years or so my husband and I have cut back so much that there is simply nothing left to cut ! we have put everything we have (and I mean everything) into our business to keep our 7 employees in work. Our pension pot is virtually non existent, we have re-mortgaged more times than I care to think about and haven't had a holiday or even a weekend break since I can't remember.Jokes aside I quite literally think we will both leave our business in our coffins.

This is the reality of the private sector.

I have to say that it disgusts me that Doctors can even contemplate going on strike given the wages, lump sum and pension package they enjoy and I just wish for once the public sector could understand that without the private sector there would be NO public sector at all. I wonder how many businesses like ours it takes to keep a doctor in his pension?

I am sorry if I come across as bitter but that probably because I am.

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 09:15:19

POGS I'm with you on all of this, well said

POGS Wed 06-Jun-12 19:35:29

I do not beleive doctors should strike. I do not beleive any public sector worker should strike over the proposed pension scheme. Before anyone starts my husband was a police officer and for years we said the pension simply could not be sustained. He was not allowed to strike and he knew that when he joined the job, end of.

I was heartened to read a comment in a paper from a doctor who said he was not going to strike. He stated the high wage increase and working conditions given to them by Labour and the good pension he will get were not a reason to strike, he thought his patients deserved better of him. Am I right or wrong, someone will soon tell me, do they not get on average approx.£ 150,000 lump sum and approx £50,000 a year pension?

The fact is we have the highest debt in Europe and government spending has to be lowered. Like private sector businesses the government is an employer and that is why wages, pensions for the public sector workers are having to be looked at. It is asked why is the public sector being pitted against the private sector. Easy, the private sector worker is getting tired of the public sector thinking they are a special case. Yes nurses, teachers, dinner ladies etc., are doing a worthwhile job but try being a construction worker, farmer, sewer worker or working on a factory line on piecework and you will soon find out what hard work entails.Nobody should claim to be a more worthwhile case.

The points being raised by the Unions are, we have a pay freeze, pay more into our pension scheme and will have to work until we are older, I'm sorry your point is?.

The private sector has had pay freezes, increased pension contributions, job losses etc., for a long time now. It is hard therefore to have sympathy with workers who do have per head a higher pension pot than they could dream of when their own pension schemes are being finished.Lower paid workers are I beleive shielded from paying higher percentages are'nt they, is it something like those earning less than £23,000 are exempt, I'm not sure.

POGS Wed 06-Jun-12 19:07:06


AlisonMA Sat 02-Jun-12 14:42:20

Also the civil servants who have been paid via a company rather than PAYE. There is a lot of that about even in much more lowly paid jobs.

Greatnan Sat 02-Jun-12 13:59:20

The cake would be bigger if the rich and well-connected had to pay their fair share of taxes. Reducing the top rate of tax to 45% was just about the most infuriating thing this excuse for a government has done.
I know full well what can be achieved by a clever accountant, off-shore funds, etc. and there is a big question mark over the actions of the head honcho of the HMCR in respect of very large companies, such as Vodafone.

absentgrana Sat 02-Jun-12 11:56:12

The doctors probably do have "right" on their side – Mamie is quite correct in what she says – but I don't think they will have public support and, indeed, may provoke considerable hostility.

Mamie Sat 02-Jun-12 11:37:26

The doctors aren't asking for more though are they? They are saying that they have a fully-funded pension scheme, well in surplus, that was re-negogiated four years ago.

AlisonMA Sat 02-Jun-12 10:08:13

There is talk here of doctors being intelligent and therefore they should understand that everyone has to change and they should not be a special case.

I am reminded of something Arthur Scargill said about striking being about how much you can get out of the employer and not about what is fair.

I tend to feel the same about most of the protests about cuts. Of course none of us want cuts but no one ever suggests what could be cut instead of their particular one.

There is only so much money to go round and we can't all have a bigger slice of the cake.

JessM Sat 02-Jun-12 08:30:08

Stress levels or no, being middle class and affluent they will on average tend to have a long healthy retirement. Unlike the manual workers who were completely done in at 65 when the retirement age was originally set. My DH comes from the Black Country. His mum was one of 7 girls and the uncles worked in manufacturing. All the uncles bar one died in middle age.That was what the retirement age of 65 was about when it was fought for. Not a right to have 20 or more years of golf and foreign holidays.
Doctors are not daft. They know that retirement age has got to rise. They of all groups are aware of the statistics of life expectancy.

Greatnan Sat 02-Jun-12 07:37:48

hummingbird - I am sure you are right about hospital junior doctors, but I looked at the NHS statistics website and the average number of hours worked by full-time GPs in 2006/7 was 44.4. I think it unlikely that the figure has increased since then. I am not criticising GPs for having earned their more favourable conditions - they were vastly overworked previously. I would prefer out-of-hours cover to be improved, though. Importing locums from other countries has led in at least once case to a fatal overdose being given (tragically, to a retired GP).
Agencies also charge huge amounts for supplying staff to PCTs.

hummingbird Sat 02-Jun-12 07:26:18

I'm not sure that doctors should go out on strike - I work in a hospital, and know the huge disruption to theatre lists etc that this may cause. However, I do feel that doctors are very shabbily treated. They are among the brightest and best educated people in society, with top A level and degree results. From a very young age they have enormous responsibility. They work very long, unsociable hours, (I don't know any that work 9-5) and the stress levels are high. At one time a consultant may have been very well paid, and could leave much of his work to his juniors, but these days they too have heavy on-call commitments and have to cover nights and weekends. Women, in particular, have a struggle to balance home life with the demands of the work. On top of this, they often have to face abuse from the public. You only have to watch programmes like Great Ormond Street, and 24 hours in A&E to see their expertise, dedication, and humanity. I think they deserve the best pay, pension and respect the country can give them.