Doctors and medics across the UK have threatened to take industrial action if their demands for a 30% pay rise over the next five years are not met.
Increased calls for a pay rise come after delegates at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual conference in Brighton this week voted to press ministers to agree to the increase – which they say makes up for real-term cuts to salaries since 2008.
Last week’s national rail strikes were referenced as inspiration for how public sector workers should pursue pay demands with the government.
Delegates also called on MPs to address the NHS’s “unmanageable workloads”, with one medic saying that there’s currently “no rescue plan beyond ‘work harder'”.
Proposing the motion for a 30% pay rise over the next five years, Dr Emma Runswic – a member of the BMA’s ruling council – said: “We should not wait for things to get worse. All of us deserve comfort and pleasure in our lives. Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do, but it is a significant demand and it won’t be easy to win.
“Every part of the BMA needs to plan for how to achieve this.”
She added: “I’m not foolish, I know that’s it’s likely to be that industrial action will be required to move the government on this issue.
“Do not be tempted to accept a pathetic future for our profession – we are worth more.”
Dr Runswic also made reference to the recent pay rise for bin workers in Manchester, after more than 90% of the workers in the area – who are employed by outsourced waste management company Biffa – voted for industrial action on a turnout of more than 60% with a dispute that’s said to stem from Biffa refusing to increase wages, GMB Union said.
“All around us, workers are coming together in trade unions and winning big – last month bin men in Manchester 22%,” Dr Runswic said.
“Those workers got together and used a key tool that trade unions have, the ability to collectively organise, collectively negotiate and collectively withdraw our labour.
“Vote for this motion, and I’ll see you on the picket lines.”
On the topic of patient numbers, backlogs, and the workloads of medial professionals across the UK, Dr Jacqueline Davies also told delegates: “There is an answer to the backlog and the unmanageable workloads facing exhausted NHS staff as the NHS is facing record demand with no additional capacity.
“Staff are leaving in droves and there’s no rescue plan beyond ‘work harder’.
“We know that staff shortages lead to critical incidents and who gets the blame? We do, the burden falls on us.”
In response to the calls made by delegates, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff and we recognise the pressures caused by the rising cost of living. NHS staff received a 3% pay rise last year, despite a public sector pay freeze, and in 2019 the government and the BMA agreed to a multi-year pay deal for doctors in training, which guaranteed an 8.2% rise in pay over four years.
“We are giving NHS workers another pay rise this year – no decisions have been made and we will carefully consider the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies.”
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.