The British Dental Association (BDA) has revealed that hospital dental trainees across 15 NHS trusts have voted to strike against below inflation pay awards.
Closing on 21 August, a ballot asked NHS trusts throughout England, ‘Are you prepared to take part in strike action?’
It was returned with 92% of responses in favour of industrial action, with many trusts in 100% agreement.
Exact dates for the stoppage are yet to be confirmed. It will include BDA members from 15 hospital trusts:
- Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
- Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
- University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
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The government’s announcement of a 6% pay increase for dentists will be at issue during this industrial action. The BDA termed this a ‘below inflation pay award’. Due to sharp inflation rates, official BDA data shows that dentists’ incomes have fallen by 40% in real terms. The BDA therefore considers the uplift a ‘pay cut in real terms’.
The hospital dental trainees are among many dental and medical groups opting to take strike action. British Medical Association (BMA) member consultants will carry out a 48- and 72-hour walkout this Autumn. The BDA has also called on dental public health consultants across 40 NHS trusts to strike this 24 and 25 August.
Similar action was taken in March, when trainee dentists employed by 19 NHS trusts participated in a 72-hour walkout. Pay was also at issue during this strike, after the Department of Health and Social Care announced a 3.5% pay increase for dentists and doctors.
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