Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

Junior Doctors Strike

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I'm supporting the junior doctors strike. The deal being offered by the Government is an insult to hard working doctors in Plymouth and across the country.

The Tories are skilfully spinning the strike trying to make out that doctors defending their pay are somehow militant lefties but the truth is the deal on the table is a lousy one and the Tories know it.

An 11 per cent pay rise sounds like a lot and it is but when the Tories give more with one hand its worth looking at what they're taking with the other. Most junior doctors rely heavily on out-of-hours work to supplement their wages, which are being cut back, so the net result for most junior doctors – notwithstanding the rise in basic pay – will be less money in the end. The reduction in pay for more antisocial hours shows that the Tory claim of wanting to create a seven day a week NHS is just pure spin. That's a lousy deal and the junior doctors are right to reject it.

I'm backing junior doctors because they do a great job in tough conditions. What they need is a Government that doesn't take every opportunity to screw down their terms and conditions, cut their wages, privatise their jobs and talk them down in public.

I'll be standing with junior doctors and I'm standing with the nurses who are having their training bursary cut too. I'm standing with the staff and patients who have seen services cut and privatised. And I'm not alone. I believe the majority of people in Plymouth are backing our NHS junior doctors. Plymouth backs the junior doctors, but why aren't our three Tory MPs?

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