The British Dental Association (BDA) has launched a survey of members’ views on the acceptability of the government’s proposed changes to NHS pensions.
It is also, for the first time ever, seeking members’ views on the appropriateness of dentists taking industrial action if such a course of action is considered necessary.
Views are being sought ahead of a February meeting of the BDA’s Representative Body which will determine whether or not members should be formally balloted on strike action.
BDA members in all four UK countries will receive a copy of the survey, accompanied by a letter from BDA chief executive, Peter Ward, next week.
It asks whether the recipient considers the proposed changes to NHS pensions acceptable, whether they might cause the dentist to bring forward their retirement date, and whether they believe it is safe for most dentists to treat patients up to the age of 68 years (the proposed new retirement date).
The survey also asks for views both on whether industrial action by dentists could ever be acceptable and whether various forms of action should be considered in response to the proposed pension reforms.
Peter Ward said: ‘The government is proposing fundamental changes to the NHS pension scheme. The proposal that arrived before Christmas was the best achievable by negotiations, and the BDA, in common with other unions, promised to consult members on its acceptability.
‘This survey does exactly that and it is important that all members who would be affected by the changes make their views known to ensure that their voices are heard when the BDA’s Representative Body meets at the beginning of February.’
Full details of the Government’s final offer on pension reform and what it would mean for dentists are available on the BDA website at www.bda.org/nhspensions.