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ramneesh_puri

New SAS Contract released

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Contract released for staff and associate specialist (SAS) grades

2007 Dec 4, Liz Fox, Kathy Oxtoby

The Government has today released the long-awaited staff and associate specialist (SAS) contract.

The offer is for the introduction of the submitted contract proposals on a transitional basis. This means that staff-grade doctors will get 50% of their increase in year one (on 1 April 2008) and 50% in year two (On 1 April 2009).

Associate specialists will also get 50% of the increase in year one and 50% in year two, instead of getting the full increase in the second year as was previously agreed between the BMA and NHS Employers.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘I understand the frustrations at the time it has taken the Government to make a decision about the new contract for staff and associate specialist doctors. We have been carefully assessing the proposals, taking full account of value for money and the benefits to be achieved.

‘I recognise that doctors will be disappointed with implementation over two years. However, this will ensure a smooth transition for the NHS and allow the service to get the best out of the contract one step at a time.

‘I want to stress that doctors will see the full benefits of the contract negotiated between NHS Employers and the BMA once the transition is complete.’

Ballot

The BMA SAS committee was due to meet today to discuss the situation - including plans to put the proposed contract out for ballot.

However, it seems likely the contract will be rejected by grassroots doctors.

Interim results from a BMA survey of 1,000 SAS doctors - unveiled at a BMA conference on 1 December - reveal that four of five are against the closure of the associate specialist grade, while half believe the proposed contract’s on-call arrangements are a disadvantage.

Other concerns centre on progression up the new pay scale and the inclusion of just one supporting professional activity (SPA) within the contract.

Speaking at the conference, Dr Laurie Baxter, an associate specialist in ENT from Plymouth, said the contract ‘offers more disadvantages than advantages’, while Dr Amir Landek, a staff-grade in anaesthesia from London, claimed the contract ‘should be rejected lock, stock and barrel’.

Although the BMA’s survey indicates that one-fifth of doctors are prepared to reject the contract without a public vote, Mr Mohib Khan, co-chairman of the BMA’s SAS committee, told BMA members: ‘I think it should go to ballot so you can make your own decisions.’

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docpurrs... I have been getting a few emails about this issue too but I have absolutely no clue as to what all this means.... could u please tell me what this means...I am a staff grade ( 6 months into it). how wouyld this affect my pay and are u saying that the GMC is trying to get staff grades do oncalls??????

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Unless I have looked at the tables wrong, I think it means all SAS doctors would get a pay rise.

I am not sure when the contract comes into effect.

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is it applicable to SAS doctors all over uk or just in England?

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