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Junior doctor strikes to go ahead next week

A strike of junior doctors will go ahead next week after talks with the government failed to resolve a dispute over pay and contracts, a group overseeing the talks has said.

The BMA had announced planned strike dates earlier this week Credit: PA

Talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS Employers were "constructive" but did not reach a deal that would have prevented planned strike action, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) said.

It means that three walkouts are set to take place starting from next week, potentially causing major disruption to the health service and forcing the cancellation of thousands of operations.

Junior doctors are provide emergency care only over a 48 hour period from 8am Tuesday to 8am on Thursday.

It will be followed by a further strike excluding emergency care from 26 to 28 January, and a full walkout from 8am to 5pm on 10 February.

Firefighters' deal 'one of most generous in public sector'

As firefighters across England and Wales prepare to stage a 24-hour walk-out, a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said that a solution can be reached "but not under the shadow of industrial action."

The deal on the table is fair and gives firefighters one of the most generous pensions in the public sector.

Additionally, the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

Nearly three-quarters will see no change in their pension age in 2015.

Under the new scheme, a firefighter who earns £29,000 will still be able to retire after a full career aged 60, get a £19,000-a-year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension.

The equivalent private pension pot would be worth over half a million pounds and require firefighters to contribute twice as much.

– A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government
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