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Three-day junior doctor strike confirmed for March

Three-day junior doctor strike confirmed for March

The BMA has announced a three-day junior doctor strike on 13, 14 and 15 March based on the health secretary’s failure to ‘come to the table’ to negotiate pay. 

The walk-out, starting at 7am on the Monday, follows a recent ballot in which nearly 40,000 junior doctors voted to take industrial action. 

Health secretary Steve Barclay has refused to attend meetings called for by junior doctors in the past week leaving them ‘with no option’, according to the BMA.

Junior doctors are seeking to negotiate a reversal of real-terms pay cuts of more than 26%, but the BMA said a meeting with Department of Health and Social Care civil servants this week ‘yielded nothing in terms of meaningful progress’. 

Co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, said patients and the public should know ‘the blame for the strike action lies squarely at the Government’s door. 

They said they have been trying since last summer to negotiate with the health secretary but have had no substantive response and no indication of what is needed for negotiations to begin. 

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More than 47,600 junior doctors were eligible to vote in the BMA’s ballot last month, with almost 37,000 votes cast and 98% voting in favour of strikes.

Dr Laurenson and Dr Trivedi said: ‘The fact that so many junior doctors in England have voted yes for strike action should leave ministers in absolutely no doubt what we have known for a long time and have been trying to tell them, we are demoralised, angry and no longer willing to work for wages that have seen a real terms decline of over 26 percent in the past 15 years. 

‘This, together with the stress and exhaustion of working in an NHS in crisis, has brought us to this moment, brought us to a 72 hour walk out.’

They added: ‘How in all conscience, can the Health Secretary continue to put his head in the sand and hope that by not meeting with us, this crisis of his Government’s making, will somehow just disappear? 

‘It won’t, and patients and the public will continue to feel the brunt of his inaction, until he starts to negotiate with us and we agree a deal that truly values junior doctors and pays us what we are worth.’

Hospital trusts and employers have been notified of the 72-hour strike, which GP trainees will be able to join from the picket line or close to the hospital they are currently working in.


          

READERS' COMMENTS [8]

Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

David Turner 24 February, 2023 11:42 am

We should all stand firmly behind our junior doctor colleagues who have and are being treated appallingly by this and previous abysmal governments.

fareed bhatti 24 February, 2023 11:46 am

Junior doctors are actually well represented by the BMA. Its GPs esp partners that are under the greatest threat.

David Church 24 February, 2023 11:50 am

Agree Fareed, but sadly improving GP negotiation and aorganising effective safe industrial action is extremely difficult – we can but hope that wins for other branches can be exhibited as demonstrating need for similar for GP : at least that is how DDRB is supposed to work, but this particular Government has other aims – which are NOT supported by most of the electorate!

SUBHASH BHATT 24 February, 2023 12:13 pm

Feel sorry for consultants and senior doctors.. junior doctors do need decent pay rise .

Mr Marvellous 24 February, 2023 3:24 pm

“Feel sorry for consultants and senior doctors”

Don’t feel sorry.

The Consultant ballot will report soon.

Sam Macphie 24 February, 2023 7:27 pm

A big increase in Personal Allowance (Tax-free) threshold for all the country’s workers and pensioners (including all doctors, GPs, nurses, teachers), not just junior doctors, would be a start for everyone in the UK in this Cost of Living Crisis: just get on with meaningful action now Jeremy Hunt, Steven Barclaybanker and Rashy Sanuk. Perhaps Rashyguy does not realise the importance of this sort of immediate action (and the benefit that would be bestowed upon us all); with him having such great personal wealth, a mere Personal Allowance increase to him is probably meaningless, unfortunately. However, it would be a start (and help so many). Everyone needs a big increase in Personal Allowance: Public sector, Private sector and do not forget pensioners (including retired doctors) one day; when is the next budget? In March, action might happen: given the political will; but do the Blue party have the will? They need to get on with it.

Anonymous 25 February, 2023 6:52 am

Doctors need their pay increased by 30 %. Agenda for change will get increase across the board despite just nurses and Paramedics striking. Doctors will be forgotten again.

Truth Finder 28 February, 2023 5:41 pm

I support the juniors. The whole profession needs to go on strike.