The BMA has urged GP trainees to take part in the re-ballot for junior doctor strike action as ‘every vote counts’ to renew the mandate.
GP trainees are eligible to vote in the re-ballot for junior doctor strike action which is open until 31 August.
The doctor’s union is currently re-balloting junior doctors to extend its mandate for strike action, since due to anti-strike laws, junior doctors can currently only legally strike until late August.
In an update to members, the union said: ‘The last safe date to post ballots back is 26 August, so post your ballot back today and speak to your GP trainee colleagues to remind them too.
‘Send your ballot by post no later than 26 August to ensure it arrives by the cut-off date.’
Dr Rob Laurenson, BMA’s junior doctors committee co-chair, said: ‘Right now we have a strong hand and the Government knows it – we have the power to strike backed up by a historic mandate.
‘But if we want to see this campaign through and reverse 15 years of pay cuts, we can’t take anything for granted.
‘It is critical that we deliver another massive mandate and time is running out.’
A trade union ballot requires a turnout of 50% of those eligible to vote in order to be considered to have support for industrial action and a successful vote results in a mandate for industrial action lasting six months.
BMA’s junior doctors committee co-chair Dr Vivek Trivedi urged members to vote in the re-ballot as soon as possible, as he said it is ‘not uncommon’ for unions to fail to meet the threshold set by the Government to renew a mandate for strike action.
He added: ‘In the last few months, we’ve seen it happen to teachers, we’ve seen it happen to nurses.’
Junior doctors walked out for four days last week in the latest of a series of strikes which the union said would become monthly.
Upon announcing a 6% pay rise for doctors last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said this offer was ‘final’ and ‘no amounts of strikes’ would change the Government’s mind.
However, BMA junior doctors said ‘it is not for Rishi Sunak to decide that negotiations are over before he has even stepped in the room’.
Earlier this year, the union issued guidance for GP trainees as it said it is ‘essential that this significant cohort demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst the profession by participating fully in this industrial action’.
The BMA had previously confirmed that GP trainees would not be barred from protesting during the junior doctor strikes, but would only be able to join a picket line at or close to their place of work.