The ballot on industrial action for junior doctors and GP trainees over the proposed contract imposition will begin on 5 November, the BMA has announced today.
In a message to members, it said the ballot will close on 18 November, and the results will be announced soon after.
GP trainees and junior doctors have been told they will have to be registered and update their details by 23 October in order to be eligible for the ballot.
They are being balloted on the decision by the Government to adopt in full recommendations that will see trainees no longer being paid extra for Saturday and evening working.
Around 20,000 people marched on Parliament at the weekend in opposition to the proposals.
Under the plans, the Government will also remove the ‘GP supplement’, which sees GP trainees’ pay being boosted to closely match that of hospital trainees, who receive higher standard pay because they work more weekends.
In place of the supplement, the Government has proposed ‘flexible pay premia’, which it has committed to general practice in the first year, but with no guarantee GP trainees will continue to receive a premium beyond then.
Dr Donna Tooth, chair of the GP trainees subcommittee of the GPC and a GP trainee in Essex, told Pulse: ‘GP trainees who will be starting their three years of training from next August need assurance that their salary won’t be altered during the course of their training programme.
‘In light of the GP recruitment and retention crisis, we need assurances over pay for the longer term, not a short-term fix to appease current trainees.’
She added: ‘With regards to the upcoming ballot, I would urge individual GP trainees to be familiar with the DDRB recommendations and make a decision for themselves as to how this imposition may affect them and trainees in the future.’