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Junior doctors give Government industrial action ultimatum over pay award

Junior doctors give Government industrial action ultimatum over pay award

The BMA has given the Government an ultimatum to commit to restoring junior doctor pay by the end of next month or face industrial action.

The BMA announced that its UK junior doctors committee (JDC) yesterday held an ‘emergency meeting’ and wrote to the health secretary ‘expressing the strength of feeling amongst junior doctors around pay restoration’.

It added that this needs to be ‘immediately discussed and addressed’ and that it has told the Government to ‘commit to full pay restoration or prepare to face industrial action’.

It said: ‘The BMA will ballot junior doctor members in England for industrial action if the Government does not commit to full restoration of junior doctors’ pay to levels equivalent to 2008/09 by the end of September 2022.’

It comes as a motion passed unanimously by the BMA’s GP Committee in July gave the GPC England executive team ‘the mandate to immediately escalate discussions with BMA Council’ on industrial action in response to the GP pay announcement.

However, the BMA has told Pulse that it remains in the early stages of preparations for any GP industrial action.

Meanwhile, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Sarah Hallett and Dr Mike Kemp said: ‘Today’s message from junior doctors in England to the Government is clear: commit to full pay restoration or prepare to face industrial action.

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‘Junior doctors have had enough of being overworked, underpaid and undervalued, and will not tolerate these cuts any longer.’

They added that ‘morale is at rock bottom’ and that they are ‘deeply worried for the future of the profession’ if the Government fails to take ‘rapid action’ to restore pay.

They said: ‘Without fair pay, the Government risks doctors leaving to better-paid professions or jobs abroad where they feel valued. The NHS already struggles to recruit and retain doctors, and this will worsen a vicious cycle of poorer patient care and longer waiting lists, as those doctors that remain become even more burnt out and exhausted.

‘The Government must act now and commit to full pay restoration by the end of September or we will ballot our members on industrial action.’

Junior doctors were excluded from the pay uplift announced for other NHS workers last month, alongside GP partners.

Pulse revealed last month that there will be no adjustment to practice funding in England to enable them to adhere to recommended pay increases for salaried GPs and staff.

The uplifts agreed in the 2019 five-year GP contract deal for GP practices remain fixed, despite the Government recommending a 4.5% pay rise for salaried GPs in England, and at least a £1,400 pay rise for staff.

All GPs, including partners, will receive a 4.5% pay rise across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although GP leaders have said it does not go far enough.


          

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

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

Patrufini Duffy 15 August, 2022 2:31 pm

Do it – General Practice supports and we’ll hold the fort fine. Make it happen.