The BMA has announced two new strike dates for hospital consultants in England despite the Government making its ‘final’ 6% pay offer last week.
Consultants are already due to strike on Thursday and Friday this week (20 and 21 July) and the BMA said they will now also walk out on 24 and 25 August.
The Government announced a 6% pay rise for doctors (excluding GP partners) last week, saying this was a ‘final’ offer which ‘no amount of strikes’ would change.
But the BMA said it was ‘another real-terms pay cut’ and warned that strikes would ‘likely’ continue, and potentially include ‘other’ doctor groups.
The consultants’ strike action will be based on ‘Christmas Day’ levels of cover, meaning emergency care will still be provided.
BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said: ‘This “final offer” and flat refusal to engage in further talks has left us with no option but to continue our action.
‘We have therefore announced further strike dates in August and will announce further dates in due course.
‘The Government must also understand that we will continue to stand up for consultants and, if necessary, are in this for the long haul.’
‘The Prime Minister says cutting these waiting lists is a priority but then undermines his own policy by showing he doesn’t value those charged with delivering it,’ he added.
The BMA’s GP Committee is still preparing the ground for potential industrial action by GPs if the Government disregards its demands in 2024/25 GP contract negotiations.
Last week, the BMA confirmed that LMCs can lawfully participate in preparations for potential industrial action for GPs, including canvas opinion and express support.
But the RCGP chair told MPs that GPs are not showing ‘a particular desire’ to strike or take industrial action over pay.