20.04.2024

Junior doctors to strike for three more days in June after demanding 49 PER CENT pay rise

Junior doctors will strike for at least three days every month over summer after new pay talks with the government broke down as they upped their pay demands to 49 per cent.

The British Medical Association (BMA), which has been demanding a 35 per cent pay rise, said the government’s offer of 5 per cent — which was also offered to nurses and paramedics — was not ‘credible’.

The junior doctors will now walkout for 72 hours from 7am on Wednesday, June 14, to 7am on Saturday, June 17.

But a Department of Health source said the union had ‘unrealistic expectations’ and had not only ‘refused to shift’ during negotiations but ‘actually demanded more’.

It is understood BMA negotiators proposed a multi-year settlement, which would have seen doctors below the rank of consultant receive a 49 per cent boost between 2021 and 2024, The Times reports.

The British Medical Association (BMA), which has been demanding a 35 per cent pay rise, said the government’s offer of 5 per cent was not ‘credible’

The British Medical Association (BMA), which has been demanding a 35 per cent pay rise, said the government's offer of 5 per cent was not 'credible'

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson (pictured), co-chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said they have held three weeks of negotiations with the government since their last strikes in April

The strikes are likely to undermine efforts to tackle record waiting lists and leave patients waiting longer for care.

Over half a million appointments and operations have so far been cancelled as a result of NHS industrial action by the likes of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Junior doctors held a four-day strike in April and a three-day satrike in March, which caused the cancellation of 370,000 appointments and operations.

Around a million NHS staff on the Agenda for Change Contract, which includes most employees other than doctors and dentists, have accepted an offer of a 5 per cent rise and one-off bonus payment.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said they have held three weeks of negotiations with the government since their last strikes in April.

They added: ‘Talks have now reached a stage where they are currently unproductive.

‘Accordingly, we are in a position where we must call new industrial action.

‘If the Government doesn’t change their position, we will strike throughout the summer.

‘This means we will call a minimum of three days of action every month for the duration of our mandate for industrial action.’

The pair said they still hope to meet health secretary Steve Barclay (pictured) for talks on Wednesday but sources at the Department say there will be no further meetings until strikes are called off

The strikes are likely to undermine efforts to tackle record waiting lists and leave patients waiting longer for care

The strikes are likely to undermine efforts to tackle record waiting lists and leave patients waiting longer for care

The pair said they still hope to meet health secretary Steve Barclay for talks on Wednesday but sources at the Department say there will be no further meetings until strikes are called off.

A government spokesperson said: ‘It is both surprising and deeply disappointing that the BMA Junior Doctors Committee has declared further strike action while constructive talks were ongoing.

‘These will be hugely disruptive for patients and put pressure on other NHS staff.

‘We made a fair and reasonable opening offer, and were in active discussions about both pay and non-pay issues.

‘Unfortunately, it seems the BMA is unwilling to move meaningfully away from their unaffordable headline demands on pay.

‘The government has been clear that strikes must be paused while talks take place, so while the BMA has chosen to end our current discussions, we remain ready to continue them at any point if strikes are called off.’

The Royal College of Nursing will launch a new ballot on industrial action on Tuesday.

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