Following the collapse of the latest round of pay talks with the government, junior doctors will strike for three days commencing June 14 2023, at 7:00am.
The British Medical Association (BMA) union described the government’s offer of a 5% pay increase as “paltry” and stated that “the goal of this third round of industrial action is to force the Government to put forward a credible offer”.
They have therefore asked doctors not to attend any shifts after 6:59am on 14 June and have suggested they only return to work from 7am on 17 June onwards.
The Government would simply not accept the fundamental reality of the pay cuts junior doctors have faced.
–Dr Trivedi & Dr Laurenson
The announcement of strike action follows the collapse of three-week-long talks between the BMA and the government. A government spokesperson suggested the BMA’s decision was “surprising and deeply disappointing”.
Co-Chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, have stated the government’s offer was “in no way credible or even reasonable for where we are in the negotiating process”.
In an official statement, they revealed: “We made clear from the very start that talks required a recognition of the scale of our pay erosion. No such recognition has been forthcoming.
At one point they were asking for a 49 per cent rise over four years; it’s just not affordable and it’s not any way to negotiate.
–Department of Health
“We made proposals showing our willingness to be creative and work with the Government on how the reversal of our pay erosion could be achieved. In the end, however, the Government would simply not accept the fundamental reality of the pay cuts junior doctors have faced.”
They added: “This was made clear when they finally made their pay offer of five per cent. Not only is that nowhere near addressing pay erosion over the last fifteen years, it would not even have matched inflation this year.”
A source from the Department of Health told The Telegraph: “They wouldn’t shift at all, they started off wanting a 35 per cent and just would not back away. At one point they were asking for a 49 per cent rise over four years; it’s just not affordable and it’s not any way to negotiate.”
Both the BMA and the government appear far from an agreement, which does not bode well for the NHS given junior doctors represent around half of all English hospital doctors and half of all GPs.