NHS Strikes: Junior Doctors are the latest to join the picket line

Over 30,000 Junior doctors have voted in favour of taking strike action in their fight to get more pay.

Almost 37,000 members of the British Medical Association (BMA) cast their vote to partake in industrial action with 98% voting in favour – this was the largest turnout for a ballot of doctors by the BMA and a record number of junior doctors voting to walk-out.

woman in black crew neck shirt wearing white face mask

The result means junior doctors in England will now prepare for a 72-hour as early as mid-March.

The union said junior doctor roles had seen pay cut by 26% since 2008 once inflation was considered. However, experts said if a different measure of inflation is used, the fall in pay was lower.

Since the decision, members of the BMA have targeted Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for failing to take part in meaningful conversations surrounding wages.

Mr Barclay said: ‘We hugely value the work of junior doctors, and it is deeply disappointing some union members have voted for strike action.

‘As part of a multi-year deal, we agreed with the BMA, junior doctors pay has increased by a cumulative 8.2% since 2019/20. We also introduced a higher pay band for the most experienced staff and increased rates for night shifts.

‘I’ve met with the BMA and other medical unions to discuss what is fair and affordable, as well as wider concerns around conditions and workload. I want to continue discussing how we can make the make the NHS a better place to work for all.’

Currently, the basic starting salary for a junior doctor is £29,000, but average earnings are higher once extra payments for things like unsociable hours are considered.

The Department of Health and Social Care said that, alongside an 8.2% pay rise over four years, the current deal also introduced higher bands of pay for the most experienced staff, and increased rates for night shifts.

The decision for Junior Doctors to strike comes as nurses and ambulance staff are warning they will escalate their industrial action in their dispute over pay. Members of the Royal College of Nursing are due to walkout over half of frontline services in England next week for two days.

BMA Junior Doctors Committee Co-Chairman, Dr Robert Laurenson, said: ‘We are frustrated, in despair and angry and we have voted in our thousands to say, ‘in the name of our profession, our patients, and our NHS, doctors won’t take it anymore.

‘The government has only itself to blame, standing by in silent indifference as our members are forced to take this difficult decision.’

Photo by Cezar Sampaio


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top