GPs vote for industrial action over Saturday working after doctors demand 30% pay hike

28 June 2022, 12:57 | Updated: 28 June 2022, 14:59

GPs have voted in support of industrial action
GPs have voted in support of industrial action. Picture: Alamy

By Lauren Lewis

GPs have voted in favour of industrial action over a new contract that would force them to work on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Doctors, who have demanded a 30 per cent pay rise, took the decision over industrial action during the British Medical Association (BMA’s) annual meeting.

Under the contract, GPs are required to provide full services from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, from October 1.

Members voted 57 per cent in favour of organising "opposition to the imposition of the new contract including industrial action if necessary". Only 17 per cent voted against industrial action while 26 per cent abstained.

Doctors argued the terms were too inflexible, overly bureaucratic and take power away from GPs to decide how to allocate funding to best serve their communities.

Their calls come on the back of the RMT's rail strikes over pay and conditions disputes and the walkout by barristers over legal aid – while British Airways staff at Heathrow also intend to take action.

The BMA annual meeting in Brighton heard that doctors' pay fell up to 30 per cent against the RPI [a prices index] since 2008. One consultant said she was "struggling to survive" as a single parent.

"The new contracts have already effectively been imposed. But that doesn't mean that GPs are powerless to act. I know some of you will be worried about industrial action. But how much more can we take?" GP Dr Jacqueline Applebee, who proposed the motion, said.

She told the conference that the medics' union should follow rail unions - paying tribute to RMT chief Mick Lynch - in embracing industrial action.

Doctors, who have demanded a 30 per cent pay rise, took the decision over industrial action during the British Medical Association (BMA’s) annual meeting (pictured, Health Secretary Sajid Javid)
Doctors, who have demanded a 30 per cent pay rise, took the decision over industrial action during the British Medical Association (BMA’s) annual meeting (pictured, Health Secretary Sajid Javid). Picture: Alamy

Read more: Barristers walk out of courts in strike over pay with over 1,000 cases affected each day

Delegates at the conference mandated the BMA to "achieve pay restoration to 2008 value for its members within the next five years".

"Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do, but it is a significant demand and it won't be easy to win," said Dr Emma Runswick, who presented the motion to the conference.

"Every part of the BMA needs to plan for how to achieve this. But I'm not foolish, I know that it's likely that industrial action will be required to move the governments on this issue."

She added: "It is outrageous that our pay has been cut by 30 per cent.

"It is outrageous that doctors today are unable to afford mortgages and are delaying starting families due to falling pay.

"It is outrageous that our pay has been cut and it is sensible that we demand it back."

Reports have suggested NHS and teaching staff have also grown restless – and combined with striking workers at Heathrow, fears of a summer of discontent are growing.

Boris Johnson's government tried to shift the blame for the industrial action during the rail strikes on to Labour, trying to tie the party to the disruption, while Labour blamed the Government for allowing problems to reach the point where workers are walking out.

Minister says doctors do not deserve 30% pay rise

Read more: Police swoop to seize Stop Brexit Man’s speaker under new law banning ’noisy protests’

Chris Philp, minister for technology and the digital economy, told LBC this morning that doctors do not deserve an "enormous" 30 per cent pay rise as it would "drive inflation even higher".

He told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast that if everybody asked for a pay hike tomorrow it would "feed through into higher prices".

"Companies will have to put their prices up, in the case of the NHS we'll have to put taxes up to fund it, and the excess money will just drive prices up even further," he said.

"If we have these across the board pay increases that some people are calling for it will just make the current inflation challenges - which I am hoping and expecting are temporary - it'll make them worse.

"It will drive inflation even higher, and it will make inflation permanent as we saw during the 1970s when the wages chased up inflation - it became circular like a dog chasing its tail.

"So, I don't think that's the right response to the inflation challenges that we face and that applies across the entire economy."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A soldier is fighting for his life

British soldier fighting for life after being 'stabbed in frenzied attack outside barracks' - as man, 24, arrested

The 'crazy' welfare system needs reform, former Labour health secretary warns the Government

‘Crazy’ welfare system needs reform, Labour adviser warns Government, as he says ‘force long-term sick into work’

14 passengers made it onto a life raft

At least six dead and seven missing after fishing boat sinks 200 miles off Falkland Islands

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin ‘whipped horse 24 times like an elephant in the circus’, claims lawyer

Roberta Taylor was diagnosed with pneumonia after a fall two months ago

EastEnders and The Bill star Roberta Taylor dies aged 76 from infection caused by fall

Kamala Harris raises her arms against a backdrop of US flags

Kamala Harris kicks off campaign for US president with rally in Wisconsin

A line of traffic against a red background

Wildfires send thousands fleeing from Canadian Rockies’ national park

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly has announced he will stand in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

Former Home Secretary James Cleverly announces Tory leadership bid

Kamala Harris

‘A fight for the future’: Kamala Harris vows to take on Donald Trump’s ‘extremist’ agenda in first campaign rally speech

Police help a man out of a police vehicle

Man faces murder charges after mass shooting in Croatia nursing home

Labour has seen off a potential rebellion on the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer suspends seven rebel Labour MPs who voted to get rid of two-child benefit cap

Spain and Manchester City star Rodri has been charged by UEFA after he chanted about Gibraltar during a Euro 2024 victory event.

Manchester City star Rodri charged by UEFA over Gibraltar chants during EURO 2024 celebrations

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware

Joe Biden seen for first time since quitting presidential race as Democrats rally behind Kamala Harris

Robert Hammond, 47, faced a "surging mountain of debt and financial pressures"

Mortgage broker who murdered his wife to cash in on her life insurance and pay off £300,000 debt jailed for 24 years

Exclusive
Michael Marmot said the cap was 'almost a form of eugenics'

Two-child benefit cap amounts to eugenics, public health expert claims ahead of MPs' vote

nna Holland and Phoebe Plummer are accused of throwing two cans of soup at the legendary painting

Tomato soup acted 'like paint stripper' in Just Stop Oil Van Gogh protest, court hears