Junior doctors to stage three-day walkout in June as union calls for 'credible' pay offer

22 May 2023, 21:46 | Updated: 23 May 2023, 01:53

Junior doctors in England have announced a fresh 72-hour walkout in June after talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and ministers broke down.
Junior doctors in England have announced a fresh 72-hour walkout in June after talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and ministers broke down. Picture: Getty

By Chris Samuel

Junior doctors in England have announced a fresh 72-hour walkout in June after talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and ministers broke down.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said they will stage industrial action in England from 14-17 June in a bid to force the government "to put forward a credible" salary rise, after rejecting a 5 percent increase.

The union warned strikes would be held "throughout the summer", if the government does not change its position.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that the latest pay offer is "fair and reasonable" and said it was "surprising and deeply disappointing" that the BMA had declared further strikes "while constructive talks were ongoing".

But the union insists that negotiations have reached a stage where they are "currently unproductive".

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The BMA union has called for a 35 percent pay rise to make up for a real terms pay cut over the past 15 years due to inflation.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, accused ministers of failing to recognise the scale of the "pay erosion" their members have faced and said "this was made clear when they finally made their pay offer of 5%".

Junior doctors hold placards demanding fair pay and read the...
Junior doctors hold placards demanding fair pay and read the... Picture: Getty

But the government claimed the union is "unwilling" to move from their "unaffordable headline demands".

A spokesperson said: "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.

Junior Doctors on their picket line at the Whittington Hospital on April 13, 2023
Junior Doctors on their picket line at the Whittington Hospital on April 13, 2023. Picture: Getty

"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 BMA, which represents more than 46,000 junior doctors in the UK, says it is still prepared to meet with Health Secretary Steve Barclay on Wednesday for planned talks.

UK Government Ministers Attend Weekly Cabinet Meeting After Heavy Losses In Local Elections
UK Government Ministers Attend Weekly Cabinet Meeting After Heavy Losses In Local Elections. Picture: Getty

Junior doctors account for around half of all hospital doctors in England as well as half of all GPs.

This will be the third set of walkouts by junior doctors since the start of the pay dispute.

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