Junior doctors 'could be paid more if they worked in Pret', union bosses claim at start of three-day walkout

13 March 2023, 12:36 | Updated: 13 March 2023, 19:02

Junior Doctors Go On Strike
Striking junior doctors would be better off working in Pret A Manger, union bosses have claimed. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Striking junior doctors would be better off working in Pret A Manger, union bosses have claimed.

Leaders of the British Medical Association said that a newly-qualified junior doctor earns around £14.09-per-hour, less than baristas in the high-street coffee shop are remunerated.

The intervention comes as BMA members walk out today for 72 hours in a row over pay - saying new medics have seen a 26 percent real terms pay cut since 2008.

The union said: "Pret a Manger has announced it will pay up to £14.10 per hour. A junior doctor makes just £14.09.

“Thanks to this government you can make more serving coffee than saving patients. This week junior doctors will take strike action so they are paid what they are worth.”

A woman walks past a branch of Pret A Manger in London...
BMA bosses said that new baristas were being paid better wages than junior medics. Picture: Getty

Read More: ‘We’re not worth 26% less’ – junior doctors take to picket lines

Read More: Junior doctors rebuff Health Secretary’s plea to call off 72-hour strike

The Government has accused the union of distorting figures and not taking into account the pay progress available to medics.

They added: “The most experienced junior doctors now have a higher pay band – meaning they received a cumulative increase of 24% over four years.

"We’ve also increased rates of pay for night shifts and created a permanent £1,000 allowance a year for junior doctors who work less than full time, on top of their usual pay.”

BMA deputy chair Dr Emma Runswick told Andrew Marr on LBC that junior medics have face retribution from colleagues for the strikes.

She said: "What we have asked our junior doctor members to do is to not tell their departments whether they will be taking strike action or not, and that is to combat the extensive bullying and intimidation that we have seen from some management, including threatening of visas, threatening to withhold swaps and leave that enables people to take time off and so on...to enable safe planning to take place for senior doctors to provide cover."

The BMA deputy chair said junior doctors were told not to inform colleagues of their intention to strike in fear of reprisals
The BMA deputy chair said junior doctors were told not to inform colleagues of their intention to strike in fear of reprisals. Picture: LBC
Cabinet Meeting in London
Talks between the BMA and the Health Secretary Steve Barclay have stalled. Picture: Getty

Junior doctors are joining in on the industrial strike action sweeping the UK in 2023 and confirmed they would be completing a 72-hour strike a week ago with pay talks stalling.

Nurse and ambulance strikes, which have been history-making events this year, have currently been called off as negotiations have been reopened.

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