BMA to call off strikes in exchange for suitable pay proposal
Throughout the year, tens of thousands of junior doctors have engaged in walkouts, advocating for wage hikes that align with inflation rates
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Junior doctors and supporters take part in a demonstration outside St Thomas’ Hospital, during a strike over pay on March 13, 2023 in London, England. Junior doctors in the UK will be on strike over pay for 72-hour from 13 March. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The British Medical Association (BMA), representing approximately 45,000 junior doctors in England, announced on Monday (03) that its members were prepared to call off strikes if a suitable pay offer was presented by the government.
“We remain willing to talk and are very much prepared to cancel strikes, even at the last minute, should a suitable offer be presented,” Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair, said in a statement in response to a Times interview with British health minister Steve Barclay.
Barclay expressed the government’s readiness to offer doctors a more significant pay increase and called upon consultants to cease strikes in order to resume negotiations.
Throughout the year, tens of thousands of junior doctors have engaged in walkouts, advocating for wage hikes that align with inflation rates, which have reached double digits.
However, the government has argued that granting such pay raises would exacerbate inflation, leading to higher interest rates and mortgage costs.
The BMA has said the latest pay offer of a 5% increase for 2023/24 was not credible since it was “nowhere near addressing pay erosion over the last 15 years.”
The Department of Health and Social Care did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Barclay’s interview.