Health minister Steve Barclay said talks had been scuppered because unions were demanding a 35 per cent pay rise as a pre-condition of the negotiations
By: Pramod Thomas
Unions representing junior doctors in England have announced a four-day strike next month, citing the government’s failure to offer a credible new pay package.
This move comes as workers across several sectors in Britain are demanding higher wages to keep up with the escalating inflation, with strikes happening regularly in schools, railways, and hospitals.
The joint chairs of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee, Vivek Trivedi and Robert Laurenson, stated that they will not stop until they receive the compensation they deserve, and that they will take their demands to the picket line if the government does not respond to them in person.
The walkout will begin at 0659 GMT on April 11 and run until 0659 GMT on April 15. The smaller Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association announced strikes on the same dates. Junior doctors last walked out for three days in March.
A spokesperson for Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care said strikes would risk patient safety.
Junior doctors are qualified physicians, often with several years of experience, who work under the guidance of senior doctors and represent a large part of the country’s medical community.
Health minister Steve Barclay said talks had been scuppered because unions were demanding a 35 per cent pay rise as a pre-condition of the negotiations. Unions said the government had imposed other unacceptable pre-conditions on the talks.
“My door remains open to constructive conversations, as I have had with other health unions,” Barclay said on Twitter.
Unions representing other healthcare workers in England, including nurses and paramedics, have agreed to a new government pay proposal aimed at ending months of strikes. They are currently balloting members on whether to accept it.