Junior doctors are to stage a four-day walkout next month, as their fight to secure a 35% pay rise in England continues. Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) will take strike action from April 11 to April 15.
In a statement, they said: “Following discussions with the Health Secretary, the BMA has now confirmed further industrial action to be undertaken by junior doctors in England. A 96-hour walkout will take place for shifts starting between 06:59 on Tuesday 11 April and 06:59 on Saturday 15 April 2023. After the Secretary of State failed to make any credible offer, BMA junior doctors’ leaders concluded that the Government was not serious about resolving the dispute.”
Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctor committee, said: “It is with disappointment and great frustration that we must announce this new industrial action. The Government has dragged its feet at every opportunity.
“It has not presented any credible offer and is refusing to accept that there is any case for pay restoration, describing our central ask as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unreasonable’. Even yesterday they continued to add new unacceptable preconditions to talks instead of getting on and trying to find a resolution.
“We therefore have no confidence that without further action these negotiations can be successful. This situation is entirely of the Government’s own making. We want to spend our time looking after patients, not on strike.
“But with an NHS buckling under a workforce crisis, and four in ten junior doctors looking to leave, we can’t stand by while our pay is further eroded by inflation and an intransigent Government. We are not going to stop until we are paid what we are worth, and if ministers don’t accept that when we tell them in person, we will have to tell them from the picket line.”
On social media, health secretary Steve Barclay said: “I met the BMA’s junior doctors committee yesterday in the hope of beginning constructive talks. They placed a pre-condition on these talks of a 35% pay rise. That is unreasonable. My door remains open to constructive conversations, as I have had with other health unions.”
Responding to Mr Barclay’s comments, Robert Laurenson, co-chair of UKJDC & BMA South Thames said: “Not true. No preconditions from us. Let’s meet next week?”