Junior doctors in England vote in favor of strikes

ward of a hospital

In their fight for a pay increase of 26%, junior doctors in England have voted in favor of going on strike.

It is now anticipated that BMA members will participate in a 72-hour walkout, possibly as early as mid-March.

After accounting for inflation, the union claimed that the increase requested would make up for pay reductions that have occurred since 2008.

However, according to experts, the pay decrease for junior doctor roles is smaller if a different measure of inflation is used.

More than two-thirds of the junior doctor workforce, or nearly 48,000 members working in hospitals and the community, participated in the BMA's ballot.

98 percent of those who were asked to vote participated, and more than seventy-five percent chose to take action.

The vote, according to Dr. Robert Laurenson, co-chair of the BMA junior doctors committee, demonstrated the intensity of opinion on the subject.

"We have voted in our thousands to say, 'In the name of our profession, our patients, and our NHS, doctors won't take it anymore.' We are frustrated, in despair, and angry. '.

"The government is only to blame for itself, as it watched helplessly as our members were forced to make this difficult choice. ".

The outcomes coincide with a warning from nurses and ambulance personnel that they will intensify their industrial action in their pay dispute.

Next week, nurses from the Royal College of Nursing will take a 48-hour strike that will affect half of England's frontline services.

The largest ambulance service union, Unison, is anticipated to announce additional strike dates now that its authority has increased from five to nine ambulance services in England.

Junior doctors, which include those who have recently graduated from medical school as well as those who have had many years of experience on the front line, last went on strike in 2016 over a newly introduced contract.

As part of a four-year agreement, junior doctors' pay increased by 2% this year, for a total increase of 8% from 2019–20 to 2022–2023.

Currently, a junior doctor's base starting pay is £29,000, but average earnings exceed £40,000 once additional compensation for things like unsociable hours is taken into account.

By the time they complete their training—which for some people can take 15 years—the starting salary exceeds £53,000.

These doctors bear enormous responsibility, managing teams, performing surgery, and making critical judgments.

They make up more than 40% of the medical workforce as a whole.

NHS hospital ward.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the current agreement also introduced higher pay bands for the most experienced staff and increased rates for night shifts in addition to an 8 point 2 percent pay increase over four years.

The BMA and the health secretary met to talk about wages and working conditions, according to Steve Barclay. In the upcoming months, the pay award for the fiscal year 2023–2024 is anticipated to be made public.

We place a high value on the work of junior doctors, so it is extremely disappointing that some union members voted in favor of a strike, Mr. Barclay continued.

The 26 percent pay demand does not necessarily have to be paid all at once, according to sources at the BMA, but strike action would continue until the government agreed to restore pay.

The BMA is awaiting more details from ministers regarding their pay plans in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before deciding whether to strike elsewhere in the UK.

A 72-hour strike, according to NHS Providers' Saffron Cordery, who represents health managers, is "extremely worrying.".

"In order to protect patients, a swift solution is required. ".

Although they are only allowed to leave life-and-limb emergencies if the NHS has found other staff to cover for them, junior doctors will leave both routine and emergency care.

Although consultants intervened during the 2016 walkout, many previously scheduled procedures, like knee and hip replacements, had to be postponed.

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