Strike dates: Junior doctors announce ‘bigger and stronger’ action this month

New industrial action by BMA junior doctors in December and January

Doctors strike over pay NHS

Junior doctors in England will take further strike action in December and January, after the latest government pay offer was rejected following weeks of intense negotiations.

New strike dates have been announced in the ongoing pay dispute between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the government, with the union accusing the Department of Health and Social Care of failing to put forward a credible offer before the deadline.  

Following five weeks of negotiations, the BMA Doctors Committee said the offer of an additional 3% pay for this year was ‘insufficient’ to be put to doctors, and to end the ongoing dispute.

A new round of strike action has now been announced over nine days during the winter months after a unanimously vote from the committee.

BMA co-chair Dr Robert Laurenson has also raised “concerns” that the Government were stalling talks to wait for the minimum service levels legislation to come in, in order to curtail strike action. Which he said has only meant the latest round of strikes will be “bigger and stronger”.

“There are concerns that the Government are stalling for the MSL. We did not take action in November so we will use that time now. Their delay will not stall us. They have now made our next round of action bigger and stronger. They have pushed us in to Winter,” Dr Laurenson wrote on X.

He added that the union had been working on “multiple strategies” to mitigate the effects of the minimum service level Strikes Act, which he said would be, “deployed as and when necessary”.

BMA junior doctors’ committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said: “We have been clear from the outset of these talks that we needed to move at pace and if we did not have a credible offer, we would be forced to call strikes.

“After five weeks of intense talks, the Government was unable to present a credible offer on pay by the deadline. Instead, we were offered an additional 3%, unevenly spread across doctors’ grades, which would still amount to pay cuts for many doctors this year.

“It is clear the Government is still not prepared to address the real-terms pay cut doctors have experienced since 2008.”

Industrial action will be called off if the Government are able to present a more credible offer to the union before or during the planned strikes, the union has stressed.

Junior doctors are set to walkout on 20 December from 7am to 7am on 23 December. With another round in the new year from the 3rd to 9th January.  

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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