Junior doctors announce 72-HOUR strike dates in March in pursuit of 30% pay rise
The dates of the junior doctors strike has now been confirmed with over 47,000 NHS medics to walk off the job strike for 72-hours on March 13.
Union officials said the massive strike will be ‘full walk-out’ .
Announcing the strike dates co-chairs of the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, said the public should blame the Government for the industrial action.
‘Make no mistake, this strike was absolutely in the Government’s gift to avert; they know it, we know it and our patients also need to know it,’ they said.
‘We have tried, since last summer, to get each Health Secretary we have had, round the negotiating table.
Junior doctors taking to picket lines in 2016, sparked by a contract dispute between medics and then-health secretary Jeremy Hunt
‘We have written many times and even as late as yesterday we were hopeful Steve Barclay would recognise the need to meet with us to find a workable solution that could have averted this strike.’
It follows a 98 per cent vote in favour of striking over pay among the BMA’s junior doctor members.
The BMA officials pointed to the recent decision by the Government to open pay talks with the Royal College of Nursing, but not other health unions, as a factor that led them to announce the strike dates.
‘We have not been told why we have not been offered intensive negotiations nor what we need to do for the government to begin negotiations with us,’ they said.
‘How in all conscience, can the Health Secretary continue to put his head in the sand and hope that by not meeting with us, this crisis of his Government’s making, will somehow just disappear?
‘It won’t, and patients and the public will continue to feel the brunt of his inaction, until he starts to negotiate with us and we agree a deal that truly values junior doctors and pays us what we are worth.’
The BMA has campaigned for junior doctors to not only get an inflation-busting pay rise but also fix what they say is years of salary stagnation.
This amounts to a colossal 30 per cent increase, a figure which ministers have labelled ‘unrealistic’ and warned will ‘put patients at risk’.
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