Junior doctors will strike for FOUR consecutive days in April: Militant BMA announces biggest walk-out yet after pay talks collapse
- Union officials say a lack of a ‘credible’ pay offer means they need to strike again
- Read more: Junior doctor pay talks collapse in just an hour
Junior doctors will return to the picket lines for a 96-hour walk-out next month after talks with Government broke down.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said the walkout will take place between 6:59am on 11 April and 06:59am on 15 April.
Union officials said the decision to strike again was sparked by a lack of a ‘credible offer’ on pay from Government.
Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctor committee, said they announced the new industrial action with ‘disappointment and great frustration’.
‘The Government has dragged its feet at every opportunity,’ they said.
Junior doctors on a picket line outside St Thomas’ Hospital in central London during their first strike earlier this month
Representatives from the British Medical Association told health secretary Steve Barclay (pictured) they would be unwilling to accept anything less than a 35 per cent pay rise
‘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.’
They added that as result of this they currently had ‘no confidence’ that further negotiation would be successful.
The BMA officials, said the blame for the new strike action rested solely with Government.
‘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.’
Read more: Junior doctor pay talks collapse in just an hour as militant medics refuse to negotiate
‘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.’
Talks between the the BMA, described as ‘militant’ by its critics, and Health Secretary Steve Barclay collapsed after they said they were unwilling to accept anything less than a 35 per cent pay rise.
They also demanded free car parking, the abolition of exam fees and a guarantee that future pay rises would be linked to inflation.
Mr Barclay told the doctors yesterday to go away and ‘reflect’ on how they wish to proceed, adding that there is no point in further talks until they are willing to give ground.
The BMA has now responded with the announcement of the new strike dates, that are even longer than previous industrial action.
This will be the second time that junior medics have walked off the job in the current dispute over pay.
A similar three day strike held just last week led to the cancellation of over 175,000 NHS appointments and procedures after junior medics took to the picket lines, even leaving, A&E, maternity services as well as and cancer wards.
The newly announced action, to be held over four days is likely to have a similar, if not greater, impact.
NHS England said around 28,700 doctors below the rank of consultant were absent from work each day as a result of last week’s industrial action.
Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, described the strike as ‘hugely disruptive for patient care’ and has urged the government and BMA to bring the dispute to an end.
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