…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
The British Medical Association (BMA) is currently conducting a ballot among its members, urging them to support potential industrial action.
Similarly, the Royal College of Nursing is preparing for a ballot to gauge support for strikes after rejecting the government’s offer of a five percent pay increase in 2023-2024.
Reasons for Considering Industrial Action:
Senior doctors in England are dissatisfied with the decline in their take-home pay, particularly when accounting for recent inflation rates.
Dr. Vishal Sharma, the chair of the BMA consultants committee, expressed their concerns, stating that take-home pay has decreased by 35% since 2008-2009.
This decline has resulted in consultants effectively working four months per year for free.
The final pay offer from the government, which did not adequately address the decline, prompted the decision to proceed with the ballot for industrial action.
Potential Strike Dates:
The specific dates for the strike action, if approved through the ballot, have not been specified.
Following the ballot’s outcome, if the majority supports striking, the union would provide further details about the dates, duration, and any measures implemented to ensure the safety of vulnerable and urgent-care patients.
The potential industrial action by senior doctors highlights their dissatisfaction with the decline in take-home pay over the years, compounded by recent inflation rates.
This issue reflects a broader concern about the financial well-being and compensation of healthcare professionals in the UK.
The rejection of the government’s pay offer and the consideration of strikes demonstrate the frustration among doctors and their desire for fair remuneration.
The government’s response emphasizes the value placed on NHS consultants and highlights the 4.5% pay uplift they received in the previous financial year.
The Department of Health and Social Care urges the BMA to consider the potential impact of any action on patients, emphasizing the need to balance the interests of healthcare workers with those of the public.
The uncertainty surrounding the potential strike dates leaves room for further developments and negotiations between the government and the BMA.
The outcome of the ballot will determine the course of action and will be crucial in shaping the future of negotiations between doctors and the government regarding fair pay and working conditions.