|Junior doctors look set to strike after they rejected Jeremy Hunt’s latest offer and branded it “misleading”. The Health Secretary yesterday offered junior doctors an 11% payrise, and promised three quarters would get a pay rise.
But the British Medical Association rejected the offer last night, despite pressure to negotiate from the Royal MEdical Colleges.
Chairman of the BMA junior doctors Johann Malawana said “The proposals on pay, not for the first time, appear to be misleading.
“The increase in basic pay would be offset by changes to pay for unsocial hours, devaluing the vital work junior doctors do at evenings and weekends. While in the short term existing junior doctors may have their pay protected, protections will only exist for a limited time.
“Crucially, the proposals fail to deliver safeguards with real teeth to protect safe working patterns and, with it, patient and doctor safety.”
But the Department of Health insisted that the new contracts would be fairer and would see a pay rise for most doctors.
“We have put out a firm offer that protects the pay of every doctor working legal hours while actually increasing pay for the vast majority. It will reduce the maximum number of hours a doctor can work in a week and will improve patient safety as a result,” a spokesman said.
“Strike action always puts patients at risk. So this blinkered and persistent refusal by the BMA to engage with the government is extremely disappointing.”
Votes can be cast from today and the process will end on 18 November.