Posted: Sun 9th Jun 2024

New pay offer put to doctors in bid to end ongoing dispute

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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A fresh pay offer had been put to doctors across Wales in a bid to end an ongoing despite with the Welsh Government.

Members of BMA Cymru Wales including Junior doctors, SAS doctors and Consultants will now vote on whether to accept the three separate offers.

It comes after union members staged several rounds of industrial action in their call for fair pay.

Further strikes were called off in April after the Welsh Government and BMA Cymru reentered negotiations.

As part of the fresh deal junior doctors have been offered a 7.4 per cent additional uplift taking the total to a 12.4 per cent uplift for the 23/24 financial year and will be back dated to April 2023.

A revised consultant pay scale is proposed, which provides higher career earnings, significantly better starting pay, and an additional pay rise of up to 10.1 per cent for some consultant doctors.

For SAS doctors, pay offers for newer contracts include increases of 6.1-9.2 per cent, as well as an additional uplift for associate specialists, senior doctors who are on closed contracts.

The offers also include non-pay elements and reform of pay scales and contract terms

Union members will vote on whether to accept the offers between Wednesday 12 June to 26 June.

Dr Oba Babs Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey co-chairs of the BMA’s Welsh Junior Doctors Committee said: “We entered pay negotiations in good faith to reach a deal that will put us on the path to achieving full pay restoration to address the years of erosion to our pay.

“We’re satisfied that this offer delivers on our ambition. This offer puts us well on the path to pay restoration.

“We are therefore encouraging members to vote to accept this deal. It is a testament to the resolve they have shown in taking part in industrial action to achieve a better future for the profession

Dr Stephen Kelly, chair of BMA Cymru Wales’ Consultants committee said: “We are pleased to have been able to reach an offer that we believe honours our overwhelming strike mandate and offers significant improvements in pay for consultants across their careers.

“The offer is recognition of the hard work and dedication of senior doctors and signifies a commitment to attracting and retaining doctors in Wales by offering a fairer more competitive value for their service.

“Whilst ultimately it will be up for members to decide, we believe the offer is a big step in the right direction for the profession and so we are recommending that members accept it.

“We will continue to work hard to improve your pay and working conditions, and we understand this is just the first step.”

Dr Ali Nazir, chair of BMA Cymru Wales’ SAS doctor committee said: “We are pleased to be able to bring an offer worthy of the hard work and dedication shown by SAS doctors in Wales.

“We know voting to take industrial action was a very difficult decision for our members but in voting to strike they were choosing to stand up for themselves and their colleagues.

“By taking part and getting us here they have played a part in securing a better future for SAS doctors in Wales. We are encouraging members to vote to accept this offer.”

Eluned Morgan MS, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, said: “In August last year the BMA’s committees representing all secondary care doctors in Wales voted to enter a trade dispute with the Welsh Government after being offered another below inflation pay uplift of just 5% for the 23/24 financial year.

“We would like to thank members of the BMA’s negotiating teams and NHS Employers for the constructive nature of the talks, which have enabled us to make these formal offers, which will now be put to the BMA membership for consideration.

“Each of the three BMA elected representative committees are recommending members accept the offers.

“While strike action has been paused during negotiations, if these offers are accepted, it will end this dispute and industrial action, meaning doctors will return to work in Wales for the benefit of patients and NHS services.

“The negotiations have been robust and while the aim was to end the 2023-24 dispute and prevent further disruptive strike action, these offers also ensure the additional investment in doctors’ pay is balanced against commitments towards operational reforms, which seek to address productivity and efficiency and achieving future contract reform.

“These pay awards, if accepted, will also help to address inequalities in the senior NHS medical workforce.

“These offers are at the limit of our affordability. We have been open and transparent about our financial constraints with our social partners during negotiations.”

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