The BMA says the Health Secretary, who claims to be serious about rapidly ending the pay dispute for junior doctors in England, has now had more than 24 hours, and more than six months overall, to put a credible offer on the table – a move which could see strike action next week suspended.
In a letter to the BMA on Wednesday, Steve Barclay said he was serious about 'rapidly settling this dispute,' and yesterday the BMA responded saying a credible offer – one that indicates the Health Secretary really is serious about pay restoration and willing to negotiate in a timely manner to resolve 15 years of pay erosion - could stop the strikes which are due to start on Tuesday.
The co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors committee, Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Rob Laurenson said: "There is nothing rapid about Mr Barclay’s approach. Even at this late stage we stand ready to consider any offer the Minister tables - which, if credible, could mean the strike action being suspended - and we urge him to do so.
“We say to him, 'Put an offer on the table today, a credible one that truly demonstrates you are serious about addressing junior doctors losing more than 26% of their pay in real terms. An offer which can form the basis of negotiation and lead to the suspension of next week's action.'
“It is not too late to avert four days of strike action, but the onus is on Mr Barclay to do more than write letters and talk about a desire to ‘rapidly’ end this dispute.
"So far that offer is not forthcoming; the clock is ticking Mr Barclay. We are ready to get round the table, so make a credible offer to start negotiations and stop next week's strikes."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- The BMA defines ‘credible offer’ as one which Junior Doctor committee members accept shows the Government is serious about beginning to address the real terms pay erosion over the past 15 years. This would be the basis of meaningful negotiations and would lead us to suspend strike action.
- For up-to-date details of picket line locations, please go to strikemap.org