BMA rejects SAS doctor pay offer after referendum on the deal voted down

by BMA media team

BMA press release.

Location: England
Published: Friday 1 March 2024

The BMA has rejected a pay offer for specialist, associate specialist and specialty (SAS) doctors in England, following a majority no vote in a membership referendum.  

In a referendum of BMA SAS members, which took place between 29 January and 28 February, 62.3% of respondents felt that the deal did not go far enough. As a result, the BMA’s SAS Committee has formally rejected the offer from Government. However, the committee has signalled to ministers that it is willing to continue talks in order for the Government to put forward an improved proposal that may be acceptable to members. 

While the BMA’s SAS committee has not made a call for any industrial action yet, associate specialists and specialty doctors, as well as other SAS grade doctors (including SAS locally employed doctors), have a mandate for taking strike action.

The BMA is now launching a survey to consult with members on areas they want to see improvements to the contract offer.   

Dr Ujjwala Mohite, chair of the SAS UK Committee at the BMA, said:  

“This rejection vote has made it clear that our members do not feel the offer goes far enough to end the current dispute, or solve the current level of feeling among SAS doctors, dejected after years of being devalued for their work.

“Combined with our mandate for strike action, these results emphasise the strength of feeling on the ground among SAS doctors, and how important it is to our members that the Government does more to value the work that they do. Unfortunately, from this vote and from conversations we’ve had with colleagues the changes presented in this deal do not give SAS doctors confidence that they will properly address the devaluation our profession has seen in recent years. 

“We will be engaging further with members and with ministers, but the mandate we have is too great for the Government to ignore any longer. No doctor wishes to strike, but be assured, after years of undervaluing our lifesaving service, we are prepared to take action.”  


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.