Dr Chris Smith, Chair of SJDC, said:
“Today we stand shoulder to shoulder with our English colleagues. The fight for full pay restoration unites us, from the Highlands of Scotland to the South Coast of England. The Westminster Government has shown a reckless dereliction of duty to allow things to reach this stage. We only hope the next 3 days of action shows just how serious junior doctors are about the need to finally value us properly and restore our pay to 2008 levels. In Scotland, our ballot of junior doctors on strike action opens on March 29th. This means the Scottish Government has a precious window of opportunity to prevent junior doctors in Scotland being forced to follow English colleagues onto the picket line. That will mean the Cabinet Secretary actually remembering he has a portfolio to run and getting into serious, meaningful negotiations with us over how to deliver pay restoration and right the injustice that has seen our pay cut so much that it is 23.5% less than a junior doctor doing the same job would have earned in 2008. Currently some junior doctors are earning as little as £14 an hour. That is a scandal – and enough is enough. It’s no wonder more than 4 in 10 junior doctors are actively researching leaving the Scottish NHS, which would have a devastating impact on the care it can provide. It’s no wonder junior doctors are as angry here as they are in England. But we can avoid the walkouts we have seen in England if the Scottish Government has the political will. It is time for them to get serious, and finally come to the table with serious proposals, that will prevent us needing to ballot and ultimately help us keep a generation of junior doctors in Scotland’s NHS, for the good of the service and the people who rely on it.”
Notes to editors
The junior doctors ballot for strike action in Scotland will open on Wednesday March 29.