Responding to comments made by the Health Secretary claiming that the junior doctor pay restoration ask is unreasonable and the reason he will not engage in discussions, BMA junior doctor committee co-chair Dr Vivek Trivedi said:
"We were knocking on the Health Secretary’s door, asking to meet with him to negotiate a settlement to this dispute, long before the current strike got underway. We have been in a formal dispute since October. He refused to respond and meet us until we had a strike ballot result. He has had months to put a credible offer on the table and avert industrial action so for him to say ‘it’s disappointing', is at best disingenuous.
"We have always maintained our aim is for full pay restoration - to reverse the more than 26% real terms pay cuts Mr. Barclay’s government have imposed on us over the past 15 years putting starting salaries up by just £5 per hour to £19. We have always maintained we are willing to negotiate on how to achieve pay restoration, so for Mr. Barclay to suggest we had any preconditions is yet again disingenuous.
"The reality is that the Health Secretary has had every opportunity to bring an end to the dispute. His decision to refuse to table a credible offer, indeed he has not tabled a single offer so far, means that this action is solely due to this government’s repeated inaction. We would still be willing to suspend strike action this week if the Secretary of State makes a credible offer that can be the basis of negotiation."
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.