Junior doctors in England urge Health Secretary to come forward with new offer as they vote for six more months of industrial action  

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 20 March 2024

Junior doctors in England today urged the Government to present a new and credible offer after voting overwhelmingly in favour of continuing their industrial action in their campaign for full pay restoration.   

With 98% (or 33,869) of junior doctors voting to continue industrial action on a turnout of 62%, their re-ballot has renewed their mandate for industrial action for another six months.   

​The new mandate lasts from 3rd April to 19th September 2024. 

The ballot also approved the use of action short of strike (ASOS). 

Junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:    

“It has now been a year since we began strike action. That is a year of strikes too many. The Government believed it could ignore, delay, and offer excuses long enough that we would simply give up. That attitude has now led to the NHS wasting £3bn covering the strikes. This is more than double the cost of settling our whole claim. And as we see in the results of today’s ballot, delaying tactics will not work: doctors are still determined to see their pay cuts reversed, and they are willing to keep striking another six months to achieve that. 

“The Government should see the urgency of the situation. Rather than waste time dragging out talks, they can come forward with a credible offer on pay right now. They don’t need to be in the same situation six months from now, with even more taxpayer money wasted. Instead they could be celebrating a revitalised and reinvigorated junior doctor workforce, one that feels that their value has started to be restored. That would be an achievement worth celebrating for everyone and begin to finally turn the tide on the deteriorating workforce crisis.  

“No doctor wants to be on strike for a second longer than they have to. But it took us 15 years of declining pay to get here. Today’s re-ballot shows that doctors understand that reversing this means being in the struggle for the long haul. We ask the Health Secretary to come forward as soon as possible with a new offer – and make sure not a single further strike day need be called.” 

Notes to editors

Ballot results breakdown:    

Question: Are you prepared to take part in strike action?

  • Turnout: 61.86%
  • Number entitled to vote: 55,937
  • Number of votes cast in the ballot: 34,601
  • Number of YES votes: 33,869 (97.97%)
  • Number of NO votes: 702 (2.03%)
  • Number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers: 30

Question: Are you prepared to take part in action short of a strike?

  • Turnout: 61.86%
  • Number entitled to vote: 55,937
  • Number of votes cast in the ballot: 34,601
  • Number of YES votes: 33,411 (97.08%)
  • Number of NO votes: 1,004 (2.92%)
  • Number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers: 186

Action short of strike (ASOS) encompasses any other industrial action taken in order to put pressure on the employer in a trade dispute, but which does not amount to strike action. 

 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.