Junior doctors in Northern Ireland announce strike date for a 24 hour walk out

Press release from BMA Northern Ireland 

Location: Northern Ireland
Published: Thursday 7 December 2023

Junior doctors in Northern Ireland will stage a 24 hour full walk out if they secure a yes vote in their forthcoming ballot. The walk out will start at 8am on Wednesday 6 March 2024 and will end at 8am on Thursday 7 March 2024.

Speaking about the decision, Northern Ireland junior doctor committee chair, Dr Fiona Griffin said, “We have already announced our plans to hold a ballot of junior doctors in Northern Ireland opening on 8 January 2024.

“At a meeting of the Northern Ireland Junior Doctor committee yesterday it was agreed that, if we secure a yes vote in the ballot, we will then stage an initial full walk out of junior doctors for 24 hours, starting at 8am on the 6 March 2024 and ending at 8am on 7 March 2024.

“We will be encouraging all members to vote yes in the ballot. We would not be holding a ballot for industrial action if we felt that there was any other course of action that would achieve our aims. The survey we carried out of junior doctors over the summer made it clear how dire the situation is; 86% have already indicated they are willing to strike and shockingly 75% said they were considering moving abroad to work because there was better pay on offer as well as better terms and conditions and a better work life balance. 

“Our health service cannot afford to lose all of these doctors, we need to address the issues around pay with an immediate above inflation pay rise and a commitment to full pay restoration in Northern Ireland. 

“To be clear, we are willing to talk to government to avoid striking and we would welcome any approach from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland or the Permanent Secretary for Health to talk to us. However we should also say that if we do not see any progress towards achieving our aims we will escalate our action and there will be longer 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 ballot will open on 8 January 2024 and will be open for six weeks. The results will be announced on 19 February 2024.

The form of action will be a full walk out for 24 hours.

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