Scottish Junior Doctor strike ballot gets green light

BMA’s UK Council approves the Scottish Junior Doctor Committee to ballot members for strike action.

Location: Scotland
Published: Thursday 26 January 2023
BMA official on picket line wearing high vis armband

Welcoming news that the BMA’s UK Council has approved the application made by the Scottish Junior Doctor Committee to ballot members for strike action, Dr Chris Smith, Chair of SJDC, said:

“This is an important step forward in our battle to win full pay restoration for Scottish junior doctors and finally make a huge difference to the morale of a workforce that is on its knees, and working in an NHS collapsing around them. We are clear that, after having pay eroded by 23.5% since 2008, enough is enough and we will simply not allow our crucial work to be devalued and doctors forced out of the profession in Scotland at this early stage of their careers any longer.

“We can now, with the added confidence and support of BMA UK Council’s unanimous approval, add even more impetus to our ballot preparations. We plan to open the ballot in the first quarter of this year and will confirm the precise date in due course. In the meantime will be focussing on ensuring we are in the best possible place to fight and win this dispute.

“We know that investing in junior doctors pay is a valuable down-payment on the future of the NHS and will demonstrate that the Scottish Government is genuinely interested in securing a motivated and skilled workforce that will deliver care for the people of Scotland well into the future. You simply can’t deliver that, or credibly claim it’s the case when some of our junior doctors, making life and death decisions, are paid as little as £14 per hour. It is still in the gift of the Scottish Government to demonstrate they are truly interested in negotiating and then delivering the clear path to full pay restoration that is needed – I would urge them to do so for the good of the NHS and everyone who relies on it.”

If you are already a BMA member, we need you to make sure you details are up to date so you can take part in the ballot and if you aren’t a member, there’s never been a more crucial time to join. You can find all the details here. And if you want to be right at the heart of our fight for full pay restoration, sign up as an activist here.