Welsh Junior doctors reject contract offer

by BMA Cymru Wales media team

Press release from BMA Cymru Wales.

Location: Wales
Published: Thursday 27 October 2022
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Junior doctors and final year medical students in Wales have voted to reject the proposed new contract, agreed by BMA Cymru Wales, NHS Wales Employers, and the Welsh Government.

A total of 64% of junior doctors voted against the new contract, 36% voted in favour.

In a statement, Dr Milan Makwana, BMA Cymru Wales junior doctor committee deputy chair for terms and conditions, said: “The result of the vote is clear and has been accepted by the committee. We must now further engage with members to understand how they want to move forward.”

Dr Makwana, added:
“We will work with colleagues to continue a dialogue with NHS employers and the Welsh Government to improve pay and working conditions for junior doctors in Wales.

“Whilst we need to further examine the reasons behind this outcome, initial feedback from doctors has indicated they were unhappy with proposals by employers and Welsh Government to move away from automatic annual pay progression and to extend the number of hours in the day when work would be paid at plain time rates.

“Doctors were pleased to see safer working practices in the new terms; however, the impact of COVID-19, and years of demoralising pay cuts have significantly changed doctors’ working lives since negotiations began in 2019.
“Overall, the majority of those who voted did not feel that positive aspects of the proposed new contract package outweighed other changes, which they viewed negatively.

“Any new contract will affect a generation of doctors working for the NHS in Wales, so it is vital that it has the confidence of the profession, and so, we look forward to further engagement with junior doctors, which will determine how we move forward.”

Notes to editors

More than six in ten junior doctors and final year medical students (64%) working in Wales who are members of the British Medical Association refused to accept the deal, with 36% endorsing it.

Of the 2,743 junior doctors and final-year medical students working and studying in Wales eligible to vote, 937 voted, equating to 34%.

More information on the rejected contract package can be found, here: Junior doctor contract talks in Wales (bma.org.uk)

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