72-hour walkout looms

by Oba Babs-Osibodu and Peter Fahey

If ballot succeeds all junior doctors will strike to ensure you all have your voices heard 

Location: Wales
Published: Wednesday 6 September 2023

Your chance to join the BMA Welsh junior doctors committee.

If you want to play a crucial role in leading the fight for full pay restoration in Wales, consider applying for one of the committee roles available in our by-election. Nominations are now open.


A momentous month

August saw significant developments for the campaign for full pay restoration in Wales and the rest of the UK. Just two weeks after rejecting the Welsh Government’s derisory 5% pay offer, the Welsh BMA junior doctors committee voted unanimously to ballot members on industrial action.

The month also saw our appointment as the new co-chairs, the addition of over 400 new junior doctor members in Wales, the acceptance of a 12.4% pay uplift by junior doctors in Scotland and a resounding (98%) Yes vote – the highest mandate thus far – by junior doctors in England to continue industrial action.

Even after five rounds of strike action, junior doctors in England have demonstrated their unwavering determination to secure full pay restoration, with an incredible 7,000+ more members voting in favour of continuing industrial action. This stunning show of resilience only spurs us on to work harder to get a fairer deal for members in Wales, one that reflects the extraordinary lengths you go to every day for your patients.

Now, with formal approval from UK Council, the wheels are set in motion for us to ballot members in Wales on industrial action.


72-hour full walkout

We can now confirm, if our ballot succeeds, our strike action will commence with a full walkout of all junior doctors for 72 hours. This includes all evening, night, weekend and emergency cover. This form of strike action has consistently proven to be effective, impactful and safe. This strategy also ensures that every single one of you will have the chance to make your voice heard.

As with everything in this campaign, our strategy remains flexible. This means the nature of our strikes may evolve and we will escalate as necessary, based on the progress of our negotiations with Welsh Government.



While our priority remains expediting the restoration of your pay, we must ensure that we replicate the success of the ballots in the other UK nations. An emphatic mandate will be crucial in this dispute and failure is simply not an option. To ensure we get this right, we will require a few more weeks before launching the ballot in order to ensure our member data is as accurate as possible.

Although we would love to provide you with exact dates, it’s crucial that we maintain flexibility and avoid backing ourselves into a corner. We will conduct the ballot before the end of the year and aim to commence strikes during the upcoming Winter period. Following the critical data cleansing, we will be in a strong position to announce specific ballot dates. 

You can play your part in accelerating this timeline by ensuring you are ballot-ready as soon as possible. Please click here to update your details.


What’s next?

Thank you to every member who has helped with the campaign so far, but there remains a lot of hard work to be done.

We must engage as many junior doctors in Wales as possible before we launch the ballot. We need to recruit more members than ever before. We need to ensure that members verify their details to enable all eligible individuals to vote. You can mobilise colleagues at your place of work by organising pay and pizza events, ward-walking and encouraging more doctors to register as pay activists and join their local WhatsApp strike groups.

We understand the importance of keeping you informed and engaged throughout this journey. Therefore, we will provide regular updates through our emails, blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as WhatsApp strike groups. Please do look out for these, so that you are ready and equipped to spread the word.

Thank you for your unwavering support. Your dedication has already made our union bigger and stronger than ever. Let us maintain this incredible momentum and strive for a unanimous mandate to strike. We are not worth a third less than our predecessors, and we will not tolerate any further erosion of our pay. This is for an entire generation of doctors and beyond.

Work together. Strike together. Win together.


Oba Babs-Osibodu and Peter Fahey, co-chairs of the Welsh BMA junior doctors committee