FPR: an update and why we need your views on pay

by Amna Babiker and Georgina Budd

The BMA Wales junior doctors committee co-chairs provide an update on the campaign for FPR (full pay restoration) in Wales as well as details of how members can have their say in the latest pay survey

Location: Wales
Published: Thursday 15 June 2023
slip of pay

FPR in Wales

These are inspiring and challenging times with so much work going on to achieve FPR across the UK, so we are keen to ensure we continue to explain, demystify and engage members in Wales. This includes launching a brand-new survey to canvas views on what junior doctors feel is a fair pay deal in Wales.


FPR elsewhere in the UK

As English junior doctors enter their third round of strike action, WJDC wants to express its complete solidarity with them. An offer of a 5% pay rise for 2023/24 is an insult to our expertise and tireless efforts despite the worst NHS pressures in history.

In addition to continued strike action, UKJDC is now opening a ballot on 19 July to extend the industrial action mandate in England. Again, we would like to express our solidarity with this decision despite our despair that further action is obviously needed to get the UK Government to acknowledge FPR is needed to keep doctors in the UK.


Scottish junior doctors reject pay award

The decision by our colleagues in Scotland to reject the recent pay offer clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling after years of pay erosion and we are confident the Scottish membership has carefully considered the reasons behind this decision.

We hope the Scottish Government will do all it can to avert the proposed 72-hour walk-out from 12 to 15 July by producing a more credible offer which reflects the true value of Scottish junior doctors. However, we will continue to support Scottish colleagues in their fight for fairer pay if any last-minute pay talks are unsuccessful and members feel they have no choice but to proceed with industrial action.


Fighting pay erosion in Wales

While we are of course supportive of colleagues in the other nations, our main focus is on junior doctor pay here in Wales. We have today updated the pay erosion figure for junior doctors in Wales taking into account the pay award received last year.

Despite the additional pay award received in 2022/23, when taking into account inflation (RPI) our pay once again continued to erode. This now means that, since 2008, junior doctors’ pay in Wales has eroded by 29.6%.


Your views and why pay matters

On a recent ward walk with our education and training deputy chair, we spoke to a number of you who highlighted that, while pay was a key issue, it wasn’t the whole story. One of your main concerns was the critically short staffing level. We completely agree short staffing is a massive issue, but we ask you all to consider why are we so short staffed… it’s clear the answer comes back to pay! More juniors than ever are leaving, either because our pay is not competitive compared with other countries and healthcare systems across the world or sadly to seek a career in an alternative profession where they feel more valued in their roles!


Pay talks

As we let you know in our last blog to you, we are now engaged in pay talks with Welsh Government alongside representatives from the other secondary-care branches of practice in Wales and the focus of these discussions is to discuss this year’s pay award and how we can reach our joint aim of full pay restoration to 2008 levels.

We’ve been clear we believe a pay offer which doesn’t start addressing erosion would be going back on this commitment.


Pay survey – what does fair pay mean to you?

As pay discussions ramp up in Wales, it is vital we hear from you to make sure we are representing the views of all hardworking junior doctors in Wales when approaching these negotiations.

That’s why we’ve launched a junior doctor pay survey today, to understand further what level of pay you think would be acceptable and what pay uplift you would consider enough to avoid the need for industrial action on pay. This survey has been emailed to all members, but you can also access this here

As well as letting us know your views via the survey, your local reps will be conducting ward walks and events at your place of work. We will keep you up to date throughout negotiations and any pay offer resulting from these talks will be put to you before it is accepted.


How you can get involved in the fight for fair pay

Finally, while we continue to give our all to this campaign and secure tangible wins for you as the membership, it is so key for you all to realise YOU ARE THE UNION. It is not about what we can deliver for you, it is what YOU can achieve with us. We are your mouthpieces to negotiate for what you want. We can only do this if we stand together and show our strength and determination that we must be valued, and this should be reflected in our pay. Sign up to be part of our pay campaign and look out for upcoming events.