Last month, the Government announced a pay uplift of 3% in 2021/22 for most NHS staff in England, but excluded junior doctors (and some other groups of doctors) from this, despite our extraordinary efforts throughout the pandemic.
This means there will be no improvement on the 2% pay award received by junior doctors in April 2021 as part of a multi-year pay deal. This deal was agreed long before the pandemic as part of the 2018 review of the junior doctor contract, which concluded with a member referendum in 2019. The deal included a clause to allow the uplifts to be reviewed, which we repeatedly requested this year; these requests were ignored.
The Government’s decision to exclude junior doctors also ignored the clear advice from the official pay review body (the DDRB), which urged ministers to ensure that doctors on multi-year pay deals still received recognition for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The wider 3% pay ‘rise’ for other NHS staff is not good enough; it is lower than inflation predictions and does nothing to acknowledge the significant efforts of all NHS staff over the past 18 months. Nevertheless, by refusing to award even the additional 1% to junior doctors above their multi-year pay deal, ministers have shown complete disregard for the enormous contributions of junior doctors.
Your input is vital
As we said in the aftermath of the announcement, we as the junior doctors committee want to hear from you on this vital issue. Our member survey is asking for views on the pay award, and whether or not junior doctors would be prepared to take industrial action on this issue, at this present time. We want to hear from each and every member.
The results of this survey will be acted on by the UK junior doctors committee, and will build on our Fairness for the Frontline campaign launched in May. Your input as our members is vital as we continue to lobby and campaign on your behalf.
This survey will close at 10am on Tuesday, 24 August.
What we do next is of huge importance to all junior doctors across England; we strongly urge you to complete the survey and tell us what you think.