Stepping up the campaign to fix consultants’ pay

In preparation for the ballot of consultants in England, it’s crucial to check your details and join local conversations, writes consultants committee deputy chair Mike Henley

Location: England
Published: Friday 14 April 2023
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First of all – and on behalf of all of the committee – I wanted to say thank you to each and every consultant who helped provide cover this week during the second round of junior doctors’ industrial action.

We realise this hasn’t been easy for some of you and we continue to push for trusts to provide the remuneration you deserve, and to try to support consultants more broadly during these times, but if there is anything further you would like to see from your committee please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As the juniors strike for better pay, we continue with our own campaign. In preparation for our own ballot of consultants in England, we ask that you make sure the details you have given the BMA are up to date. This includes your personal AND professional information (eg where you work). We cannot overstate how important the accuracy of this information is: discrepancies in data could prevent you receiving a ballot, or call its result into question. Every ballot sent to the wrong place is worse than a ‘no’ vote. Please take a few minutes now to check everything is up to date – you can do this by going to or emailing us. 

Every ballot sent to the wrong place is worse than a ‘no’ vote

The hard work of the pensions committee has resulted in significant improvements to pension taxation. However, it is still imperative that we fix pay, now and for the future. The impact of this pay erosion is hugely significant. While we all dread the brown envelopes of doom, the failure of our pay to keep up with inflation means you are losing £32k-43k a year (basic pay, depending on pay point, based on 2021-22 pay levels).

What’s more, this loss in pay leads to a massive reduction in the value of your pension, meaning you will lose out throughout retirement unless we sort this out now. This can still be fixed – and must be fixed for good. We have been having talks with DHSC in respect of this and if the Government addresses your concerns, industrial action can still be avoided. We will update you once these talks conclude.

We will soon announce dates for our mini-series of webinars on fixing pay, now and for the future.

In the meantime, look out for the BMA consultants’ WhatsApp groups in your trust, and get involved in local conversations. It is vital for both national and local negotiation that our communication as a group is optimal – think bees in a hive. While we remain separated from each other there is a significant risk of divide and rule. Our junior colleagues have used local organisation to their great advantage. If there isn’t a group where you work, why not start one? Discuss with your LNC who will likely be in the process of doing this.