Our key asks in 2021
A significant and early pay award, that is much higher than the retail price index and will go some way to closing the real terms pay erosion that doctors have faced over the past decade.
Recognition that all doctors, including doctors who had previously agreed multi-year pay deals, have gone to extreme lengths to tackle the pandemic and that they should be rewarded as such.
The DDRB to take into account the devastating impact of the current pensions system, including the unfair system of tiering of contribution rates and the impacts of pension taxation on doctors take home pay.
The BMA request that this is not only taken into account when making its recommendation but that the DDRB support the BMA in calling for the annual allowance to be scrapped in the NHS pension scheme.
Our response to the 2020/21 DDRB report
After considering all the evidence, the DDRB recommended a 2.8% uplift for all NHS doctors in their remit group. The Government accepted this in full which means the following groups of doctors will receive a 2.8% increase:
- SAS doctors
- doctors in training in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- independent contractor GPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- salaried GPs
- the GP trainers’ grant and GP appraisers’ fee
- While the award this year is greater than inflation, the 2.8% does not address the real-terms pay cut that has been created over the past decade.
- The decision by the Government to not recognise the contribution made by doctors in fighting COVID-19, and to not award GP partners and junior doctors in England an uplift in line with other doctors is especially unfair.
- We wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social care, stressing that the junior doctor and GP contractor pre-agreed pay deals should be supplemented to reflect the unforeseen challenges they have been presented with over the past several months and likely many more to come.
- GPs contractors in England will be expected to fund the gap between the negotiated annual uplift and the increases for staff and salaried GPs, which we have also challenged in our letter.
- The Government chose not to increase the value of Clinical Excellence Awards, Commitment Awards, Distinction Awards and Discretionary Points systems for consultants in their current forms at all. This means that a significant portion of the consultant pay envelope will be frozen which effectively reduces the overall increase.
- Doctors across the UK are angry that the DDRB did not include in its recommendations a mechanism to address the real terms pay cut that doctors have experienced since 2008.
- We continue to be concerned about the delays to the announcement of the pay award. There is a particular issue with Northern Ireland, pay awards should be made in a timely fashion following the DDRB’s submission of evidence.