Overworked and underpaid - junior doctors can't go on like this.
The last two years have been far from ordinary for anyone working in the NHS and junior doctors have made both an enormous contribution and a significant sacrifice. The effects on their wellbeing are likely to be felt for years to come, whilst tackling the daunting backlog of treatment for patients.
And yet none of this is recognised by the government, who by refusing an enhanced uplift, are simply further eroding junior doctors' pay.
Junior doctor pay
Junior doctors in England are guaranteed a 2% pay rise in 2022/23, as part of the multi-year pay deal agreed in 2019. This contract also brought an additional £90 million investment and many significant improvements on the 2016 contract.
From the BMA perspective, the deal provided a guarantee of annual uplifts that were higher than those seen since 2008, in the context of an uncertain time due to the potential impacts of an impending Brexit. 82% of junior doctor members who voted in the referendum on the new contract, agreed to accept them.
However, the contract was agreed before the pandemic started and when inflation was below 2%. The BMA’s new calculations show that pay awards for junior doctors in England from 2008/09 to 2021/22 have delivered a real terms (RPI) pay cut of 26.1%, even accounting for total investment secured through the multi-year pay deal agreed in 2019.
Campaigning in 2022
Since early 2022, the JDC (junior doctors committee) has been escalating our campaign on pay to challenge the government to make a fair pay award for junior doctors this year that addresses the long term pay erosion our members have faced.
JDC also made the decision to withdraw from the DDRB process this year for junior doctors in England in response to concerns over the body’s effectiveness and independence from Government.
Join our campaign
We're currently looking for members to get involved in the JDC campaign - organising local events and helping other doctors in their region understand the impact on their pay.
Junior doctor pay protest
We joined our colleagues and members on the recent protest march calling for full pay restoration for all doctors, but specifically for junior doctors.
Download a range of infographics for our junior doctor pay campaign, easily shareable for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
If you weren’t able to attend the activist webinar on junior doctor pay, you can watch it back here.
The webinar was split in to two small recordings – one on the history that led up to the multi-year pay deal and JDC’s current stance, and the other on how you can spread the word and help build a movement.
BMA members - sign in to view the activist webinars
Junior doctors excluded from 2022 DDRB
Doctors in training in England have once again been excluded from the pay award process because their contract is still subject to a multiple-year pay deal, awarding them 2% for 2022/23.
This is in spite of the Framework Agreement for the 2018 contract negotiations, which established the current pay deal, explicitly stating that the DDRB is able to make further pay recommendations or observations on behalf of junior doctors in England where requested (8.1). They have once again decided that because this group was not included in the UK Government’s remit letter, they are unable to make formal recommendations on their behalf, allowing the UK Government to disregard them altogether.
While the 4.5% uplift would in any case be unsatisfactory, amounting to a likely 6% pay cut in the face of spiralling inflation, to exclude junior doctors in England from the award given to other NHS workers is nothing less than a betrayal of the profession.
As the DDRB themselves note, a decision not to apply an award to groups subject to a pay deal will have ‘a significant effect on motivation, affecting retention, productivity, and ultimately patient care’. They actively state that the headline increase of 2%, set as part of the current deal, is ‘likely not sufficient’ to address those issues.