Doctors to strike for three days in row over pay – date confirmed

Junior doctors vote for 72-hour strike in March

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Junior doctors in England will strike for three days from March 13 in the dispute over pay, the British Medical Association (BMA) announced. The industrial action comes after the union’s members overwhelmingly backed industrial action on Monday, with almost 40,000 saying yes.

The co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi pinned the blame squarely on the Government.

In a joint statement, they said: “Make no mistake, this strike was absolutely in the Government’s gift to avert; they know it, we know it and our patients also need to know it.

“We have tried, since last summer, to get each Health Secretary we have had, round the negotiating table.”

The union had written “many times” and as late as yesterday had been “hopeful” of a meeting with health secretary Steve Barclay to thrash out a “workable solution”, they said.

They added: “We have not been told why we have not been offered intensive negotiations nor what we need to do for the government to begin negotiations with us. We are left with no option but to proceed with this action.

“The fact that so many junior doctors in England have voted yes for strike action should leave Ministers in absolutely no doubt what we have known for a long time and have been trying to tell them, we are demoralised, angry and no longer willing to work for wages that have seen a real terms decline of over 26 percent in the past 15 years. This, together with the stress and exhaustion of working in an NHS in crisis, has brought us to this moment, brought us to a 72-hour walk out.

“How in all conscience, can the Health Secretary continue to put his head in the sand and hope that by not meeting with us, this crisis of his Government’s making, will somehow just disappear?

“It won’t, and patients and the public will continue to feel the brunt of his inaction, until he starts to negotiate with us and we agree a deal that truly values junior doctors and pays us what we are worth.”

Also on Monday, the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), another union for junior doctors, confirmed it would be staging a 24-hour walkout on March 15 – meaning both members will be on strike on that day.

However, the Royal College of Nursing yesterday confirmed it was suspending its plan for a strike next week pending fresh talks with the Government. has contacted the DHSC for comment.

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