Junior doctors will walk out for 72 hours next month as pay talks collapse

The British Medical Association has announced junior doctors in England will strike for 72 hours in June.

The strike will start at 7am on June 14 and run until 7am on June 17.

The BMA said strike action will go ahead after the government failed to make a ‘credible offer’ on pay.

Junior doctors in England previously walked out between April 11 and 15 after the BMA concluded the government was ‘not serious’ about solving the pay dispute.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors committee, said: ‘Since April’s strikes we have had three weeks of negotiations with the government, seeking a deal that fully restores pay for junior doctors after the more than 26% drop they have suffered over the last 15 years.

‘We entered these talks in good faith, hoping that after months of refusal by ministers to meet with us, we would finally see a real offer on the table that would avoid the need for more industrial action and stop the haemorrhaging of junior doctors from the NHS.

‘In that time we have received an offer which is in no way credible or even reasonable for where we are in the negotiating process.

‘We made clear from the very start that talks required a recognition of the scale of our pay erosion.

‘No such recognition has been forthcoming.

‘We made proposals showing our willingness to be creative and work with the government on how the reversal of our pay erosion could be achieved.

‘In the end, however, the government would simply not accept the fundamental reality of the pay cuts junior doctors have faced.

‘This was made clear when they finally made their pay offer of 5%.

‘Not only is that nowhere near addressing pay erosion over the last 15 years, it would not even have matched inflation this year.’

Despite the strike announcement the BMA expects to meet the health secretary on Wednesday for further talks.

A government spokesman called the decision to strike ‘surprising and deeply disappointing’, adding: ‘It is both surprising and deeply disappointing that the BMA junior doctors committee has declared further strike action while constructive talks were ongoing.

‘These will be hugely disruptive for patients and put pressure on other NHS staff.

‘We made a fair and reasonable opening offer, and were in active discussions about both pay and non-pay issues.

‘Unfortunately, it seems the BMA is unwilling to move meaningfully away from their unaffordable headline demands on pay.

‘The government has been clear that strikes must be paused while talks take place, so while the BMA has chosen to end our current discussions, we remain ready to continue them at any point if strikes are called off.’

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