Junior Doctors picket line in Lincoln. Photo: East Mids SP
Junior Doctors picket line in Lincoln. Photo: East Mids SP

Junior doctors in the BMA have overwhelmingly renewed their strike mandate in the reballot required by Tory anti-union laws. 98% voted to strike on a turnout of 71%.

The BMA has now announced four days of joint strike action by junior doctors and consultants in England, for the first time ever in the history of the NHS. 

The Tories have imposed a “final offer” of 6% for consultants and 6% plus a lump sum for junior doctors. But given that doctors have lost a third of their pay in real terms, the BMA says this is not “credible”.    

  • Junior doctors will strike on 20, 21 and 22 September, and 2, 3 and 4 October. 
  • Consultants plan to strike on 19 and 20 September, and 2, 3 and 4 October.
  • A joint rally will take place in Manchester on 3 October when the Tory conference takes place.

Consultants say the NHS is malfunctioning

John Tival, Leeds Socialist Party

Thursday 25 August was the latest day of strike action by BMA consultants as a result of continuous real-terms pay cuts. The BMA cited a more than 33% reduction of pay over the past 14 years.

Members of the Socialist Party joined the picket line at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) in solidarity. Among the pickets was a retired consultant, who voiced their resentment at the lack of negotiations. The solidarity displayed by this retired doctor was encouraging to others on the picket line.

The retired doctor said that NHS workers are doing their best. Their discontent is towards the administration responsible for the functioning, or malfunctioning, of the NHS.

Others on the picket line all shared these sentiments. They agreed with the BMA that “No consultant wants to be striking and we head out to picket lines today with heavy hearts…we would rather be inside the hospital seeing our patients”.

According to the BMA, it has been almost five months since a meeting was conducted with the Tory health secretary. Based on the scene at the LGI, the resilience of doctors is clear and they are determined to receive the fair pay being demanded. Socialist Party members will certainly continue to stand in solidarity.