Doctors have thrown down the gauntlet to the government by calling for a pay rise of up to 30% over the next five years, in a move that increases the chances of strike action.
Delegates at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual conference voted to press ministers to agree to the increase to make up for real-terms cuts to their salaries over the last 14 years.
Frontline doctors said years of pay freezes and annual salary uplifts of 1% had caused the real value of their take-home pay to fall by almost a third since 2008. They now want “full pay restoration” to return the value of their pay to 2008 levels, and have instructed the BMA to pursue that goal with a government that has made clear it will not hand public sector workers sizeable salary increases in case it fuels already rampant inflation.
The motion noted “with horror that all doctors’ pay has fallen against RPI [the retail prices index] since 2008 to the tune of up to 30%”. It said the BMA’s leadership should “achieve pay restoration to 2008 for its members within the next five years” and report back annually on progress.
Proposing the motion, Dr Emma Runswick, a member of the BMA’s ruling council, said: “We should not wait for things to get worse. All of us deserve comfort and pleasure in our lives. Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do. But it is a significant demand and it won’t be easy to win. Every part of the BMA needs to plan for how to achieve this.”
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Source: The Guardian, 27 June 2022