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Junior doctors overwhelmingly vote in favour of further strikes

Junior doctors in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing industrial action and their campaign for full pay restoration for another six months.

Junior doctors in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing their industrial action and campaign for full pay restoration for another six months.

With 98% (or 33,869) of junior doctors voting to continue industrial action on a turnout of 62%, their re-ballot has renewed their mandate for industrial action until 19th September 2024. The ballot also approved the use of action short of strike (ASOS).

NHS England estimates that over the past 13 months, industrial action has cost around £2 billion, as trusts have been forced to pay more for replacement staff and hospitals have lost out by not being able to perform operations they are usually paid to do. The BMA estimates that the gross cost of a 35% pay uplift would be £1.65 billion.

NHS has wasted billions covering the junior doctor strikes

Junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:   “It has now been a year since we began strike action. That is a year of strikes too many. The Government believed it could ignore, delay, and offer excuses long enough that we would simply give up. That attitude has now led to the NHS wasting £3bn covering the strikes. This is more than double the cost of settling our whole claim. And as we see in the results of today’s ballot, delaying tactics will not work: doctors are still determined to see their pay cuts reversed, and they are willing to keep striking another six months to achieve that.

“The Government should see the urgency of the situation. Rather than waste time dragging out talks, they can come forward with a credible offer on pay right now. They don’t need to be in the same situation six months from now, with even more taxpayer money wasted. Instead they could be celebrating a revitalised and reinvigorated junior doctor workforce, one that feels that their value has started to be restored. That would be an achievement worth celebrating for everyone and begin to finally turn the tide on the deteriorating workforce crisis.

“No doctor wants to be on strike for a second longer than they have to. But it took us 15 years of declining pay to get here. Today’s re-ballot shows that doctors understand that reversing this means being in the struggle for the long haul. We ask the Health Secretary to come forward as soon as possible with a new offer – and make sure not a single further strike day need be called.”

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