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SAS doctors to be consulted on new pay offer

The government and the British Medical Association have agreed on a pay offer for specialty and specialist (SAS) doctors.

The government and the British Medical Association have agreed on a pay offer for specialty and specialist (SAS) doctors.

The offer proposes an uplift of between 6.10% and 9.22%, depending on where an individual sits on the pay scale.

While there are no changes to pay points for closed contracts, doctors on these contracts will be able to move on to the 2021 contract if they wish to. The possibility for movement is offered on an indefinite basis.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said she is “pleased” the government and the BMA have been able to agree a pay deal.

“If accepted, it will realign pay scales, improve career progression and support the NHS to create more specialist roles – boosting patient care and supporting the workforce,” she said.

SAS doctors will now be balloted on the offer, with uplifts taking effect from January 2024, if accepted.

BMA secures strike mandate for SAS doctors and a £5 million recruitment package

As well as securing a pay increase, the BMA has asked the government to commit £5 million to support employers to create more specialist doctor roles, offering the potential for career progression for specialty doctors to these more senior roles.

The government has also committed to work with NHS England, NHS Employers and the BMA to determine how locally employed doctors (LEDs) can be better supported to progress in their careers, including enabling them to move to permanent SAS contracts.

Furthermore, for the first time in 60 years, the BMA has achieved an industrial action mandate for SAS doctors.

In total, 93.76% of associate specialists and specialty doctors, as well as other SAS grade doctors and some locally employed doctors, voted in favour for a strike mandate. Specialist doctors are still being balloted, with their vote returning early next year.

While the BMA’s SAS UK committee has said it will not call for any industrial action while SAS members consider the offer, the mandate will allow SAS doctors to strike should they reject the offer.

SAS Committee says the pay offer is “credible”

Dr Ujjwala Mohite, chair of the SAS UK Committee at the BMA, said: “Today signifies the immense progress that SAS doctors have been able to make in their fight to restore our members’ value.

“Not only have we achieved an impressive mandate for strike action, but the Government has also, after long negotiations, finally put a credible offer on the table.”

“Of course, we don’t ever want to have to take strike action, which is why we’re delighted to see an offer that, we feel, is deserving of our members’ consideration. But make no mistake: if our members don’t think that this offer reflects their worth, then we won’t hesitate in returning to the Government to renegotiate and, if it comes to it, move forward with industrial action,” she added.

Dr Mohite says further detailed information will be sent to members of the committee in the coming days.

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