Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to 50,000 junior doctors in England outlining plans he says would lead to basic pay increasing by 11%, in an attempt to head of the threat of industrial action. However Hunt has indicated that he also wants to curb other elements such as guaranteed pay rises. Previous attempts to renegotiate a contract for junior doctors had lead to outrage after the junior health workers felt that they would be forced to work more hours for less money.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has not seen the proposals, but the organisation is preparing to send ballot papers out on Thursday ahead of possible industrial action. The Health Secretary says just 1% of NHS junior doctors would lose out under the new plans and instead the proposed rise to basic pay would see a new doctors’ salary rise from £22,636 to £25,500
But guaranteed annual pay rises are being scrapped and instead pay will be directly linked to progress through dedicated training stages. Other elements of their pay package are also being cut.
The Department of Health will now hope that the BMA will return to the negotiating table, but so far they have shown no indication that they wish to do this.