The majority of experienced healthcare workers have seen their pay fall in real-terms since 2008.
Junior doctors in England are today calling for a 22% “restorative” pay rise, warning industrial action may be the result if their demands are not met.
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), between 2008/09 and 2020/21, the take-home pay for the average junior doctor in England has fallen by 22.4%, equating to an average of around £10,000 in real terms.
Having last taken industrial action in 2016 over pay and terms, another junior doctor strike is a real possibility. Doctors warn falling pay is negatively affecting the recruitment of new doctors and the retention of those currently working.
A similar real-terms loss has also been experienced by nurses and other experienced allied healthcare professionals during the same period.
NursingNotes has calculated that experienced frontline nurses (Band 5) have seen their pay fall in real-term by £7,274 during the same period. Specialist nurses, midwives and paramedics (Band 6) have seen a real-terms cut of £9,482.
Ministers are now on notice.
Nursing and other NHS unions are calling for a rise of around 10% for their members. Only yesterday, the TUC warned without action the pay of nurses could take another £1,600 hit this year.
An email sent by the BMA to junior doctors earlier this week explains, ” It is simply not the case that a junior doctor is worth a quarter less today than they were in 2008, and yet that is the crisis that we are facing.
“Therefore, we are demanding that the government commit to full restoration of pay to levels equivalent to 2008/09 adjusted for inflation by the end of the year. If that demand is not met by Ministers, the BMA will begin preparations to ballot junior doctors in England for industrial action.”
“That we have reached this point clearly demonstrates the frustration and anger being felt by junior doctors on the ground. This anger has escalated since the Government took the decision last year to exclude junior doctors from the 3 per cent uplift offered to other in the profession.
They warn, “Ministers should be under no illusion to the seriousness of this situation.
“Our message is clear. that Ministers are now on notice. Overworked and underpaid junior doctors cannot and will not tolerate being ignored any more. They deserve a fair pay rise. “