The British Medical Association is consulting members on taking industrial action to improve the government’s proposed 1% pay rise.
The doctors’ union has said it will ask members to stop paid and unpaid overtime if the Department of Health and Social Care does not offer something closer to 4%.
Public sector pay
This would be the first strike involving senior consultants since the 1970s, barring a one-day strike on pensions in 2012.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which has called for a 12.5% pay rise, has already said it will consider a ballot over industrial action. In May, it was reported that nurses would receive activist training to campaign for more pay.
The independent NHS pay review body submitted its final report recommending the 1% rise to government at the end of June, and new health secretary Sajid Javid is due to make a decision on the pay deal imminently.
A 4% pay rise has been confirmed for nurses in Scotland, while Welsh health minister Baroness Eluned Morgan has hinted her government will go “beyond 1%” when it makes a final decision on pay.
Industrial action by senior doctors and consultants would affect pay clinics and impact hospitals’ efforts to reduce pandemic-hit waiting lists, according to the BMA.
The union said senior doctors are exhausted and feel undervalued because of the suggested pay rise.
Yesterday tennis giant Andy Murray condemned the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS workers as “pathetic” in his press conference after winning a men’s singles match in front of hundreds of key workers who had been invited to Wimbledon.
Earlier this week, the leaders of Unison and the RCN wrote to Javid to stress the importance of NHS workers receiving a “significant pay rise” that would “help health workers feel valued”.
It added: “It would also signal the government’s commitment to addressing the huge backlog of appointments, treatments and operations cancelled to allow the NHS to focus on Covid.
“With almost five million treatments on its to-do list, the NHS needs a decent pay rise to prevent staff shortages becoming more acute as health workers leave for better paid roles elsewhere.”