By Harry Mottram: The industrial unrest amongst NHS medics shows not sign of abating as staff continue to vote with their feet in an ongoing campaign for improved wages and working conditions.
This week has seen members of The Society of Radiographers down tools and take a 48 hour strike at some hospitals Trusts in the South East, returning to work at 8am on Thursday 27 July.
Although their strike does not hit Bath it shows the continuing disquiet amongst NHS workers across the UK with Junior Doctors set to stage a four-day strike in August – their fifth strike in the current pay dispute – and this following a strike this month by hospital consultants. And of course nurses have already been on strike this year although their actions have ended following a recommendation by their union to accept the Government’s pay offer.
The doctors will stage a walkout at the RUH and some other medical centres from 7am on Friday 11 August and end at the same time on Tuesday 15 August, 2023.
The dispute is between the doctors trade union The British Medical Association who have asked for a 35% pay rise to restore pay to 2008 levels after a series of below-inflation pay rises and with the government who have offered them 6% this year plus £1,250, bringing the increase to nearly 9% on average. The Government said that is the final offer but the doctors are not backing down.
In a statement, the BMA said: “Our message today remains the same – act like a responsible government, come to the table to negotiate with us in good faith, and with a credible offer these strikes need not go ahead at all. It is not for Rishi Sunak to decide that negotiations are over before he has even stepped in the room. This dispute will end only at the negotiating table. If the PM was hoping to demoralise and divide our profession with his actions, he will be disappointed.”
The Government have made reducing inflation as their main priority with above inflation pay rises out of the question. Currently inflation is around 7.9% – depending on which index you take. It has been in double digits in the winter when energy prices rose sharply.
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