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Junior doctor strikes: Leaders urge government to drop preconditions and negotiate

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 14 March 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p599
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Junior doctors in England began a 72 hour walkout on 13 March in their ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. The strike action went ahead after the government’s 11th hour offer of talks, just before 10 pm on Friday 10 March, led to nothing after ministers agreed to talk only on the condition that junior doctors call off the planned strike action with immediate effect. Other preconditions from the government included limiting discussions only to future pay, with a one-off bonus payment to offset 15 years of pay erosion.

In response, the co-chairs of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, Vivek Trivedi and Robert Laurenson, told the health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, that until the government put forward a “credible offer” for England’s 75 000 doctors in training they would not be in a position to call off the strikes. “We remain open to entering talks with government any time and anywhere to bring this dispute to a swift resolution and restore the pay that junior doctors have lost,” they said. “If the health secretary is truly committed to this, then he needs to drop these unreasonable preconditions and begin proper negotiations with …

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