Hospital Dr News

Juniors committee pushes BMA to re-start strikes in September over contract

The BMA’s junior doctors committee is seeking to re-start ‘rolling strikes’ from September after rejecting the renegotiated contract.

Dr Ellen McCourt, the new chair of the JDC, is calling on the union’s full council to authorise fresh industrial action in their dispute with the government.

The JDC says ministers have failed to address concerns about the contract.

Junior doctors and medical students voted in July to reject a contract deal agreed with the BMA. It was rejected by 58% of its members who voted in the ballot.

In a letter on Twitter, the JDC’s chair Ellen McCourt said the government had remained “persistently silent” on issues which, she said, had resulted in the contract being rejected.

She said: “In light of this, the JDC Executive has voted to reject the proposed new contract in full and to call for formal re-negotiations on all of your concerns.

“In response to the government’s silence, JDC exec has today made a formal request for a special meeting of BMA Council to authorise a rolling programme of escalated industrial action beginning in early September.”

The dispute has led to junior doctors taking part in six strikes this year, including the first all-out stoppage in the history of the NHS.

The BMA started strike action at the start of the year with 98% support of the ballot respondees.

Daniel Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said: “Industrial action achieves little or nothing, but places pressure on already stretched teams and services and causes worry, distress and disruption for patients, carers and their families.

“Over the last two months we have been talking with the Junior Doctors Committee and have, along with the Department of Health and others, responded positively to their concerns regarding the Guardian Role and Whistleblowing.

“Employers were hopeful that the continued positive engagement on other important topics – such as deployment, flexibility in training, additional training for those returning from career breaks, costs of training, mutual recognition of syllabus, study leave and the gender pay gap in medicine – were a sign of how serious employers, Health Education England and the Department of Health were about honouring the agreements reached with the BMA in November, February and May.”

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