UK government reaches a pay deal with senior doctors that could end disruptive strikes

Britain’s government has reached a deal with senior doctors in England that could potentially end a series of strikes

ByThe Associated Press

November 27, 2023, 9:26 AM

LONDON — Britain’s government reached a deal with senior doctors in England that could potentially end a series of disruptive strikes, officials said Monday.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it submitted a pay offer to doctors’ unions after weeks of talks, and union leaders agreed to put the proposal to their members for a vote.

The British Medical Association said the government’s offer is for an extra 4.95% this financial year on top of a 6% pay increase already awarded.

Thousands of senior physicians walked off the job for 48-hour periods earlier this year to demand better pay and working conditions from the government, causing major disruptions at hospitals across England.

Those strikes came on top of similar industrial actions by junior doctors, nurses and other health workers who organized their own strikes to obtain pay raises amid the U.K.’s soaring inflation and cost-of-living crisis.

Senior doctors said their pay has shrunk by a third in real terms over the past 14 years.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the new offer was a “fair deal” for senior doctors and will be good news for patients.

This year’s strike actions have put further pressure on Britain’s under-funded and under-staffed National Health Service, leading to the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of hospital appointments.

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