PRESS RELEASE: Junior Doctors Contract changes accepted in crucial referendum

The Doctors’ Association UK would first and foremost like to thank the British Medical Association and the negotiating team for their hard work this year. 

However, DAUK notes with concern the outcome the BMA’s referendum of its junior members on the revised 2016 terms & conditions of employment for junior doctors in England.

In our statement last week we set out how the revised contract represented a poor deal for hard working junior doctors, with its modest financial gains largely negated by inflation, a drawn out implementation time-table, and contractual loopholes. Furthermore, we identified one cohort of trainees – a group of registrars in hospital specialty training – who lost out in 2016 and stand to lose out again by up to £18K.

Additionally, we have been alarmed by perceived procedural irregularities. In November 2015 the BMA were handed an unprecedented mandate (98% of voting members) for Industrial Action to oppose the imposition of a contract that was ‘not fair’ and ‘not safe’. Yet, almost 4 years later, BMA members have been put in a position where they have had less than a weeks’ sight of a revised version of that contract before being asked to vote on it.

The Equalities Impact Assessment was released with even less notice, and only compared the changes to the imposed 2016 contract, one already deemed to be discriminatory.

We believe today’s result is a tragic one for junior doctors, and a pyrrhic victory for the BMA. This contract offers nothing to redress the loss of more than 20% in pay over the last 10 years and it will do little to improve the failing morale of the junior doctor workforce.

It is our belief Junior Doctors are worth far more than this deal.

As we move forward to implementation, we’ll be working with other partners to lobby the BMA and employers to address our members’ outstanding concerns about the contract via the JNCJ process, and will continue to monitor the wider economic outlook to ensure any further pay erosion doesn’t go unnoticed.



1. DAUK will not endorse BMA junior doctor contract deal.