The Doctors’ Association UK are dismayed at the governments less than inflation uplift for NHS workers and call for “fair say on fair pay”.  

At a time when doctors have given their lives and livelihoods to this pandemic, with no 
clear end in sight, it is an insult that the Government sees a 3% uplift as fair remuneration. In support of member opinion, DAUK’s ‘Fair say for fair pay’ campaign demonstrated the extremes staff have been put through during the pandemic, risking their own lives, whilst the challenges to the NHS have never been greater. 

The government’s decision to exclude junior doctors, who make up more than 50% of doctors in the NHS, is callous in view of the large number of doctors in training who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic. Junior doctors, a term than encompasses all doctors from leaving university up until becoming a consultant, are at the forefront of the fight against COVID. Many have been redeployed from their area of expertise or training to work in COVID medical wards or in critical care. Not only has their training been disrupted but they have been expected to pick-up shifts and cover rota gaps due to the on-going understaffing.

The 3% offered does not come close to what staff deserve. Inflation this year is estimated at 3.7%, making the proposed rise a pay cut in real terms. 

We consulted with our members last night and the overwhelming majority of responders supported industrial action. We plan to hold an emergency meeting with members soon to formulate next steps and we request that the Government reconsider its position with immediate effect.

Dr Jenny Vaughan, Chair of DAUK: “Any improvement on the derisory 1% previously offered to NHS workers is welcomed, but 3% barely takes the edge off the erosion of doctors’ pay over two decades. Doctors in the NHS have suffered a 30% pay cut in real terms, and after inflation this “pay rise” will ultimately be a pay freeze. DAUK’s campaign ‘fair say for fair pay’ demonstrated the extremes staff have been put through during the pandemic – the effects of which are only starting to be realised. It is time to pay and we hope the BMA and the HCSA as well as allied health professional unions will join us in voicing our discontent – including taking industrial action.”

Dr Duranka Perera, junior doctor and DAUK Treasurer: We are in an ongoing pandemic that has killed 128,000 people in the UK, including over a thousand colleagues. With staff shortages at critical mass and thousands more on the verge of burnout, no number of claps for the camera can change these cold, hard facts. The service and sacrifice of NHS workers over the past year is being treated with open contempt.

There is no time but now to pursue the most powerful form of resistance. This Government – one that saw fit to pay private Test and Trace consultants £7000 a day – must be held to account. Amidst the most testing era in NHS history, unions across all healthcare disciplines must come together to demand just compensation for the workers that put their lives on the line for their patients and their country. After over a decade of austerity and real terms pay cuts, a 15% pay increase is the bare minimum we at DAUK see as acceptable. If it requires industrial action to achieve this, then we wholeheartedly back that too.’

Neurosurgeon and DAUK co-vice chair Mr Dolin Bhagawati: “The figures put forward by the government show a breath taking level of wilful ignorance regarding the pressures that NHS staff have faced during the pandemic and will continue to face in the current wave of COVID-19 infections. With the NHS staring into an abyss of millions of patients on waiting lists, we need staff that are compensated appropriately for the skill sacrifice and commitment they have and continue to demonstrate. A Government that does not realise this is catastrophically out of touch. “

Nottingham GP Dr Shan Hussain: “GP Practices have delivered over 75% of Covid vaccinations whilst caring for 2 million patients with long covid, looking after rising numbers of patients on secondary care waiting lists, and continuing day to day GP work. All of us have worked incredibly hard without recognition, and for the pay rise to exclude more than half of practicing GPs shows how little the Government values Primary Care.”

GP Partner Dr Rosie Shire: “Since the start of the pandemic GP’s have been battling covid in the community and changing the way we work in response to the ever changing regulations. For the pay rise not to include all GPs shows how undervalued we are.”