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BMA Cymru Wales to put pay offer to doctors in pay dispute

07 Jun 2024 6 minute read
Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Doctors’ union the BMA has secured pay offers for doctors working in secondary care in Wales following pay talks with the Welsh Government. 

Members of BMA Cymru Wales including Junior doctors, SAS doctors and Consultants will now vote on whether to accept the three separate offers. 

Junior doctors have been offered a 7.4% additional uplift taking the total to a 12.4% uplift for the 23/24 financial year and will be back dated to April 2023. 

A revised consultant pay scale is proposed, which provides higher career earnings, significantly better starting pay, and an additional pay rise of up to 10.1% for some consultant doctors.  

For SAS doctors, pay offers for newer contracts include increases of 6.1-9.2%, as well as an additional uplift for associate specialists, senior doctors who are on closed contracts. 

“Weeks of negotiations”

The offers, which also include non-pay elements and reform of pay scales and contract terms,* are the result of weeks of pay negotiations which began in April this year after sustained pressure from BMA Cymru Wales including 10 days of strike action by junior doctors and planned industrial action by senior doctors which were suspended last month to start the talks. 

From Wednesday 12 June to 26 June members will vote on whether to accept the offers.  

Dr Oba Babs Osibodu and Dr Peter Fahey co-chairs of the BMA’s Welsh Junior Doctors Committee said: “We entered pay negotiations in good faith to reach a deal that will put us on the path to achieving full pay restoration to address the years of erosion to our pay We’re satisfied that this offer delivers on our ambition.

“This offer puts us well on the path to pay restoration. 

“We are therefore encouraging members to vote to accept this deal. It is a testament to the resolve they have shown in taking part in industrial action to achieve a better future for the profession.”

“Significant improvements”

Dr Stephen Kelly, chair of BMA Cymru Wales’ Consultants committee said: “We are pleased to have been able to reach an offer that we believe honours our overwhelming strike mandate and offers significant improvements in pay for consultants across their careers.

“The offer is recognition of the hard work and dedication of senior doctors and signifies a commitment to attracting and retaining doctors in Wales by offering a fairer more competitive value for their service. 

“Whilst ultimately it will be up for members to decide, we believe the offer is a big step in the right direction for the profession and so we are recommending that members accept it. We will continue to work hard to improve your pay and working conditions, and we understand this is just the first step.” 

Dr Ali Nazir, chair of BMA Cymru Wales’ SAS doctor committee said: “We are pleased to be able to bring an offer worthy of the hard work and dedication shown by SAS doctors in Wales.

“We know voting to take industrial action was a very difficult decision for our members but in voting to strike they were choosing to stand up for themselves and their colleagues.

“By taking part and getting us here they have played a part in securing a better future for SAS doctors in Wales. We are encouraging members to vote to accept this offer.” 

In August last year the BMA’s committees representing all secondary care doctors in Wales voted to enter a trade dispute with the Welsh Government after being offered another below inflation pay uplift of just 5% for the 23/24 financial year.  

Welsh Government Written Statement

In response, First Minister, Vaughan Gething MS and Eluned Morgan MS, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care released a Written Statement today (7 June).

They write: “We have today made a formal pay award offer to each of the three BMA branches of practices – junior doctors, SAS doctors and consultants – for 2023-24, following successful negotiations over the last two months.

“We would like to thank members of the BMA’s negotiating teams and NHS Employers for the constructive nature of the talks, which have enabled us to make these formal offers, which will now be put to the BMA membership for consideration. Each of the three BMA elected representative committees are recommending members accept the offers.

“While strike action has been paused during negotiations, if these offers are accepted, it will end this dispute and industrial action, meaning doctors will return to work in Wales for the benefit of patients and NHS services.

“The negotiations have been robust and while the aim was to end the 2023-24 dispute and prevent further disruptive strike action, these offers also ensure the additional investment in doctors’ pay is balanced against commitments towards operational reforms, which seek to address productivity and efficiency and achieving future contract reform. These pay awards, if accepted, will also help to address inequalities in the senior NHS medical workforce.

“These offers are at the limit of our affordability. We have been open and transparent about our financial constraints with our social partners during negotiations.”


Reacting to the announcement, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Health, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said:“We welcome the improved pay offers made to junior doctors, SAS doctors and Consultants, and that non-pay elements, such as the reform of pay scales and contract terms will also be included.

“Plaid Cymru has been clear: our NHS is nothing without its dedicated staff and it is only right therefore that they are awarded as such. Today’s news is a welcome step forward.

“It’s now important that discussions continue and that the Labour Welsh Government provide a long-term commitment for full pay restoration so that hard working NHS staff do not have to consider industrial action again.”

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said: “After offering the worse settlement figure in the UK the Labour Government claimed there was no money to meet the pay increase.

“Now it appears the money was always there and whilst the Welsh Government were dithering, Wales’ longest waiting lists on record have been exacerbated.

“The Welsh Conservatives have been clear that we would spend the full Barnett uplift received for health on health to end Labour’s inhuman two-year waiting lists.”

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