Threatened hospital strikes in Scotland could be averted if young doctors accept a new two-year pay offer of 14.5 per cent today.
Medical officials had warned earlier in the month of three days of work stoppages unless the one-year rise of 4.5 percent improved significantly.
And although the new offer from SNP ministers fell well short of the whopping demand of around 33 percent, the BMA union said its members would now vote on the proposed deal.
Holyrood Health Secretary Michael Matheson said it was a “fair and progressive increase”.
The BMA said it was “undoubtedly an improvement” on last year’s 4.5 per cent and should be repeated, but said it was now up to members.
The offer comes 17 days after young doctors in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to go on strike for three days unless they get a huge pay rise.
Doctors had said they needed an increase of 23.5 percent above inflation to bring them back to 2008 levels after years of “wage collapse”.
Based on current CPI inflation, that would mean an increase of around 33 percent.
A strike would mean around 5,000 young doctors in Scotland would go on strike nationwide for the first time – a repeat of the recent strikes in England.
In that case, young doctors would not be providing emergency care during the strike and NHS boards would have to provide emergency care.
The BMA said it would now submit the offer to its junior doctors in a consultative vote.
dr The union’s Chris Smith said: “To be clear: this is not a deal that we have agreed on and we have not accepted an offer.”
“However, the offer made is undoubtedly an improvement over the 4.5 per cent made last year, and the improved offer for 22/23 would mark a slowing of the doctors’ salary decline, which had been accelerating up to this point after 15 years.” of real conditions decrease.
“Our commitment to the long-term goal of righting this historic wrong remains and will continue to be a top priority.”
“We believe this offer reflects the best that the Scottish Government will be able to offer following this series of negotiations. It is therefore important that our members decide on our next steps.”
Salaries for junior doctors start at £27,653 and rise to £57,349 for a specialist.
The Scottish Government said the increase was the biggest in 20 years.
The offer includes an increase of 6.5 per cent for 2023/24, as well as a retrospective increase to the increase for 2022/23, which totaled 14.5 per cent, according to the Scottish Government.
SNP ministers said the offer matches the pay supplement accepted by nurses and other NHS staff under last year’s Agenda for Change pay scales.
Mr Matheson said: “After weeks of intense negotiations, I am delighted that our Government and BMA Scotland have reached an agreement on the pay which they will now present to their members.”
“In recognition of the incredible work young doctors are doing, we have offered a fair and progressive salary increase that represents a pay increase of 14.5% over two years – the best offer in the UK.”
“We have taken their concerns about pay and the need for a broader modernization of collective bargaining extremely seriously.
“Now it’s up to the young doctors to consider this final offer and I hope they take it up.”
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