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Junior doctors in Scotland accept ‘record’ pay offer | UK News

Junior doctors in Scotland have voted to accept a “record” pay offer from the Scottish government.

The deal, accepted by British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland members, includes a 12.4% pay increase for 2023/24.

This is in addition to the 4.5% rise awarded in 2022/23, meaning the medics will receive a total pay increase of 17% over two years.

The deal – for junior doctors and dentists in training – brings to an end the threat of strike action.

It comes after members of union HCSA Scotland, which represents hospital doctors, voted on Tuesday to accept the Scottish government’s offer.

The deal will cost Holyrood £61.3m and is said to be the largest in the last 20 years and “the best offer in the UK”.

Health Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I am very pleased that BMA members have overwhelmingly voted to accept this record pay deal for junior doctors.

“This is the single biggest investment in junior doctor pay since devolution, and maintains our commitment to make Scotland the best place in the UK for junior doctors to work and train.

“Due to the meaningful engagement we have had with trade unions, we have avoided any industrial action in Scotland – the only part of the UK to avoid NHS strikes.

“We will now implement this pay uplift, and will work with the BMA to take forward the other aspects of the deal including contract and pay bargaining reform.”

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The result of the consultative vote of BMA Scotland members saw 81.64% vote in favour of the offer with a turnout of 71.24%.

For the following three financial years, the BMA’s Scottish Junior Doctor Committee (SJDC) will now enter yearly negotiations with the Scottish government that must “make credible progress” in real terms towards full pay restoration to 2008 levels.

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Junior doctors go on strike

Dr Chris Smith, chairman of the SJDC, said: “Earlier this year, junior doctors in Scotland said enough is enough – they were clear that they will no longer stand aside and accept any more sub-inflationary pay awards year after year.

“The strong mandate for striking – with 97% of those who turned out in our ballot voting in favour of industrial action – speaks for itself.

“Key to this offer, that sets it apart from what is happening elsewhere in the UK, is that the Scottish government recognises this reality and has agreed to ongoing negotiations towards full pay restoration to 2008 levels, with an unprecedented commitment to set inflation as the floor of the pay offer at each round of negotiation.

“This structure will maintain the momentum of our campaign in Scotland for full pay restoration over the next few months and into next year.”

Dr Smith said that if sufficient progress towards full pay restoration is not made at the next round of negotiations or should the Scottish government not follow through with any elements of its offer, the union will not hesitate to ballot its members again and take strike action, should it be required.

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