Socialist Worker

Tories face backlash over paltry pay deal for doctors

Issue No. 2617

The junior doctors’ strikes against damaging new contracts in 2016 showed the potential to mobilise support for a fightback across the hospitals.

The junior doctors’ strikes against damaging new contracts in 2016 showed the potential to mobilise support for a fightback across the hospitals. (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A growing number of health workers are frustrated with Tory proposals that mean they will only receive below-inflation pay rises.

The Tories have chosen to ignore the latest set of pay proposals from the Doctors and Dentists Remuneration Body (DDRB) pay review body.

The pay offer includes a 2 percent increase for junior doctors.

Consultants would receive a 1.5 percent increase, plus 0.5 percent uplift related to clinical excellence awards.

Real terms pay cuts for doctors and other health workers will plunge the NHS deeper into a staffing crisis.

Some 67 percent of doctors reported that they faced rota gaps where they work last year.

Anthea Mowat from the BMA doctors’ organisation said, “The NHS faces severe shortages of doctors across all specialties.

“It beggars belief that the ministers have failed to recognise the contribution declining pay has had on the ability to recruit and retain doctors and the significant damage to morale.”

This frustration is shared by workers across the NHS.

The GMB union is balloting its members in health for strikes. And the leaders of the Unison union and the Royal College of Nursing face a backlash from members after misleading members over a shoddy pay deal.

The BMA should ballot its members for industrial action over pay.

The junior doctors’ strikes against damaging new contracts in 2016 showed the potential to mobilise support for a fightback across the hospitals.


Outsourced health workers could strike for pay parity

Hundreds of Unison union members at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester could walk out in a fight for higher pay.

Bosses have not offered the outsourced cleaners, caterers and other support staff the same pay increases as other NHS workers. They are employed by Bolton iFM, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Wholly-owned subsidiaries are a dangerous new form of privatisation in NHS England.

While trusts remain the sole shareholders, the companies are a bridge to full-blown selloffs down the line. When Bolton iFM was set up two years ago, bosses promised pay increases would mirror those in the NHS. But this shows that the real aim is to undermine wages and terms and condition to make it more attractive for private companies.

Tim Ellis, Unison regional manager, said, “There’s huge anger and a 100 percent request for strike unless something satisfactory is agreed.”

A recent victory against plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in nearby Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust shows its possible to take on the outsourcing bosses.


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