The British Medical Association is asking the government to improve its pay offer to consultants in England after members voted against it.
BMA consultant members in England voted 51.1% against the offer in a referendum that closed on 23 January.
The BMA’s consultants committee has therefore rejected the offer but is giving the Government an opportunity to improve it to a point that may be acceptable to members.
Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair, said:
“The vote has shown that consultants do not feel the current offer goes far enough to end the current dispute and offer a long-term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis for senior doctors.
“It backs up conversations we’ve had with colleagues in recent weeks, who felt the changes were insufficient and did not give them confidence that pay erosion would be addressed over the coming years. In addition, they were concerned about the fairness of the offer and how it impacted different groups of doctors. There were also clear concerns about changes to professional development time, and time dedicated to teaching and research.”
Earlier this month, consultant members of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association also rejected that pay offer, which would have seen changes to the pay spine. Under the proposed deal a minority of consultants would have received no extra pay, while others would receive as much as 12.8% extra. The average increase was 4.95%.
Sharma added: “With the result so close, the consultants committee is giving the government a chance to improve the offer.
“In the coming days we will be further engaging with consultants, and seeking talks with government to explore whether the concerns expressed by our members during the referendum process can be addressed.”
Both the BMA and the HCSA’s strike mandates for consultants run until June 2024.