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Junior doctors to strike before election

30 May 2024

Doctors lobbying the Conservative Party conference October 2023, Manchester. They were not listening. Photo Workers.

Three months of talks and weeks of mediation with the government has failed to produce a credible offer in the junior doctors’ dispute. The doctors have responded by calling further strikes in support of their pay claim.

Consultants in England have settled their pay dispute, but the government is unwilling or unable to resolve pay for their more junior colleagues. And with the announcement of a general election, politicians are now focused solely on getting elected and decrying the polices of the opposing parties.


BMA has announced that junior doctors in England will strike for five days from 27 June to 2 July. The walkout will end 48 hours before the general election. That’s a direct challenge to the incoming government to resolve the dispute.

This will be the eleventh strike by junior doctors since March 2023 in their campaign for pay restoration to 2008 levels. The BMA estimates that junior doctors’ pay has been eroded by over 25 per cent since then.


Ballot after ballot has showed continuing support for strike action from the hospital doctors in dispute. The most recent result was a massive 98 per cent majority for strikes on a 62 per cent turnout.

The fight for pay continues elsewhere too. Junior doctors in northern Ireland struck from 22 to 24 May and will strike again from 6 to 8 June. And negotiations continue in Wales.

But in Scotland junior doctors have won an offer of 12.4 per cent backdated to April 2023, with a commitment to negotiations over the next three years to make credible progress to full pay restoration to 2008 levels.

Pay deals for 2024-25 are now overdue for all NHS staff groups.