Scotland’s junior doctors have been offered a 14.5% pay increase two weeks after they voted overwhelmingly in favour of a three-day strike.
The Scottish Government tabled the offer as it looks to avert industrial action in the NHS.
On May 5, 97% of BMA Scotland members voted in favour of striking, saying years of “pay erosion” had left them with a significant real-terms pay cut since 2008.
The union is calling for an effective 35% pay increase to match what they say they have lost over 15 years.
The Scottish Government previously dismissed the figure as “simply unaffordable,” but has now championed the new offer as the “best in the UK”.
Junior doctors had already been awarded a 4.5% pay increase recommended by the independent Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body, ministers said.
The new offer amounts a 6.5% uplift for this year and an increase from 4.5% to 7.5%, backdated for 2022/23
The union will now take the offer to its members before deciding on whether to call off strike action.
Junior doctor committee chair, Dr Chris Smith, said the offer was an “improvement,” adding: “We have approached the negotiations with the Scottish Government in good faith and, now that a final offer has been made, it is right that the junior doctors in Scotland have their say on what has been put on the table.
“To be clear, this is not a deal we have agreed, and we have not accepted any offer.
“However, the offer that has been made is without doubt an improvement on the 4.5% awarded last year, and the improved offer for 22/23 would represent a slowdown in doctors’ pay erosion, which had accelerated up to this point after 15 years of real terms decline.
“Our commitment to the long-term aim of righting that historical wrong remains firmly in place and will continue to be a top priority going forwards.
“We feel this offer reflects the best that the Scottish Government will offer after this series of negotiations. This is why it is essential our members decide our next steps.”
The Scottish Government said the new offer represents a £61.3 million investment in medics’ wages.
Health secretary Michael Matheson said: “Recognising the incredible work that junior doctors do, we have offered a fair and progressive rise which will mean a pay increase of 14.5% over two years – the best offer on the table in the UK.
“We have taken their concerns regarding pay, and the need to modernise pay bargaining more broadly, extremely seriously.
“It’s now up to junior doctors to reflect on this final offer, and I hope they will accept.”
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