Overworked and underpaid – why the junior doctors are on strike

Junior doctors began a 72 hour strike this week, which will see them stop work across the NHS, including A&E and intensive care departments. Their work will largely be covered by consultants, who will then not be able to do their normal work leading to the cancellation of appointments and surgery.

The strike is overwhelmingly supported by junior doctors, with a ballot in January delivering one of the biggest mandates for strike action ever seen, a 98% yes vote on a 77.5% turnout.

Junior doctors want pay restoration – since 2008 they have seen a 26% real terms pay cut. The multi-year pay deal agreed with the government in 2019 gave junior doctors in England a 2% increase each year for four years. However, this means that pay has not matched inflation and has fallen in real terms.

Full article in The Lowdown, 13 March 2023