Junior doctors to vote on improvements to contract
Junior doctors are to vote on a new four-year improvement to their contract which will mean annual pay uplifts of 2 per cent and additional investment in the contract to support increased productivity and recruitment and retention.
NHS Employers and the BMA have reached agreement on a set of proposals that will now be put to a referendum of the BMA’s membership (juniors) on Friday 14 June.
A total of £90 million will be used to fund changes over and above the pay uplifts over the four-year year period which include:
- Weekend allowance uplift to ensure those working the most frequent weekends are remunerated more fairly.
- An enhanced rate of pay for shifts that finish after midnight and by 4am.
- A new nodal pay point 5: The parties propose that instead of a senior decision maker allowance, a fifth nodal pay point will be introduced.
Agreement has also been reached over safety and rest limits; exception reporting and guardian of safe working hours; work scheduling and code of practice; leave and locum work.
The agreement covers the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023. In 19/20, this will mean a total investment of 2.3%. In each of the three subsequent years (20/21-22/23) this will mean annual pay uplifts of 2% and a further 1% of additional investment in the contract.
The referendum follows the 2018 review of the 2016 contract.
If junior doctors support the deal new terms will be introduced from August 2019 for doctors in training. This will put the contract on the same basis as all national NHS pay contracts with changes agreed in partnership between staff and employer representatives.
The 2016 Junior Doctors’ Contract introduced significant reforms in terms and conditions compared with its predecessor. The contract was focused on the key aims of improving safe working, supporting education and making changes to an outdated pay system.
The terms of the contract did not receive the support of the BMA and it has been in dispute with Government over its introduction without agreement since 2016.
Employers have worked very hard to implement the 2016 contract in their organisations and have made great efforts to improve relationships with their junior doctor workforce.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:
“We welcome the additional investment from the government and NHS England. The agreements reached show the seriousness of all sides to review and improve the contract, to build a safe and constructive way forward for this important part of our workforce.
“We very much hope that doctors will support the investments and contract amendments, which in turn will allow the BMA to restore normal collective relationships with the NHS.
“We look forward to working with the BMA to implement the proposed amendments, and to a long term working relationship which will allow more regular and routine updating of the contract.”
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