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HCSA Junior Doctors Committee statement on strike ballot

HCSA’s Junior Doctors Committee has issued the following statement on the planned ballot for strike action:

Last night it was agreed that a formal strike ballot on pay for junior doctors in England will be held between 14th December and 20th January following overwhelming support in our consultation.

When the ballot opens, we strongly recommend members to vote Yes.

Morale among junior doctors has hit an all-time low. Successive governments have sat on their hands as the situation has deteriorated and are accountable for the crisis they have provoked. This year’s pay award was a further attack on real-terms salaries. Pay erosion has gone on for too long and cut too deep. It must be reversed.

Now, we must draw a line in the sand - not just to reject further real-terms pay cuts but to send the message loud and clear that we are not willing to be undervalued and taken for granted.

Our alternative is to passively accept more of the same and the further erosion of salaries in the coming years. Already, we are losing colleagues due to despair, the denial of dignity and chronic unappreciation in the workplace. Clinical training has fallen between the cracks due to crisis management around basic service provision.

This cannot continue. The pending ballot is not simply about pay but also its collateral impact on our own NHS and its current uncertain future. It is about recruitment and retention.

We believe that unity is strength. We shall therefore seek to work amicably with other unions to further the cause of junior doctors. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all who share this common goal.

We care the utmost about patients and their care. We will ensure that employers are adequately informed to prioritise patient safety while enabling members to participate in their legal right to stand up for their cause.

We understand that no member will take their decision lightly, but should you vote for strike action you will not be alone. HCSA’s leadership of both senior and junior doctors will not flinch from supporting our members. Our national officers and activists will represent you. Together we will draw collective strength.

For now, we ask you to:

1. Ensure that we have your correct details: this is essential to comply with trade union legislation
2. Spread the word, walk tall and get involved

We shall be publishing further advice to members as we head towards the ballot.

For hospital doctors, by hospital doctors: HCSA is your union, and you are HCSA.

Together we stand strong.