Junior doctors in Scotland have voted to accept the latest pay offer from the Scottish government.
As a result, this year they will receive a pay rise of 12.4% backdated to April.
For the following three financial years the British Medical Association’s (BMA’s) Scottish Junior Doctor Committee (SJDC) will enter yearly negotiations with the Scottish government that must “make credible progress” in real terms towards full pay restoration to 2008 levels. Inflation will be guaranteed as the floor for each round of ongoing negotiation.
In addition, the government has committed to agreeing a new pay review mechanism with junior doctors – the aim of which is to reach a “mutually agreeable path to achieve pay restoration and prevent erosion recurring in the future” – effectively withdrawing junior doctors in Scotland from the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body (DDRB).
Finally, BMA Scotland will enter contract negotiations with the Scottish government from autumn this year, with the aim of improving the working and training conditions of junior doctors in Scotland by April 2026.
The SJDC agreed unanimously that it would recommend members accept the offer as the “best next step” for Scottish doctors in their ongoing campaign for full pay restoration.
The result of the consultative vote saw 81.64% of BMA Scotland members vote in favour of the offer. The turnout was 71.24%.
Dr Chris Smith, chair of SJDC, said: “Key to this offer, that sets it apart from what is happening elsewhere in the UK, is that the Scottish government recognises this reality and has agreed to ongoing negotiations towards full pay restoration to 2008 levels, with an unprecedented commitment to set inflation as the floor of the pay offer at each round of negotiation.”
However, Smith also warned: “If sufficient progress towards full pay restoration is not made at the next round of negotiations or should the Scottish government not follow through with any elements of its offer, we will not hesitate to ballot our members again and take strike action, should it be required.
“We have demonstrated our power – and no one should be in any doubt about how strong we are as a collective or what we can deliver when we stand together.”