Junior doctors striking at Homerton hospital in east London in January (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Junior doctors in England are set for a fresh strike over five days this month, and those in Wales are preparing for their own extended action. The English stoppage follows a six-day strike by junior doctors in the BMA union last month—the longest in the health service’s 76-year history.

The tenth round of junior doctors’ strike in England is set to take place from 7am on Saturday 24 February to 11.59pm on Wednesday 28 February. BMA consultant members voted to reject a new government pay offer last month, raising the possibility of further strikes by consultants and junior doctors again.

The BMA said the Tory offer in England of a 3 percent pay increase, on top of a roughly 9 percent rise already offered, was not “credible”. It said it did not address 15 years of inflation-linked pay erosion. The BMA junior doctors’ committee is also balloting for a further six-month strike mandate.

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, said the “glacial speed” of progress in dealings with ministers was “frustrating and incomprehensible”. Health secretary Victoria Atkins had made clear that she had a further offer to make, they said. It took more than 20 days for a meeting with a minister to be offered, only then to tell them “there was no offer on the table”.

In Wales the Labour government offered junior doctors just a 5 percent increase— lower than the amount recommended by an independent review body. Junior doctors in Wales are set to walk out for three days from 7am on Wednesday next week and for four days from 7am on Monday 25 March.

Strikers at the long-running Barts Health trust dispute have announced more dates of action to win their NHS “Covid bonus”. The extra three days from Monday to Wednesday of next week action comes as the workers re-ballot to lengthen their dispute further.

Hundreds of Unite union members at hospitals across east London were out last week until Friday. The strikers include cleaners, porters, cooks and domestics, as well as those working in laundries.

Hospital workers are sick of trusts’ rubbish pay offers

Hundreds of the lowest-paid workers at North Devon District Hospital were set to strike this week and next week. The health staff, who work for private contractor Sodexo, plan to walk out on Friday this week and Monday of next. In June, a deal was agreed for staff on NHS contracts, which included a minimum one-off payment of £1,655 for 2022-3.

The Unison union says Sodexo’s refusal to honour the one-off payment breaks a long-standing agreement between the company and the union. This guarantees that Sodexo staff will be treated the same as other NHS workers. And health workers at six Wiltshire hospitals were set to strike over the same issues on Wednesday this week.

Workers employed by Wiltshire Health and Care were set to walk out at Chippenham, Devizes, Melksham, Savernake, Trowbridge and Warminster community hospitals. They backed the action by 95 percent. Those taking part include nurses, occupational therapists, care co-ordinators and physios

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