In an effort to put a stop to a number of strikes, including a five-day doctor walkout in Britain’s publicly funded health system, the British government on Thursday made wage rise offers to millions of public sector workers.
The government has accepted the recommendations made by pay review bodies, which would result in raises of 7% for police, 6.5% for teachers, and 6% for junior doctors on strike who are just starting their careers in the National Health Service.
Sunak declared that there would be no further pay negotiations and that the proposals, which are not being supported by additional borrowing, are “final.”
We won’t renegotiate the settlements from this year, and no number of strikes will make us change our mind, he declared.
According to the prime minister, the heads of the teaching unions have decided to urge teachers to call off their strike. What remains to be seen is how other unions will react to what is essentially an ultimatum.
On the first day of what is being called the longest strike in the history of the National Health Service, junior doctors who were on the front lines of the walkout on Thursday will have to make a choice. They are requesting a wage increase of 35%.
The British Medical Association, the physicians’ union, has requested the significant wage increase to return junior doctors’ salaries to 2008 levels after accounting for inflation. The burden of England’s around 75,000 junior doctors has increased as a result of record-high patient waiting lists following
“Today marks the start of the longest single walkout by doctors in the NHS’s history, but this is still not a record that needs to go into the history books,” said BMA leaders Dr. Robert Laurenson and Dr. Vivek Trivedi.
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For the first time in years, Britain is experiencing high inflation together with other nations. Supply chain problems brought on by the epidemic initially fueled price increases, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which drove up the cost of food and oil. Even if it has decreased marginally from its peak — to 8.7% — inflation is still significantly higher than the 2% mark that the Bank of England is supposed to aim for.
Operations and consultations will be rescheduled or even cancelled as a result of the doctors’ strike, which will significantly disrupt the NHS, which is already struggling.
The doctors who are participating in the strike say they are aware of how their absence will affect the health system, but they adamantly maintain that they have no other choice.
Alex Gibbs, a striking 31-year-old doctor outside University College Hospital in north London, said, “This isn’t a celebration; this is the culmination of years of diminishing income, poor conditions, and dissatisfaction.”
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