Scottish junior doctors accept 12.4% pay rise

Scottish junior doctors payScottish junior doctors have accepted a 12.4% pay increase for 2023–24 backdated to April, bringing an end the threat of industrial action.

A total of 81.64% of British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland members voted in favour of the offer, with a 71.24% turnout. Along with the 4.5% pay rise awarded in 2022–23, this amounts to a 17.5% increase over two years.

The deal represents a £61.3 million investment in junior doctor pay, meaning that one at the beginning of their career would receive a salary increase of £3,429 in 2023–24, while those at the end of their training would see a £7,111 rise over the same period. The deal also includes a commitment to future year’s pay, contract and pay bargaining modernisation.

Michael Matheson, the Scottish health secretary said: “I am very pleased that BMA members have overwhelmingly voted to accept this record pay deal for junior doctors. This is the single biggest investment in junior doctor pay since devolution and maintains our commitment to make Scotland the best place in the UK for junior doctors to work and train.

“Due to the meaningful engagement we have had with trade unions, we have avoided any industrial action in Scotland. We will now implement this pay uplift, and will work with BMA to take forward the other aspects of the deal including contract and pay bargaining reform.”

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Dr Chris Smith, chair of the BMA’s Scottish Junior Doctor Committee, added: “It is a compromise achieved in our negotiations that reflects the record inflationary pressure on the Scottish budget this year which is dependent on a fixed grant from the UK government, with only limited devolved tax, borrowing and reserve powers.

“In negotiations we were clear that a similar real terms percentage increase will not be acceptable during the next round of negotiations as inflation eases. I look forward to getting down to work with the Scottish government imminently to start negotiations to improve our working lives and make pay restoration a reality.”