Junior doctors hold rally in London regarding dispute about pay, conditions

Junior doctors hold rally in London regarding dispute about pay, conditions

'Make no mistake artist view is far from over,' says co-chair of British Medical Association

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - Striking junior doctors in London rallied Friday outside Downing Street to demand better pay and working conditions.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) who began a fifth round of strikes in the morning, marched toward the Prime Minister's Office.

Demonstrators chanted slogans against the government's health policies, carrying signs, some of them which read: "Strike to Save the NHS", "Kick Out the Tories", "Save Your NHS."

The BMA's co-chairs Vivek Trivedi and Robert Laurenson reiterated their demands for better pay and working conditions in their speeches.

"We've already done 15 days (of strike this year), and we'll do another 15 days. And another and another and we will just keep going until they get a message," said Laurenson.

He said for 15 years they have been told to wait, adding "It's not a good time."

Trivedi rejected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's remarks who said waiting lists are increasing because of the strikes. He accused the government of "spin."

"But even by his own suggestion, talkies are too valuable that they cause this impact on our waiting lists, but they're not valuable enough to be paid 20 pounds an hour," said Trivedi. "Make no mistake, artist view is far from over.”

Thousands of doctors are walking out for 96 hours until 7 a.m. local time Tuesday.

The government earlier declared that it had presented a "final" pay offer to junior doctors, and the British premier asserted that further negotiations would not take place.

As per the current offer, junior doctors are set to receive a 6% pay increase, plus £1,250 ($1,585). This raise translates to an overall pay hike of 8.1% to 10.3%, depending on their previous pay packages.

But the BMA has expressed its disagreement, saying that Sunak cannot unilaterally decide that negotiations have concluded without engaging in direct discussions with the union.

The core demand of the association is the restoration of salaries to the level equivalent to what they earned in 2008, reflecting a 35% increase.

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