Ujjwala Mohite, SAS chair, 12:5, 3:2

Government offers SAS doctors revised pay deal

Pay & Contracts
Tim Tonkin

BMA urges SAS doctors to vote in favour of renegotiated proposal

SAS doctors are set to vote on a new and improved offer on pay, after the BMA secured a concession following negotiations with the Government.

Specialist, associate specialist and specialty doctors in England are to be polled for the second time this year, after a revised offer improving pay for SAS doctors was reached this week between the association and ministers.

The revised terms come after a previous offer from the Government in January this year was roundly rejected by the BMA, with 62 per cent of respondents opposing the terms in a referendum.

The new proposed terms would see those on the 2021 SAS contracts receive an uplift of between 6.1 and 9.22 per cent to basic pay, equating to a 10.4 to 19.4 increase in basic pay since 2022.

The new offer would also provide a consolidated uplift of £1,400, which would be provided on top of a 6 per cent uplift awarded by the DDRB (Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration) for 2023/24, to doctors employed on closed terms such as the 2008 associate specialist contract. This marks a major shift, as these staff having been excluded under the previous rejected offer.

Solidarity works

Unlike the Government’s previous offer on pay, the BMA is recommending members back the new terms in a vote scheduled to take place between 31 May and 14 June.

BMA SAS committee UK chair Ujjwala Anand Mohite said that, while SAS doctors had spoken decisively in rejecting the Government’s January offer, the revised terms unveiled this week demonstrated how effective solidarity and determination could be in bringing about change.

She said: ‘SAS doctors told us loud and clear that the Government’s first offer wasn’t good enough. We’ve since been back in conversation with ministers and, after weeks of intense negotiation, secured an offer that we feel will be acceptable to members.   

‘Today’s offer shows how far SAS doctors have come in the fight to restore their value, with improved pay scales for those on newer contracts, consolidated uplifts for those on older ones, and recognition that LEDs need better job security.  

‘We will be providing further information to our members about this new offer, so they can decide whether to accept it.’

Career progression

Should doctors vote to endorse the latest terms, uplifts in pay would be backdated to April 2024 and would therefore raise the baseline in future pay recommendations made by the DDRB.

As well as improvements in pay, the offer describes measures to improve career development, although it no longer includes plans to introduce a £5m ‘catalyst’ fund to create specialist roles.

A deal would also commit government to exploring means of improving the terms and conditions of LEDs (locally employed doctors), with a view to enabling staff to move to national contracts or make their local contracts permanent.