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Following the BMA and BDA’s initiation of a dispute with government regarding pay and conditions for SAS dentists and the closure of our respective industrial action ballots, the Government has put forth a pay offer to our members.

Alongside the BMA, we intend to consult our England SAS membership on the offer through a formal referendum process, which will commence on 29 January and close on 28 February.

Before voting in the referendum, we strongly encourage you to read the overview of the offer to ensure that you make an informed decision.

The headline components of this offer are pay scale realignment, the creation of a specialist catalyst pot, and the commencement of a project which will review the Locally Employed Doctor (LED) workforce and their contracts.

 

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with further details regarding the offer, and the concessions that will need to be made if it is accepted.

SAS dentists ballot

As a result of our ballot from November to December 2023, we have a current mandate for industrial action at 39 Trusts where BDA members will be able to take industrial action. These are:

 

If the Government fails to get agreement from the combined votes of SAS members (dentists and doctors) to the pay deal as part of the pay referendum process then the BMA and the BDA may consider taking further industrial action at the above Trusts. Both the BMA and the BDA are not calling for any strike action whilst we are consulting with members through the pay referendum.

Background

The take home pay of SAS doctors and dentists in England has fallen by up to 31% in real terms since 2008/9 due to repeated below-inflation pay awards. It is expected that, without action, the situation will worsen.

This unacceptable situation has arisen largely because the Government has interfered with, or constrained, the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (DDRB), causing it to depart from its founding principles and original remit. Therefore, the DDRB needs to be reformed in accordance with its founding principles.
SAS doctors and dentists also face obstacles to career progression because of the limited number of specialist roles and lack of a single pay spine leading from specialty to specialist doctor.

In line with the BMA, we are calling for a series of above-inflation pay awards (which must be agreed with the BMA), addressing the pay erosion SAS doctors and dentists have experienced. The pay award should also resolve the discrepancies between 2008 and 2021 pay scales (arising from the two-year exclusion of the latter from DDRB pay rounds in 2021/22 and 2022/23), which would ensure no-one is financially disincentivised from moving to the 2021 terms and conditions (or from a specialty to a specialist doctor role).

Seeking to resolve these issues, the BMA and BDA now have a trade dispute.

More information

Find more information about industrial action and ballots via our frequently asked questions.