Ballot papers are landing with BDA members in 232 workplaces, across 66 Trusts in England and Wales. The BDA National Executive Committee is asking members to vote yes to strike action, as a last resort in the campaign for a decent pay award for the year 2022/23.
Along with other health unions the BDA has been asking the Government to engage in meaningful talks since July last year to find a way through what has become a difficult and protracted dispute.
BDA members worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic providing services across the NHS including critical care, rehabilitation and emergency work. They continued to provide patient care across oncology, paediatrics, mental health, older peoples services and renal to name just a few.
Annette Mansell-Green, Director of Trade Union and Public Affairs says, “The number of registered dietitians and support workers is well below that required to provide adequate cover and, in some cases, safe services. The vacancy level was critical in 2019 before the pandemic and cannot be allowed to decline further.
“If we are to attract new people into the profession and retain the skills and experience of dietitians currently in the NHS then we must have a pay award that recognises and values their unique contribution.”
Pay for staff in the NHS has fallen below inflation year on year since 2010 and with the current cost-of-living crisis they are struggling to make ends meet whilst working extra shifts to care for patients. An award of £1400, which equates to around 4% for a mid-career dietitian is just not enough when inflation is running at over 10%.
The BDA, along with other health unions remain available, as they have been since July last year, to discuss a solution to the pay crisis with the Secretary of State. The BDA is willing to enter into meaningful talks and consider viable options that will be then be put to the membership through consultation.
BDA members do not want to take strike action but in the absence of any positive moves to find a solution they are left with no alternative.
More information is available here.
Members can also view the BDA Activate Industrial Action Special.