Downing Street have rejected calls to enter into negotiations with Acas and the Chairman of the BMA council has said that the government “have already decided the answer.”
On Wednesday the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said a third part is needed to help and break the deadlock with strikes.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “There are no plans for this.
“In the first instance, the Health Secretary is ready to speak directly to the BMA, as soon as they pause strike action.
“That is something we have had in place for all other talks with unions and has been honoured by other unions.
“As the Health Secretary has said before, we need to move away from the starting position of 35%.”
Chairman of the BMA council, Professor Philip Banfield, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, “Do we have any preconditions? No, we don’t. This is all coming from the Government side who want to negotiate from a position where they have already decided what the answer is.”
Asked about the BMA pay demand for 35%, he said: “People are tied up on this 35% figure.
“There is no number that is set in stone here – it is the principle of restoring pay that has been lost in its value. In order to discuss what that means and how that is achieved, it needs people to sit around the table.
“This Government does not want to sit around the table. It does not want to have any kind of independent arbitration of this because it’s worried that it might cost it money.”
When asked if the BMA will consider suspending strikes and entering talks, Prof Banfield said, “We haven’t actually got a strike announced at this point in time.
“So here is the time to get in the room and talk. It can be done rapidly.”
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