JUNIOR doctors in Scotland have rejected a 14.5% pay offer from the Scottish Government and will strike for three days in July. 

The walkout is set to take place between July 12 and 15. 

Members of the BMA union voted against the latest offer, made in May, with 71% balloting to reject with a 66% turnout.

They were offered 3% on top of last year's 4.5% pay award alongside another rise of 6.5% this year - amounting to 14.5% over two years.

"Our membership has once again spoken decisively and clearly. It is beyond doubt that they do not consider this offer sufficient to begin the process of addressing the pay erosion we have suffered since 2008 – when pay for a junior doctor was some 28.5% higher,” said Dr Chris Smith, chair of the BMA’s Scottish Junior Doctor Committee.

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"This is why today we can confirm that we are now forced to act on the incredibly strong mandate given to us by members in our preceding strike ballot and announce a full withdrawal of labour for three days from Wednesday, July 12. 

"We are taking these steps reluctantly and indeed this start date is a longer pause than the two weeks statutory notice required in law for two reasons.

"Firstly, we want to ensure the NHS boards and the Scottish Government have enough time to put appropriate plans in place for what we accept will be a major disruption to health services.

"Secondly, this should provide ample opportunity for the Scottish Government to urgently reflect on the verdict of junior doctors, re-engage with us, and come back with an improved package that reverses rather than entrenches pay erosion in the short term."

The BMA - which is in the process of calling for an urgent meeting with Health Secretary Michael Matheson - had called for an effective 35% pay increase to match what it said members had lost over 15 years.

The Scottish Government said the offer would cost £61.3m, adding that this would be the best deal in the UK.

According to the union, 2311 junior doctors voted to reject the deal, compared to just 939 who backed it.

Dr Smith added: "The package must also convincingly provide a way to safeguard doctors from further pay erosion in the future.

"It needs to be sufficiently improved that we could again consult our members. I hope to meet Michael Matheson urgently.

"Come back with an improved offer and we can still avert the need for strikes and the disruption they will cause us all and patients in particular."

Speaking to journalists at Holyrood, First Minister Humza Yousaf said: "We'll continue to engage with junior doctors and they have said themselves there has been meaningful engagement with the Scottsih Government."

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.