We take a look at when the forthcoming strikes are taking place.
Strike action is set to continue well into 2023. The new legislation planned by the government, which would restrict the right to strike by forcing some workers to maintain minimum service levels, has added fuel to the fire.
We take a look at when the forthcoming strikes are taking place.
The 1st of February is set to be a landmark day for strike action. Hundreds of thousands of workers are to stage the “most important coordinated walkout for a century.”
Teachers, civil servants, university staff and train drivers have all said they will walk out on February 1. The same day will see the Trades Union Congress (TUC) carry out a national protest the proposed anti-strike laws. The TUC, which unites more than 5.5 million working people who make up its 48 member unions, is urging people to get behind a national day of action, dubbed the ‘Protect the Right to Strike’ day.
Train driver members of Aslef and the RMT Union at 14 rail operators will take strike action on February 1 and 3, over pay and conditions.
In a press statement about the new strike dates, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:
“Our negotiations will continue with the rail operators to create a package on jobs, conditions and pay that can be offered to our members.”
More than 120,000 National Education Union (NEU) members have voted to strike for seven days in February and March. The dates are:
- 1 February: All schools in England and Wales
- 14 February: All schools in Wales
- 28 February: North and north-west England, Yorkshire, and Humber
- 1 March: East Midlands, West Midlands, and the NEU’s eastern region
- 2 March: South-east and south-west England, and London
- 15 and 16 March: All schools in England and Wales
The Department for Education has offered most teachers a five percent pay rise but the NEU is demanding a fully funded above inflation rise.
Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: “This is not about a pay rise but correcting historic, real-terms pay cuts.
“We regret having to take strike action, and are willing to enter into negotiations at any time, any place, but this situation cannot go on.”
Over 70,000 staff at 150 universities are to strike on February 1, as the UCU remains in dispute with universities over pay, pensions and working conditions.
A further 17 days of industrial action is due to take place over February and March.
UCU is demanding a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis as well as action to end the use of insecure contracts. The union said ‘the clock is ticking’ for university bosses to make staff a serious offer and avoid disruption.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘Whilst the cost-of-living crisis rages, university vice-chancellors are dragging their feet and refusing to use the vast wealth in the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant casualisation and massive pension cuts.
“On 1 February, 70,000 university staff will walk out alongside fellow trade unions and hundreds of thousands of other workers to demand their fair share.
“UCU remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement, but if university employers don’t get serious and fast, more strike action fill follow in February and March.”
The GMB has announced more than 10,000 paramedics, emergency care assistants and call handlers are to strike on February 6 and 20, and March 6 and 20.
Nurses are also due to strike on February 6 and 7.
Emergency service workers represented by Unison will also walk out on January 23.
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “It’s only through talks that this dispute will end. No health workers want to go out on strike again.
“Speeding up next year’s pay review body process won’t solve the current dispute, which is about the pitiful amount the government gave health workers this year.
“The government must stop using the pay review body as cover for its own inaction. This year’s pay rise simply wasn’t enough to halt the exodus of staff from the NHS.
“The government should right that wrong with an increase better matching inflation. Only then will vacancy rates reduce, allowing the NHS to get back on track and start delivering safe patient care once more.”
Rachel Harrison, national secretary of GMB, said staff ‘are done’ and ‘angry’ and has called on the government to get serious on pay.
“Ministers have made things worse by demonising the ambulance workers who provided life and limb cover on strike days – playing political games with their scaremongering.
“The only way to solve this dispute is a proper pay offer.
“But it seems the cold, dead hands of the Number 10 and 11 Downing Street are stopping this from happening.
“In the face of government inaction, we are left with no choice but industrial action,” said Harrison.
Around 100,000 civil servants will join the February 1 strike, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) announced. The action will involve members in 124 government departments. The PCS union is calling for a 10 percent pay rise, protections from job cuts and protections to pensions.
“We warned the government our dispute would escalate if they did not listen – and we’re as good as our word,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.
He accused the government of “treating its own workforce worse than anyone else in the economy”.
The ongoing dispute between the union and Royal Mail appears no nearer to being resolved. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has accused Royal Mail of “waging war” on staff and using intimidation tactics, including suspending more than 200 workers, in the ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
As fresh talks were not heading toward an acceptable agreement, the CWU is preparing to ballot its more than 100,000 members over further national strikes.
Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, told MPs on the business select committee this week that his union was “still not confident we are in a place that we can reach an agreement”, following 18 days of national strikes in 2022.
“The union will be reballoting members [about strike action]. This is the most brutal attack on any group of workers the UK has seen in decades. It is a fight for every postal worker’s job,” said Ward.
The CWU is meeting Royal Mail shareholders on January 23 to explain the union’s concerns.
Firefighters refused a five percent pay rise. They are running a ballot on strike action until January 30.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Strike action will always be a last resort but we are running out of options.”
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward