Wave of industrial action to continue in coming days as nurses strike

Nurses are striking this week - and action could escalate. Credit: PA

The wave of industrial action that has swept across the country for months will continue this week - and could escalate if there is no breakthrough to disputes over pay and conditions.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) across England will walk out on Wednesday and Thursday and the union has warned that if progress is not made in negotiations by the end of January the next set of strikes will include all eligible members in England for the first time.

The government continues to insist that pay claims are unaffordable and is sticking to its belief that wage rises should be decided by pay review bodies.

Health unions are refusing to submit any evidence to the NHS pay review body for the 2023/24 pay rise until the current dispute is resolved.

GMB leaders will meet on Monday to decide whether to call more strikes among their ambulance members because of the lack of progress in talks.

Any decision is likely to be announced later in the week.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

Meanwhile the National Education Union (NEU) and school leaders union NAHT will announce the result of ballots for strikes over pay.

The NEU announcement will be made on Monday, and the union will have to give two weeks notice of any industrial action.

A ballot of members of the NASUWT teachers union last week failed to reach the 50% turnout threshold, although nine in 10 of those who did vote backed strikes.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union are beginning 16 days of rolling strike action on Monday, with teachers in two of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas walking out each day until February 6.

Meanwhile, a strike will be held on Wednesday by Unison members at the Environment Agency in a dispute over pay.

Talks will continue between rail unions and train operators in a fresh attempt to resolve the long-running row which has led to a series of strikes since last summer.

Both sides say they are working towards a revised offer.

Members of the EIS and NASUWT unions, join the picket line at Craigmount High School in Edinburgh. Credit: PA

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) is pressing ahead with a strike on February 1 by 100,000 civil servants which will have an impact on governments, driving test centres, museums, ports and airports.

The TUC is organising a series of protests on February 1 against the government’s controversial proposed new law on strikes.

Planned legislation aimed at ensuring minimum levels of service during strikes will receive its Second Reading in Parliament on Monday.

A demonstration will be held outside Downing Street to protest against the government’s move.

PCS members working as legal advisers and court associates in more than 80 courts across England and Wales are also to take further strike action in a long-running dispute about a case management system called Common Platform.

Around 300 PCS members will take action on January 21 and January 28.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “As long as managers continue to ignore our members, our members will continue to resist the unworkable Common Platform system and fight for the integrity of the entire justice system.”

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