Large-scale strike action is being held this month as many unions across industries have released industrial action dates, which coincide with the Conservative Party conference.
The Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act became law back in July, which has enforced legally mandated levels of service for key sectors, such as the NHS, during strikes. This also gives the ability for supervisors and managers to fire employees who ignore notices to come into work during strike days.
In response to the passing of this bill, the TUC has submitted a case to the International Labour Organization (ILO), believing that the Strikes Act fails to align with ILO standards.
We have summarised the important dates in October (England only) across sectors below.
Junior doctors in England have gone on strike from 2-4 October, also joined by consultants. The strike involves members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospitals Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA).
Members of Unite at Barts Health NHS Trust and outsourcing linen service company Synergy have also gone on strike from 2-4 October. Joining on 4 October, members at East London NHS Trust will also go on strike. These workers going on strike include nurses, biomedical scientists, clinical engineers, porters, cleaners and auxiliary staff.
On 3 October, radiographers affiliated with the Society of Radiographers (SoR) will go on strike for 24 hours from 8:00 a.m.
Train drivers represented by the Aslef union will strike on 4 October. They are also planning an overtime ban on 29 September and 2-6 October. This will affect 16 train companies across the UK. This is in protest over pay and conditions as Aslef is demanding a 7% pay rise, while train companies are offering 2%.
London Underground workers represented by the RMT union will strike on 4 and 6 October. This will cause disruption to all London Underground lines.
The RMT is protesting over job cuts and pay. The union says that Transport for London (TfL) is planning to cut thousands of jobs and that this will lead to a reduction in services.
Dozens of GMB members working for Manchester Metrolink have voted to strike on 29 September and 6, 13 and 20 October. This will affect Metrolink services in Manchester.
More than 200 Imperial College London workers, members of the Unite union, are set to strike over pay on October 2, 3, and 18. The workers have rejected a pay deal of 5.5%, which they say is a real-terms pay cut due to inflation.
University support staff members of the Unison union at several universities in England and Scotland have voted to strike over a “sub-par” pay offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).
Specific dates have not yet been announced. The universities affected in England are Bedfordshire, Bristol, Liverpool, Liverpool Hope, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan, Sussex, Winchester, and SOAS University of London.
The further 13 universities that have met the threshold for strike action are the University of Dundee, University of Gloucestershire, University of the West of England, Leeds Trinity University, University of Brighton, Glasgow School of Art, Solent University, Plymouth Marjon University, Arts University Bournemouth, University of Glasgow, City University, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the University of Chichester.
Further education (FE) college staff in England are voting on whether to take strike action over low pay and poor working conditions. The ballot will run at 89 English college employers until October 10, and strikes could follow in October if staff vote in favour.
Civil Servants Strike
Over 250 Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members working for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will take 14 more days of strike action on October 11-12, 17-18, 23-27, and 30 October-November 3.
This follows a previous strike from September 5-18, in protest at TPR’s refusal to match the pay of other civil service employers. TPR is offering a 3% pay rise, while all other employers are paying 4.5%, with an additional 0.5% of the overall pay pot targeted at the lowest-paid staff.