This month, we have seen the beginnings of a wave of strike action happening across the UK. Early this month, on 1 February, the nation experienced a national day of action. Demands across the industries are similar, with the main point being pay rises to match the rising inflation rates. Disruptions are expected, with the strikes affecting various critical industries.
Below we have listed the industries that will be on strike this year, so far.
University staff, have started industrial action since 24 November. Spread across 150 universities, involving around 70,000 academic staff, and joined by non-academic staff of 19 universities who are members of Unison.
The reason for the strike is the ongoing dispute over pay, pension and conditions that they feel have been left unresolved. The strikes are expected to last 18 days, as announced by the University and College Union (UCU).
Expected strike dates include:
- 1 February
- 9-10 February
- 14-16 February
- 21-23 February
- 27 February – 2 March
- 16-17 February
- 20-22 March
Abellio bus drivers in South London and West London, represented by Unite, went on strike between 1- 3 February. These strikes were a continuation of the 20 strike days that started late last year. Disputes over pay are also the reason behind industrial action for bus drivers. The strike involved 1,900 bus drivers based in Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham and Walworth.
On the national day of strikes, 1 February, civil servants who are part of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) went on strike. Like other industries, the disputes were over salaries, working conditions and job security.
The strike was joined by 124 government departments, a continuation of walkouts seen last year that were joined by Border Force workers, National Highways staff and driving examiners. The demands of the civil servants included a 10% pay rise to match inflation rates.
The majority of schools in England and Wales were closed on 1 February, and are expected to close again on 15-16 March due to teachers going on strike. Additionally, one-day regional strikes are also expected on 14 and 28 February as well as 1-2 March. In Wales, school support workers will also strike.
For schools in Scotland, strikes were held on 24 November – which was the first nationwide school strike in around 40 years. Each local authority has also been experiencing strikes since 16 January lasting up to 6 February.
Teachers in Northern Ireland also have an ongoing industrial action, with unions considering joint strikes this month. Currently, there is a half-day strike expected to happen on 21 February.
Health Workers, Doctors and Nurses
Professions within the healthcare industry that have or will be going on strike include:
Royal College of Nursing in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have continued their strike action that began in December. For Scotland, members have paused the action to allow for talks with the Scottish government
Nurses in England went on strike on 18-19 January, with further dates on 6-7 February. The February dates involve 73 NHS trusts in England.
Ambulance workers part of the GMB union in England and Wales have continued strike action that started last year. Disputes over pay remain unsolved which has caused further strike dates planned. Upcoming dates can be found on this link.
- Junior Doctors
Junior doctors associated with the British Medical Association (BMA) will go on strike if the current ballot results in “YES”. As it stands, the strikes planned for 72 Hours in March will include refusing to provide emergency care.
On 7 February, midwives that are part of the RCM in Wales will go on strike from 8 am to 4 pm.
9 February is scheduled as a strike day for members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy at 33 NHS trusts in England.
The RMT, Aslef and the TSSA are three railway unions currently in dispute with railway companies. The RMT is currently considering an offer made by the Rail Delivery Group, while Aslef had strike action on 1 and 3 February. For the TSSA, there is an ongoing ballot that will close on 28 February to determine strike action.
There is also an expected strike action on London’s Bakerloo Line with no set date yet.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has voted to strike in England, Scotland and Wales. Strike Dates will be announced on 9 February.
Environment Agency staff will strike for 12 hours, starting at 7 am on 8 February as a continuation of their strikes on 18 January and action on 7 February. Growing challenges from climate change and the cost-of-living crisis have motivated these strikes.
Amazon warehouse workers in Coventry staged the first walkout in the UK on 25 January. Disputes include a rise in pay of 50p to £10.50 per hour.