Members of the FBU firefighters’ union have voted overwhelming for strike action and the union has given the government 10 days to respond before setting any strike dates. This means firefighters will join the widespread actions across the UK involving central government workers, nurses and ambulance staff along with education and rail workers. The PCS civil service union organised a national strike on 1 February and further targeted action is planned for later in the month. The TUC confederation also organised protests around the country on 1 February in protest at the government plans for more restrictions on strike action. The next strike action by the RCN nursing union will be on 6-7 February while unions (GMB, Unite, UNISON) representing ambulance staff are planning several days of strikes in February and March. There is separate industrial action in the health service including in Northern Ireland. Further strike action is also planned in the Environment Agency with UNISON now joined by members of the Prospect trade union.
Firefighters set to join public service strikes
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Fórsa members across eight health and social care professions are set to take industrial action from 11 September in dispute over the career pathway review. Over 90% voted in favour of action, demonstrating the level of frustration with negotiations that began in 2018. The workers are employed in both the public and non-profit sectors and are demanding implementation of the promised career pathway review, meaningful discussions on clinical specialisms, advanced practice and management roles. The union argues that progress on these issues is an important factor in addressing the growing level
The SIPTU trade union has announced dates for industrial action by water workers and retained (part-time) firefighters in June. Water workers currently employed by local authorities face restructuring as a new national water company is established. The dispute is over the failure of local authorities to guarantee the protection of all pay and conditions if the workers choose to remain with their local authority. The firefighters’ action is over pay and the serious staff shortages in the sector which are putting extra pressure on existing staff who often forego holidays in order to ensure cover
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