With the UK government still refusing to negotiate on pay, the RCN nursing union is planning its biggest strike action so far for 48 hours from the morning of 1 March to the morning of 3 March. It will impact 128 NHS employers across England and involve all members in workplaces with a mandate to strike. This follows the two days of strikes on 6-7 February which were already a step up from the level of action in December. In the same week ambulance workers also maintained their campaign over pay with action spread over several days involving UNISON, Unite and the GMB and with more areas voting to join the strikes (Unite, GMB). The targeted action by the PCS union across central government continues up to 1 March when there will be another full one-day strike to coincide with the government’s budget announcement. There was a second day of strike action at the Environment Agency on 8 February involving UNISON and Prospect. Workers in universities are involved in a series of strikes over pay between 16 and 24 February, following several stoppages last autumn. Meanwhile, the threat of strike action by the FBU firefighters’ union produced an improved pay offer from the employers up from 5% to 7% backdated to July 2022 and a further 5% in July this year. The union leadership is recommending that members accept.
No let-up in strike action across public services
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Industrial action continues across public services
Members of UNISON at the Environment Agency will take four more days of strike action on 14-17 April with the employers failing to respond to calls to negotiate on an improved pay offer. After the latest strike day on 31 March, health workers in Northern Ireland have called off further action pending a re-opening of negotiations over pay. This is separate from the pay dispute in England where unions are awaiting the response to their consultation of members over a revised pay offer. However, junior doctors in England in the BMA trade union, who are covered by a separate agreement, are
Action across public services
A one-day strike by ver.di members at airports around the country took place on 17 February partly in support of the negotiations in federal and municipal government and partly in support of separate negotiations in ground handling services and aviation security. On 13 February, ver.di members around the country submitted early years education plans to local archives and museums as a gesture to highlight that they are currently impossible to implement. The union estimates that childcare services currently lack of 170,000 trained staff. Ver.di has also negotiated an agreement on staffing at the
Strike in private hospitals and across public services
Nurses in Portugal have been involved in strike action in both private and public sectors. The SEP trade union organised a one-day strike on 16 March over pay, hours and other conditions in the private sector and it joined a larger strike across public services on 17 March with similar demands and involving other public service trade unions, including STAL.