With the government refusing to negotiate on pay, health and other public service workers are set to continue their campaigns of industrial action into the new year. The RCN nursing union has announced two further strikes days (18-19 January) following its historic first national strike action in December. Unions representing ambulance workers (UNISON, Unite and GMB) will also take further action in England (11 and 23 January) and could be joined by colleagues in Wales who have just voted to take action. Meanwhile central government union PCS has a timetable for more targeted action across five departments and agencies that will run from 5 to 16 January.
Public service strikes continue into January
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Following the rejection of the mediation proposal last month, nurses have continued their strike action for higher pay. The DSR nursing union membership voted to reject the public sector deal negotiated earlier this year because it failed to address low pay in the sector. The union has been highlighting recent data to support their case including a fall in applications for nursing education to the lowest level since 2013. The union also found that 5% of nurses had left the profession last month because of low pay and overwork and that pay for overtime had cost employers over DKK 500 million in
The RCN nursing union launched its first ever campaign of industrial action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 15 December and followed up with a second strike on 20 December. The union has said further action may follow in January if the government fails to commit to negotiations on pay. On 21 December, three unions representing ambulance workers – UNISON, UNITE and GMB – organised a first day of strike action in England and Wales over pay with plans for a second walkout on 28 December. Meanwhile, the PCS union launched its targeted industrial action across central government and
In Northern Ireland, industrial action in the health service, organised by the UNISON and NIPSA trade unions began on 5 December and was due to be stepped up with a one-day strike on 12 December. The RCN nurses’ union will take strike action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the first time ever with the dates announced as 15 and 20 December. Ambulance workers – represented by UNISON, GMB and UNITE – have also voted for strike over most regions of England and Wales with action planned for 21 December. In Scotland, health unions are consulting over an improved pay offer that would