LONDON – Thousands of teachers, nurses, train drivers and ambulance workers will walkout in February and March as pay dispute remains unresolved in the United Kingdom.
Many unions have announced new strike dates during the week, as they continue to resist “unacceptable” pay offers.
National Education Union (NEU), the UK’s largest education union, said Monday that tens of thousands of teachers across England and Wales will walkout in February and March.
All union members in England and Wales has scheduled a walkout on Feb. 1. Another walkout by union members in Wales will transpire on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, and on Feb. 28, all members in Northern, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber regions will do their own demonstration.
Also, on March 1, all member teachers in East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern regions, on March 2 all members in London, South East, and South West regions, and on March 15 and 16 all members in England and Wales will go on strike.
Nurses who already held 2-day strike action on Wednesday and Thursday will also walkout in England and Wales after talks for better pay broke down.
If there is no progress in talks with the UK and Wales governments by the end of January, there will be strikes on Feb. 6-7, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union announced Monday.
There were also strikes by nurses in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales last month.
On Tuesday, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) union announced that train drivers in Britain will stage walkouts on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said that the union members at these 15 companies have not had a wage hike since 2019.
“It is time the companies – encouraged, perhaps, by the government – sat down with us and got serious,” he added.
Thousands of ambulance workers across Britain will stage more strikes in February and March, the GMB, a general trade union in the country, announced on Wednesday.
More than 10,000 paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other ambulance staff, at eight National Health Service (NHS) trusts will go on strike on Feb. 6, Feb. 20, March 6 and March 20.
As the UK’s pay dispute continues, the Unite’s ambulance workers will also walk out next Monday and threatened additional walkouts unless a resolution is reached.
Feb. 6 is expected to witness the largest strike in NHS history as both ambulance workers and nurses will jointly hold strike action.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the government, said Wednesday that they do not want to see strikes go ahead but reiterated the government negative stance on “inflation-boosting pay rises.”
“We’ve been clear that what we can’t do is agree to inflation-boosting pay rises or double-digit pay rises,” added the spokesperson at a briefing for members of the foreign press in London. (Anadolu)