Strike action is continuing to disrupt key services as trade unions walk out in disputes over pay and working conditions amid the cost of living crisis
Junior doctors’ strike
The strike will begin on Monday 13 March and conclude on the morning of Thursday 16 March, the BMA has confirmed.
Up to 47,600 medics will walkout of hospitals without providing emergency cover, after an overwhelming majority supported industrial action. It marks a dramatic escalation in the battle between NHS staff and the Government over a better pay deal.
The strike will involve a full stoppage of work, including nights, on-call shifts and non-resident work.
In smaller-scale action, junior doctors represented by the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have also voted to strike.
The union said 397 people out of the 531 who were entitled to vote took part in the ballot, with the action set to take place on Wednesday 15 March, meaning it will overlap with the BMA walkout.
On Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March, National Education Union (NEU) members in England and Wales will once again take nationwide industrial action.
Union members are not required to inform their employers if they plan to strike. Schools will decide how to handle strike days in their region on an individual basis, and should contact parents and guardians in advance with arrangements.
It is likely that many schools will be forced to either close or partially close.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “I think a majority of schools will be affected by the dispute – some of them with full closures and many more with partial closures.
“Some secondary schools will be completely closed, others will have particular year groups in and a similar pattern in lots of lots of primary schools.”
The Department for Education (DfE) had said on its Education Hub blog: “In the event of strike action at a school, the school leaders or local authority that manages the school will take all reasonable steps to keep the school open for as many pupils as possible.”
It has published guidance in order to “minimise disruption to children and families”.
Scottish teachers have suspended their strike action after receiving a pay offer which would give them a 14.6 per cent pay rise over 28 months.
Andrea Bradley, the general secretary of the EIS, said they would recommend that members accept the offer.
Rail workers at 14 major companies will walk out on the following dates:
- Thursday 16 March
- Saturday 18 March
- Thursday 30 March
- Saturday 1 April
The following rail operators will be affected by the strikes:
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Anglia
- Great Northern
- Great Western
- South Western
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands
RMT members working for Network Rail were also set to strike on 16 March, with the walkout ending at 2am on 17 March. However, on 7 March the RMT announced that this strike had been suspended, after staff were offered a new pay deal.
The union said: “The RMT National Executive Committee has taken the decision to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail following receipt of a new offer from the employer. Further updates will be given on all aspects of the national rail dispute in the coming days.”
Previous action by the RMT – which had included workers from Network Rail – has seen up to 80 per cent of the rail network brought to a halt.
Most operators ran either no trains at all or a severely reduced service, with trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual.
Tube drivers represented by Aslef will strike on Wednesday 15 March, with most of the London Underground expected to grind to a halt. Staff represented by the RMT will join the action.
Aslef said 99 per cent of drivers had voted in favour of walking out, saying management had failed to “accept that changes to our working arrangements and pensions should only happen by agreement”.
The RMT said London Underground Ltd (LUL) “have started to impose 600 station staff job losses and have refused to rule out attacks on pensions or ripping up agreements on conditions of work despite discussions with the union”.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, said: “Our members will never accept job losses, attacks on their pensions or changes to working conditions in order to pay for a funding cut which is the Government’s political decision.
“Tube workers provide an essential service to the capital, making sure the city can keep moving and work long hours in demanding roles.
“In return they deserve decent pensions, job security and good working conditions and RMT will fight and tooth nail to make sure that’s what they get.”
Civil servants’ strike
About 100,000 civil servants are set to strike on Wednesday 15 March – the day of the Spring Budget – the Public and Commercial Services union has announced.
The action will affect dozens of key services and government departments, including the DVLA, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Education, the Home Office, the Department for Transport, National Highways and the UK Health Security Agency.
University staff represented by the University and College Union (UCU) will strike again on the following dates in March:
- Wednesday 15 March
- Thursday 16 March
- Friday 17 March
- Monday 20 March
- Tuesday 21 March
- Wednesday 22 March
The action includes academics, librarians and other university staff. The union paused strikes planned for late February and early March after positive discussions about a pay deal. Discussions are ongoing, but at present, the remaining strikes are set to go ahead.
The National Union of Students (NUS) is backing staff taking the strike action, which will affect 2.5 million students. Find a full list of universities affected here.