FEBRUARY 27, 2023

By Harry Mottram: The winter of discontent continues with more industrial action on the way as workers across the country including Bath decide to strike. So far there has been the largest NHS strike in history that has included nurses and the biggest walkout of ambulance staff for years.

February witnessed the biggest day of industrial action in more than a decade as teachers, university staff, train drivers, civil servants, bus drivers and security guards all went on strike in a campaign for higher wages and better conditions. As we enter March more industrial action is planned although at the moment the nurses’ union is in talks with the Government. Almost all the strikes across the various sectors are about higher wages due to the effect of double digit inflation and improved working conditions.

Junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association have planned a 72 walk out on 15 March 2023. Around 98% of junior doctors who took part in the ballot voted to strike, with the BMA recording a turnout of 77.5%.

Ambulance staff plan to strike on 6 and 20 March as GMB and Unite members take industrial action in most parts of the country while on 8 March will also see a walk out by Unison members in the South West. The latest strikes included 25,000 paramedics, emergency care assistants, ambulance technicians, call handlers and other 999 crew members from the Unison, GMB and Unite unions down tools. 

Nurses will go on strike on 8 March if they are Unison members. For the rest of the nurses the strike is paused at the moment as talks are held. The RCN and the Department of Health and Social Care gave this joint statement: “Both sides are committed to finding a fair and reasonable settlement that recognises the vital role that nurses and nursing play in the National Health Service and the wider economic pressures facing the United Kingdom and the prime minister’s priority to halve inflation. The talks will focus on pay, terms and conditions, and productivity enhancing reforms.”

But nurses who belong to Unison have announced they will go out on strike on Wednesday 8 March. They will be joined by workers at NHS Blood and Transplant and associated staff at a number of hospitals in the UK.

Physiotherapists from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) went on strike on last month but are considering further action.

On the railways there are stoppages planned on the 16, 18 and 30 March and 1 April with action taken by the Rail Maritime and Transport Union.

Civil servants plan walk outs on 1-3 March although it is hard to know how many will do so in Bath but on 15 March some 100,000 civil servants from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will take action in pursuit of higher wages.

Teachers will take action on 2 March in the South West and on 15-16 March as members of The National Education Union (NEU)  union also strike.

University staff have slated 1-2, 16-17, 20-22 March as strike days for those in the University College Union (UCU). The UCU is in dispute with those universities over the pay, pensions and working conditions.

Along with the nurses, fire fighters and postal workers have taken action but currently their industrial action has been paused.

The photo is of Staff at Bath Spa University staff. Pic from UNISON

Bath Voice Monthly Newspaper is distributed free to thousands of homes and some supermarkets – out on the first of each month. Harry Mottram is the News Editor

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