Tens of thousands of members of the Universities and Colleges Union – including professors, librarians and researchers – went on strike on Thursday, over wages, working conditions and pensions.
Security guards at University College London, members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, quit last week in a separate action.
RMT members working for Network Rail and the rail operating companies have announced their intention to strike over the Christmas and New Year period. A separate strike by Aslef member drivers is due to take place on Saturday.
Health care workers
Last week the Health Secretary promised to meet with six of the biggest unions in a bid to hammer out a deal that would avert a proposed strike in the NHS.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), one of six, already voted to strike in December after the government insisted their demand for a pay rise above inflation 5% this year was “not affordable”.
Pay strikes are due to take place around Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmas after members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected the Royal Mail’s offer.
Unite members working for Abellio in south and west London walked out on the first of a series of actions in November and December.
In Scotland, tens of thousands of teachers went on strike on Thursday, in the first nationwide school strike since the 1980s. The action is over a long-running pay dispute and is set to continue with further walkouts . And members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association and NASUWT in Scotland are also planning a release in early December.
Elsewhere in the UK, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Education Union vote for teachers and head teachers in England and Wales, while members of the former in Northern Ireland also vote. And the Association of School and College Leaders also opened its first advisory ballot, asking members if they support a formal strike ballot.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents 150,000 civil servants, voted to strike and plan to brief members on next steps on Thursday evening.
The head of the union threatened to kick his members out on the same day as colleagues from other unions out of solidarity. Mark Serwotka suggested road officials could act on the same day as railway workers and Border Force officials on the same day as airport staff, to cause maximum disruption.
The firefighters’ union plans to start voting members for strike action in December, with an expected result in January, after it turned down an offer that would have meant a pay cut in real terms.