Union bosses have warned of possible chaos this week, adding to the pandemonium already expected given this week’s three days of railroad closures
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Teachers and nurses could be the next strikes, union bosses have warned, as the country faces a week of rail strike chaos.
The National Education Union said if teachers don’t get a salary offer closer to inflation, it would plan to vote its 450,000 members.
Unison chief Christina McAnea said the government had an easy choice to give hospitals a “reasonable salary premium … or risk a potential dispute.”
Labor accused Boris Johnson’s government of failing to do its job as ministers again refused to step in to stop the rail strikes, which were due to start tomorrow.
Industrial action is now expected to spread to schools and hospitals as teachers and nurses demand fair pay.
Thousands of public sector workers rallied in Parliament Square on Saturday to demand more support.
Shadow Leveling Up secretary Lisa Nandy urged Tory ministers to “listen seriously” to workers’ concerns.
She said: “It’s not about workers striking, it’s about the fact that we have a government that is currently on strike and is not doing its job.
“This is a government that came to power in 2019 with a promise to do better, and instead there is absolute chaos.
“Havoc in the ports, havoc on the railroads, havoc at airports, havoc everywhere you go, and that’s because this government isn’t doing its job.”
Starting tomorrow, rail services across the country and on the London Underground will come to a standstill over pay, jobs and working conditions in the industry’s biggest strike in more than 30 straight years. Strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators will take place tomorrow, Thursday, Saturday and tomorrow on the London Underground.
But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps dismissed calls for negotiations, instead branding the strikes a “stunt”.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has predicted industrial action could spill over into other services as “people can’t take it anymore”.
And senior Conservative Jake Berry broke from the ranks yesterday to warn the government that “the only way out of a dispute is through negotiations”.
Mr Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of Conservatives, said: “I would urge all parties, including the Government… to sit down at the table because it will have a huge negative impact.”
Teachers and nurses were offered a 3% pay rise. Inflation is estimated at 11% this year by the Bank of England.
The National Education Union has announced it will elect its 450,000 members if teachers don’t get a salary offer closer to inflation, the Observer reported yesterday.
Unisono warned there could be industrial action in hospitals without a collective agreement close to inflation.
Unison Secretary General Christina McAnea said: “Government has a simple choice: provide reasonable compensation, invest in staff and services and reduce delays for patients, or risk potential disputes, growing labor shortages and increased suffering for the ill .”
NHS Confederation leader Victor Adebowale warned that a real pay rise for the lowest paid NHS staff was needed to avoid “a worsening of the NHS workforce crisis”.
Amid rumors of mass shutdowns, union leaders are urgently seeking talks about the future of train ticket offices.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said plans to close all ticket offices in England from September were “explosive”.
The TSSA, which elects members on industrial disputes over wages and jobs, warned that closing ticket offices would increase the likelihood of strikes.
The TUC is calling on the government to play a positive role in the rail dispute and says it has “fueled tensions” by threatening to “remove” workers’ rights.
TUC chief Frances O’Grady said: “Rather than working in good faith to find a negotiated settlement, ministers are stoking tensions. Instead of threatening to P&O workers and tear up their rights, ministers should bring people around the table to agree on a fair deal.”
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the wage iris demands were “understandable” but the government had done enough to help lower-paid workers.
He said: “Every group of workers will understandably and reasonably try to push through wage increases in line with prices.
“But if everyone does that, it means inflation gets embedded in the economy, so we’d all be better off if we all took advantage of the low-inflationary wage increases.”
The Department for Transport said: “Strikes should always be the last resort, not the first. It is extremely disappointing and premature that the RMT is proceeding with industrial action.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/huge-rail-disruption-spread-schools-27276129 Rail strikes: Teachers and nurses may join rail workers in the next phase of the strikes