Saturday marks strike action for two workforces in Britain.
Ambulance drivers, teachers, Border Force staff and power plant workers have already downed tools this week.
Today, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff in Liverpool are walking out as part of a national campaign over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms.
Those at Toxteth Jobcentre, Liverpool Duke Street Jobcentre, Liverpool City Jobcentre and Liverpool Innovation Park Jobcentre will strike.
Unions have cautioned that its lowest-paid members earn just £21,000 a year.
But the DWP insists raising wages ‘would cost the country an unaffordable £2.4 billion at a time when our focus must be on bringing down inflation to ease the pressure on households across the country’.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) members in Swansea and Birmingham are also staging industrial action in a similar dispute.
Those working on Drivers Medical have been asked to strike for six days overall, but are promised their full rate of pay from the union.
A DVLA spokesperson previously said: ‘It is very disappointing that PCS is incentivising union members by paying them to take part in action.’
More walkouts announced
Yesterday, junior doctors in England revealed they would strike for three days next month in the increasingly bitter dispute over pay.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said the workers had ‘no option’ and would walk out from March 13, having voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action earlier this month.
The BMA said that junior doctors have called on Health Secretary Steve Barclay twice in the past week to meet with them urgently, but added that no date had been set.
A meeting with Department of Health civil servants earlier this week yielded nothing in terms of meaningful progress, said the BMA, adding that the minister had refused to attend.
The co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, said patients and public alike need to know the blame for the strike action ‘lies squarely at the Government’s door’.
They said: ‘The fact that so many junior doctors in England have voted yes for strike action should leave Ministers in absolutely no doubt what we have known for a long time and have been trying to tell them, we are demoralised, angry and no longer willing to work for wages that have seen a real terms decline of over 26% in the past 15 years.
‘This, together with the stress and exhaustion of working in an NHS in crisis, has brought us to this moment, brought us to a 72-hour walk out.’
The British Dental Association announced that dentists working in hospitals employed under the junior contract will join the 72-hour walkout after voting for industrial action.
Eddie Crouch, chairman of the organisation, said: ‘This small but important group of dentists are working to the same contracts as their medical colleagues, and like them are not worth a penny less than they were 15 years ago.
‘Our members will down drills until the government comes back to the table with a serious offer.’
Miriam Deakin, director of policy at NHS Providers, said the strikes would result in ‘significant ramifications’ for care.
She said: ‘Trust leaders are deeply concerned by the details of the BMA junior doctors’ 72-hour strike next month.
‘The possibility of a full stoppage of work by striking junior doctors in this period, including nights and on-call shifts, will have significant ramifications for patient care.
‘This unprecedented scale of industrial action in the NHS threatens to cause serious disruption to patients, which is the last thing anyone wants. It will also likely hamper the hard efforts of NHS staff to tackle backlogs and meet elective targets.
‘We understand junior doctors feel they’ve been pushed to this point by factors including below-inflation pay uplifts and the vast workforce shortages.
‘As ever, trust leaders will be working flat out to ensure disruption is minimised on strike dates, but they desperately need action on a national level to bring this to an end.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article