Who is on strike on Thursday and why are they striking?
The wave of strikes continues to sweep across the UK, with thousands of physiotherapists, university and Department for Work and Pensions staff walking out on Thursday in various disputes.
Physiotherapists on strike
Members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists from 33 trusts will be walking out on Thursday February 9. This includes about 4,500 staff striking over pay disputes, working conditions and staff shortages. This is the second day of the union’s industrial action, affecting 60 trusts across England.
Due to a severe lack of staff, many physiotherapy departments are unable to assess enough patients to discharge them and free up space in overcrowded hospitals.
University staff on strike
On Thursday February 9 university staff began their 48-hour walkout after an overwhelming rejection of a “low-ball” pay offer. Around 70,000 staff at 150 universities across the UK will walk out, affecting up to 2.5 million students. This is because of continuing pay disputes among university staff after a 5 per cent pay award was rejected by 80 per cent of members from the University and College Union (UCU).
UCU has accused university bosses of being “in hiding” after failed negotiations for an improved pay offer.
Its general secretary, Jo Grady, said of the strike action: “The university sector in the UK has over £40bn sitting in reserves but, instead of using that vast wealth to deliver a cost-of-living pay rise and reverse devastating pension cuts, university vice-chancellors would rather force staff to take strike action and see campuses shut down.”
She added: “Students understand that staff working conditions are their learning conditions and we are proud to have their support in these disputes.”
Department for Work and Pensions on strike
Civil servants from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will embark on a 20-day strike starting on Thursday. Alongside civil servants, Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members for the DWP will be involved in the strike action.
Members of the PCS said their action is a “response to the lack of movement from the Government on their demands on pay, pensions and job security”.
About 500 members from the union in Bolton and Stockport, including 170 members in job centres will walk out over the next three weeks.
Workers say they are are striking because of years of real terms take-home pay cuts, changes to pension entitlement and deteriorating working conditions.