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HomeLatest NewsMarch 17: Who’s on strike today and how will it affect you?

March 17: Who’s on strike today and how will it affect you?

Amazon workers and university staff are walking out today (Picture:

This week has seen huge strike disruption on the Tube, in education and several government departments.

Today, while those using public transport will welcome some much needed respite, university staff and Amazon workers are heading to the picket lines.

It is the second day in a row this week that members of the the education University and College Union (UCU) have walked out.

The action has been part of strikes hitting 150 universities across the country, over pay, working conditions and pension cuts.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: ‘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.  

‘There is a clear route out of these disputes, but at present vice-chancellors lack the political will to take it. They are failing staff who want to get back to work, and students who want to get on with their studies.  

‘Students understand that staff working conditions are their learning conditions and we are proud to have their support in these disputes. A system that relies on low pay and the rampant use of insecure contracts is a system which fails everyone. 

Members of the UCU on their picket line at London College of Communication (Picture: Getty)
University staff have taken industrial action at 150 universities across the country (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘A resolution can be reached, but that is in the gift of university vice-chancellors who need to urgently reassess their priorities and deliver a deal that benefits staff and students.’

Meanwhile Amazon workers in Coventry have been taking part in industrial action all week.

The company saw its staff members stage the first-ever strike in the UK on January 25, when around 300 walked out after being offered a pay rise the GMB union says is worth 50p-an-hour.

Workers said ‘robots in the warehouse are treated better than them’ and claimed they are constantly being monitored and scolded if they have ‘idle time’ for even a few minutes.

Amazon staff claim ‘robots are treated better than them’ (Picture: Reuters)
Members of the GMB union on the picket line outside the Amazon fulfilment centre in Coventry (Picture: PA)

While the strike saga remains fairly bleak, today saw a big breakthrough in the negotiations with the NHS.

The Government has announced it has offered a new deal with nurses’ unions, however, it has to still be accepted by staff.

For over a week the Unions and the Government have been at loggerheads over pay, and it has taken several months of disruption for the offer to arise.

The NHS Staff Council representing nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS workers – has said it has completed negotiations and reached a final offer.

The offer consists of a one-off payment for the current financial year 2022/23 worth between £1,655 and £3,789 for Agenda for Change staff in England and a 5% consolidated pay increase for 2023/24. 

In an additional commitment to the nurses and ambulance staff, the government has agreed to create a new pay spine exclusively for all nursing staff with the intention of it coming into force for 2024/25. 

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