Tens of thousands of members of the University and College Union – including lecturers, librarians and researchers – went on strike on Thursday over pay, working conditions and pensions.
Security guards at University College London who are members of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain walked out last week in a separate strike.
RMT members working for Network Rail and train operators announced their intention to strike over the Christmas and New Year period. A separate strike by drivers who are members of Aslef will take place on Saturday.
Last week the health secretary promised to meet six of the biggest unions in a bid to find a deal that would avert proposed strike action in the NHS.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), one of the six, have already voted to strike in December after the government insisted their demand for a pay rise of 5% above inflation this year was “not affordable”.
Pay strikes are set to continue around Black Friday and before Christmas after members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected Royal Mail’s offer.
Unite members working for Abellio in south and west London have walked out in 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 expected to continue with further redundancies. And members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association and NASUWT in Scotland are also planning to walk out in early December.
Elsewhere in the UK, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Education Union vote for teachers and principals in England and Wales, while members of the former in Northern Ireland also vote. And the Association of School and College Heads has also opened its first advisory ballot, asking members whether they support a formal vote on strike action.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents 150,000 civil servants, have voted in favor of strike action and plan to update members on next steps on Thursday evening.
The head of the trade union has threatened to take its members out on the same day as colleagues in other unions to show solidarity. Mark Serwotka suggested that road officials could take action on the same day as rail workers, and Border Force officials on the same day as airport staff, to cause maximum disruption.
The firefighters union plans to start balloting members for strike action in December, with a result expected in January, after they rejected an offer that would have represented a real pay cut.