Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at every Further Education college in Northern Ireland staged a one-day strike on the 24th March. The UCU cites issues with pay and workload, and only receiving a 3.8% pay increase over the last seven years.
The proposed 1% pay-rise for all NHS staff in Britain – a pay-cut in real terms – has rightfully led to widespread anger across a workforce who have been on the frontline in fighting the pandemic.
At a record breaking live stream with over 7,000 members, the Communication Workers’ Union leadership announced that talks with the management of BT Group (BT, EE and Openreach) had broken down, and that they now intend to initiate a national ballot for industrial action.
The pitiful submission by the Tories of a 1% increase for all NHS staff to the Pay Review Board is a huge kick in the teeth to all those frontline workers. The government’s hypocritical excuse for the award is that they cannot afford it. This jaw dropping assertion has left even media commentators agog at the Tories’ complete underestimation of the mood in the workplace and the wider public. As soon as the information was made public on March 6th, nurses’ social media posts began to hum with fury and rage, as well as understandable despair. Sunak had just delivered a budget which had committed to spend another £65bn in the next 4 months and then claimed there was no money left!