Tens of thousands of UCU members – including lecturers, librarians and researchers – went on strike on Thursday over wages, working conditions and pensions.
Security guards at University College London, members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, walked out last week on a separate action.
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RMT members working for rail and train operating companies have announced their intention to strike over the Christmas and New Year period. A separate strike of drivers from Aslife members is scheduled for Saturday.
Last week, the health secretary promised to meet six of the biggest trade unions in a bid to find a deal that would avert the proposed NHS strike.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), one of the six, already voted to strike in December after the government insisted their demands for a salary increase of 5% above inflation this year were “unreasonable”.
Strikes over wages are set to continue on Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmas after members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) rejected Royal Mail’s offer.
Unite members working for Abellio in south and west London pulled out in the first of a series of actions over November and December.Read:Live updates as homes evacuated due to ‘large fire’ in Nottinghamshire
In Scotland, tens of thousands of teachers went on strike on Thursday, in the first nationwide school strike since the 1980s. The action was triggered by a long-running wage dispute and is expected to continue with more strikes. Members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association and NASUWT in Scotland also plan to go out in early December.
Elsewhere in the UK, the National Association of Headteachers and the National Education Federation vote for teachers and headteachers in England and Wales, while members of the former in Northern Ireland also vote. The Association of School and College Leaders also opened its first advisory ballot, asking members if they support the official strike ballot.Read:Police appeal after rape reported in Pavilion Gardens, Brighton
Members of the Commercial and Public Services Union, which represents 150,000 civil servants, voted to strike and plan to brief members on next steps Thursday night.
The union president threatened to deport his members on the same day as their colleagues in other unions to show solidarity. Mark Sirotka suggested that road officials could take action on the same day with railroad workers, and border force officials on the same day with airport staff, to create maximum disruption.
The firefighters union plans to start balloting members to strike in December, with an outcome expected in January, after they rejected an offer that would have been a real pay cut.