1. Governance
September 21, 2023

When are the next strikes in the UK?

From the NHS to transport infrastructure, industrial strike action is set to continue across the UK. Find out how it affects you.

By Ben Kosma

Strikes and other industrial action have been an everpresent occurrence in 2022, and it does not look like they are stopping any time soon.

Thousands of workers are still planning work stoppages, mostly due to unfavourable working conditions and the pressure that the cost-of-living crisis is putting on their wages.

From teachers to junior doctors, strikes have now spread to virtually every sector, and while some of the most impactful disputes are now suspended for talks, there is no shortage of other walkouts.

When are the next strikes?


junior doctors strike
Crowds gather as people take part in a junior doctor’s strike in Trafalgar Square on April 11 2023 in London. Junior doctors in England are holding a 96-hour walkout hoping to achieve full pay restoration after seeing their pay cut by more than a quarter since 2008. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Junior and senior doctors are currently in the midst of an unprecedented wave of joint strikes between September and October.

Following strike dates on 19 and 20 September, both junior doctors and consultants are set to walk out again for three days between 2 and 4 October. Staffing will be reduced to Christmas Day levels.

The union is campaigning for junior doctors’ pay restoration and has warned of the recent increase in overseas health services offering higher rates to incentivise British health professionals to work overseas.

BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said: “Junior doctors and consultants walk the same wards, look after the same patients in an underfunded and poorly staffed NHS. It is becoming ever clearer that this Government does not value us or our work and nor does it really value patient care.

“Never before have NHS consultants and junior doctors been forced to strike together for days on end, but that is where we have been brought by this Government. They must act to address our pay erosion, so that the NHS is able to train the doctors that we currently have, and to ensure that we have enough consultants to train the senior doctors of the future.”

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Train strikes caused travel disruption in December 2022. (Photo by William Barton/Shutterstock)

In the latest development of a dispute lasting more than a year, rail staff are set to walk out once more between 30 September and 6 October.

ASLEF train drivers will strike on 30 September and 4 October, halting services on 16 train lines, as well as undertaking an overtime ban lasting up to 6 October. Along with national walkouts, RMT workers on the London Underground will stage an overlapping strike on 4 and 6 October.

ASLEF Mick Whelan cited the lack of engagement from the government as justification for the strike, having last spoken to the Secretary of State for Transport in December 2022, while the RMT is striking to prevent staffing cuts and safety issues.

[Read more: Will the national rail strike affect London’s Tube and Overground?]


Arriva North London bus depot in wood green, where bus driver strikes are set to take place
Arriva North London bus drivers are set to strike (Photo by Yau Ming Low/Shutterstock)

Go North East bus drivers have scheduled two separate week-long strikes to take place from 30 September to 6 October and 14 to 20 October. The action will affect services in Consett, Gateshead, Hexham, Percy Main (North Shields), Sunderland and Washington.

Staff in the Unite union are making the choice to strike after management refused to return to the negotiating table.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Go North East need to take a long hard look at themselves and how appallingly they’ve treated their workforce.”

This follows previous bus strikes which have each been resolved, including by Arriva and Abellio workers in London, who secured a 7% and 18% pay rise respectively.


Nurses on the picket line. (Photo by ImageryBT/Shutterstock)

The dispute between nurses and the government has been put aside for the moment with hopes of settling on a pay rise for over one million NHS staff, including nurses, midwives, security guards and cleaners.

If the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) accepts the proposal, Agenda for Change members will receive a non-consolidated 2% pay rise for 2022 and 2023, and a permanent 5% rise for the financial year of 2023/24.

Even if the strikes are suspended for now, not everyone is happy with this deal. Harry Eccles, a clinical nurse specialist, told the Guardian: “It’s an insulting offer. It goes nowhere near what we set out to achieve. The job of nurses like me is to speak to our colleagues across the United Kingdom, across different unions to say we need to reject this.”

Wales has already rejected an offered financial settlement and, even though Scotland has accepted the Scottish Government’s pay offer, England is still on the fence.


There are no teacher strikes planned after all four teacher unions accepted the most recent offer put forward by the government.

Union members voted overwhelmingly to accept the 6.5% pay increase, which equates to a boost of £2,500 per year for the average teacher.

The accepted offer is “properly funded” in the sense that it will not come from the existing budgets of schools – a point of contention in previous offers.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, told the BBC: “It’s not all that we wanted, and we will continue to campaign for better school funding and for a restoration of teacher pay – but for a one-year pay award, it is a significant achievement.”

University staff

University staff around the country have been striking over disputes with management for reasons including below-inflation pay rises and a row over pay docking.

University of Sheffield UCU staff are striking until 29 September while Unison support staff at 21 universities in England and Scotland will walk out on 2 and 3 October.

UNISON head of education Mike Short said: “Support staff play a crucial role helping students through university, but they’ve endured years of real-terms pay cuts.

“Many can’t support themselves as prices of food, fuel and household bills continue to rise. Some are having to leave for better-paid jobs elsewhere and that risks leaving millions of students facing a worsening university experience. Universities must improve wages.”

Civil Service and public bodies

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is in the midst of a wave of strikes that started in December and are set to last “well into 2023”.

Some 124 government departments have given a mandate to strike in total, citing “a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms” as demands.

Currently, the London Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (Mopac) is set to strike from 20 to 22 September and again on 25 and 26 September after they did not receive a £1,500 cost-of-living payment different to civil servants.

For exact strike dates and areas, visit the PCS website.

What is causing the strikes?

The strike action up to now and the upcoming planned walkouts have largely been in response to real-term pay cuts in the face of the cost-of-living crisis, and, in some cases, redundancies, pensions and working conditions.

This has been strongly exacerbated by inflation at highs not seen in decades.

[Read more: How will train strikes affect London’s tube and overground?]

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