Strike action has now been disrupting key UK services for well over a year, as unions fight for better pay and conditions for their members during times of high inflation and soaring living costs.
Consultants and junior doctors will stage a historic joint strike starting later this month, putting huge pressure on the NHS, while widespread action is also planned at UK universities.
And now train drivers have announced two more days of strike action as their long-running dispute with rail companies over pay shows no sign of reaching a conclusion.
Here are all the major strikes scheduled for October 2023, broken down by industry.
The most recent rail strikes were staged on Friday 1 September and Saturday 2 September, by the Aslef drivers’ union and the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) respectively.
Aslef members working at 16 rail companies will strike again on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October.
The union is also implementing a ban on working overtime on Friday 29 September and from Monday 2 to Friday 6 October.
The following operators will be affected by the action:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Greater Anglia
- GTR Great Northern Thameslink
- Great Western Railway
- Island Line
- Northern Trains
- Southern, including Gatwick Express
- South Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
Aslef said the action will “force the train operating companies to cancel all services and the ban on overtime will seriously disrupt the network”.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) could also call strikes in October. There is currently no action planned, but RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said industrial action will continue until the union reaches a “negotiated settlement” with rail bosses.
The union currently has a mandate to strike until November. Unions involved in disputes have to re-ballot their members every six months to legally continue with strikes and other forms of action.
Junior doctors and consultants will unite to take joint strike action over pay for the first time in the history of the NHS.
The British Medical Association (BMA) confirmed that NHS workers would walk out over four days in September and three days in October.
Junior doctors from the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) – the hospital doctors’ union – will also join the strike.
Consultants will strike on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September, with “Christmas Day cover” planned for these dates.
Junior doctors will strike on Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September.
Consultants and junior doctors will strike again on Monday 2, Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 October.
Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, the joint chairs of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, warned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Steve Barclay that their members would continue striking until spring 2025 if necessary.
Support staff at 20 universities in England and Scotland, including cleaners and librarians, will strike at the beginning of October.
Unison said there would be co-ordinated action for at least two days by more than 5,000 staff at the start of the new term. Its members at 16 universities in England will walk out on Monday 2 and Wednesday 3 October, with many striking on additional dates, while a series of walkouts will take place in Scotland later this month at four institutions in Glasgow and Dundee.
You can find a full list of dates and affected institutions here.
It follows a widespread strike in September, during which staff at 140 universities across the UK will strike for five days in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.
The University and College Union (UCU) is seeking an above-inflation pay rise for its members, saying that pay has fallen by a quarter in real terms since 2009.
The action, which includes staff including lecturers, librarians and technicians, will coincide with the start of term, disrupting freshers’ weeks across the country.
University staff at 136 universities will strike for five consecutive days from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September.
Strikes will hit four Scottish universities on slightly different dates to coincide with local action by other unions.
London Underground workers have staged multiple days of strikes over the past year in disputes over pay and working conditions.
At present, there are no further Tube strikes planned to take place, but Tube drivers recently voted to continue action for another six months.
Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on the Underground, said: “These huge votes, from the high 90s to 100 per cent, in favour of action demonstrate just how determined our members are to protect their terms and conditions at work from the effects of the Government’s attack on TfL funding.
“As always, we are prepared to discuss and negotiate, but we will never accept detrimental changes being imposed on Aslef’s members.”
A strike planned in July by the RMT was cancelled in favour of a fresh round of talks, but a resolution in that dispute is also yet to be reached.
Mr Lynch said at the time: “There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in talks with TfL.
“However, this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet. Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.”