Over 4,000 UK physiotherapists go on strike over low wages: Union
Physiotherapists in the United Kingdom are taking to the streets in the country in light of low pay, only providing emergency services.
The United Kingdom's Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) reported on Thursday that more than 4,000 of its members went on strike in a precedent in order to demand higher wages.
"Up to 4,200 CSP members from 30 trusts went on strike today, as part of the ongoing dispute over the pay award given to NHS staff on the Agenda for Change pay scale," the CSP said in a statement.
The CSP's first strike kicked off at midnight and will last for up to 24 hours, the British Sky News broadcaster reported, adding that the next strike in Wales would take place on February 7 and in England on February 9.
"The government must come to the table with something tangible that we can put to our members to prevent more strikes following if there is no progress," CSP director of Employment Relations and Union Services Claire Sullivan said.
"We are determined to secure a pay deal that helps our members cope with the cost of living crisis and helps the NHS recruit and retain staff to deliver the services that patients desperately need," Sullivan added.
Moreover, the CSP underlined that physiotherapists would continue providing emergency lifesaving care, including intensive care and respiratory on-call services.
The strike comes as the UK grapples with various other walk-outs in light of record-high inflation and shrinking real wages. The economic and financial crises have so far forced railway workers, lawyers, nurses, airport employees, post office workers, university staff, and workers from other industries to take part in the action.
Nurses in England started last week two days of strikes over pay, as officials warned of disruption for thousands of patients in the UK's state-run health service.
It followed an unprecedented strike by nurses last month, which was part of a wave of industrial action by public-sector workers affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
Two days of strikes by nurses in England and Wales in December led to the cancellation of "around 30,000 elective procedures and outpatient appointments", Health Minister Steve Barclay said. However, Downing Street has regardless not taken any action to ensure that the crises are dealt with.
Nonetheless, the predicament of medical personnel has elicited popular sympathy, as rising food and energy prices have impacted lower-paid workers across the board. It is worth noting that a YouGov poll showed that 63% of respondents supported the nurses' strike.
The deteriorating economic conditions in the UK have given rise to more protests and dissatisfaction among people, further catalyzed by soaring energy prices and inflation. Workers employed in railroad companies, post offices, airports, and lawyers have also been holding strikes.
Social dissatisfaction has grown as the UK entered a serious economic crisis earlier this year. Annual inflation in the UK hit 11.1% in October. According to the Bank of England, the UK economy has entered a recession expected to last until the second half of 2024.