February strike dates 2023: who is on strike, list of days workers walk out - from security guards to teachers

Workers across a variety of sectors will stage more industrial action this month causing widespread disruption

More strike action has been planned for February with train drivers, teachers, nurses and ambulance workers all set to walk out.

Up to half a million workers will strike today (Wednesday 1 February) with thousands of schools shut and railway lines closed.

Security guards are also striking today as part of a campaign for a wage rate of £15 an hour - this is the latest sector to announce walk outs.

While Unite has announced that its ambulance workers will be joining the GMB union in a fresh set of strikes on 6 February, making that day possibly the biggest walkout in NHS history - since nurses are striking too.

Industrial action has increased over the last year, as unions took action over pay and working conditions during the cost of living crisis. Rail journeys, Royal Mail deliveries, NHS services, and ambulance support were all disrupted.

Significant disruption occurred over the Christmas period and strikes have continued into the new year whilst Rishi Sunak is reportedly preparing new anti-strike laws to limit their effects.

Here is a full list of which sectors are striking this month and which dates they will walk out on.

Security guard strikes

Members of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) union working for contractors at London university UCL will strike on 1 February.

Henry Chango Lopez, general secretary of IWGB said: “UCL’s use of outsourcing is outdated and exploitative. Workers face systemic discrimination in the form of poor pay and treatment from their subcontractors, and are ignored and belittled when they demand change.”

Rail strikes

Train drivers have announced new strike dates for this month after their union rejected a pay offer.

  • 1 February
  • 3 February 

Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, said: “The offer is not acceptable but we are willing to engage in further discussions with the train operating companies. They want to rip up our terms and conditions in return for a real-terms pay cut. It was clearly a rushed offer, made just before our meeting with the minister, and not one, it seems to me, that was designed to be accepted.

“Our members at these companies have not had an increase since 2019, despite soaring inflation, and it is time the companies – encouraged, perhaps, by the Government – sat down with us and got serious. That is the way – and the only way – to end this dispute.“

The companies affected include:

  • Avanti West Coast 
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR Great Northern Thameslink
  • London North Eastern Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southern/Gatwick Express
  • South Western Railway (depot drivers only)
  • SWR Island Line
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

Ambulance strikes

Thousands of ambulance workers are to stage fresh strikes in the coming weeks as the bitter dispute over pay and staffing continues. The GMB Union has said more than 10,000 of its members, including paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff, will walk out on 6 and 20 February - and there will be more dates in March, too.

Unite meanwhile just announced it will join GMB on the 6 February, and has announced further dates for February. These include:

  • Monday 6 February
  • Thursday 16 February
  • Friday 17 February
  • Monday 20 February
  • Wednesday 22 February
  • Thursday 23 February
  • Friday 24 February

The industrial action will include paramedics, call handlers, drivers and technicians - a step up from previous walkouts. NHS chiefs have assured patients that walkouts will not stop ambulance staff from responding to life or death emergencies.

The ambulance services which are striking are:

  • East Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Mersey Care NHS
  • North East Ambulance Service
  • North West Ambulance Service
  • South Central Ambulance
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • South West Ambulance Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service

On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 February in Northern Ireland, Unite members working in health and social care and ambulance staff will stage strikes. These strikes in Northern Ireland will continue on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 February.

Teaching strikes

Teachers in England and Wales will walk out of classrooms this month after a dispute over pay.

Nine out of ten teachers who are members of the National Education Union (NEU) voted in favour of strikes. The union has announced seven days of walkouts – but said any individual school will only be impacted by four days.

The first day of strikes will be Wednesday 1 February with more than 23,000 schools across England and Wales affected, the NEU said. The final day of action will be on Thursday 16 March.

The NEU said teachers in sixth-form colleges in England, who have already been balloted and on strike in recent months, will also take part in action on the strike days between 1 February and 16 March.

  • 1 February – national strike action across England and Wales
  • 14 February – national strike action across England and Wales
  • 28 February – regional strike action in the North, Northwest and Yorkshire and the Humber

Primary and secondary school teachers in Scotland are also striking in a dispute over pay.

Unions are calling for a pay rise more in line with inflation, which is now close to 11 per cent, amid the cost of living crisis. However, the Scottish Government has said such an increase for all teachers is not affordable within its fixed budget.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has organised 16 consecutive days of action starting from Monday 16 January, that will see teachers strike across Scotland in a staggered fashion.

Here is the full list of dates and locations:

  • Wednesday 1 February – Clackmannanshire and Aberdeen
  • Thursday 2 February – Dundee and Argyll and Bute
  • Friday 3 February – South Lanarkshire and Western Isles
  • Monday 6 February – Inverclyde and Shetland

University strikes

The University and College Union (UCU) has announced strike action will hit 150 UK universities throughout February and March unless university employers make substantially improved offers in disputes over pay, working conditions and pension cuts.

In total, 70,000 UCU members will walk out.

The full dates of strike action are:

  • Wednesday 1 February
  • Thursday 9 February
  • Friday 10 February
  • Tuesday 14 February
  • Wednesday 15 February
  • Thursday 16 February
  • Tuesday 21 February
  • Wednesday 22 February
  • Thursday 23 February
  • Monday 27 February
  • Tuesday 28 February
  • Wednesday 1 March
  • Thursday 2 March
  • Thursday 16 March
  • Friday 17 March
  • Monday 20 March
  • Tuesday 21 March
  • Wednesday 22 March

The committee also agreed to re-ballot staff at all 150 universities to renew UCU’s mandate and allow the union to call action well into 2023, including a marking and assessment boycott from April - unless the disputes are settled.

UCU said the “clock is ticking” for university bosses to avoid widespread disruption this year.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents university employers, made UCU a pay offer worth between 4% and 5% on 11 January, but UCU said the offer was “not enough”.

Nursing strikes

The Royal College of Nursing said nurses will strike on:

  • 6 February
  • 7 February

Health leaders described the announcement of further strike dates as “very worrying” and warned they are likely to have an “even greater impact” than previous walkouts.

Civil service strikes

Around 100,000 civil servants will go on strike on Wednesday 1 February over a bitter pay, jobs and conditions dispute.

The following departments reached the 50 per cent voting threshold to strike:

  • ACAS 
  • British Museum 
  • Cabinet Office 
  • Charity Commission 
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency 
  • Scottish Public Services Ombudsman 
  • Natural Resources Wales 
  • Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service 
  • Independent Office for Police Conduct 
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
  • Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) 
  • Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) 
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) 
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) 
  • Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) 
  • Audit Wales 
  • Department for Education 
  • Natural England 
  • Competition Service 
  • Gambling Commission 
  • Historic England 
  • Health & Safety Executive (HSE) 
  • Historic Environment Scotland 
  • Home Office 
  • Insolvency Service 
  • HM Land Registry 
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) 
  • Creative Scotland 
  • National Galleries of Scotland 
  • National Museums of Scotland 
  • National Audit Office 
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund 
  • Department for Transport 
  • National Library of Wales 
  • National Museums Liverpool 
  • Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority 
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 
  • Ofgem 
  • Competition & Markets Authority 
  • Office for National Statistics & UKSA 
  • OFWAT 
  • Ofsted 
  • UK Intellectual Property Office 
  • Vehicle Certification Agency 
  • Planning Inspectorate 
  • National Archives 
  • Registers of Scotland 
  • Transport Focus 
  • Sports Grounds Safety Authority 
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
  • Equality & Human Rights Commission 
  • Scottish Enterprise 
  • NatureScot 
  • Scottish Government 
  • Serious Fraud Office 
  • Skills Development Scotland 
  • The Council of the RFCAs 
  • Sport England 
  • Scotland’s Commission for Children & Young People 
  • RFCA West Midlands 
  • Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service 
  • Legal Aid Agency 
  • UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) 
  • Visit Scotland 
  • Government Legal Department 
  • Parole Board for England & Wales 
  • Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) 
  • Wallace Collection 
  • Senedd Cymru (Welsh Parliament) 
  • Scottish Human Rights Commission 
  • Scottish Prison Service 
  • Scottish Parliament 
  • Student Loans Company 
  • Architecture & Design Scotland 
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales 
  • National Highways 
  • Westminster Foundation for Democracy 
  • Independent Living Fund Scotland 
  • Rural Payments Agency 
  • Defence, Science & Technology Laboratory 
  • Electoral Commission 
  • Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) 
  • Security Industry Authority 
  • UK Space Agency 
  • Marine Management Organisation 
  • Youth Justice Board  
  • Local Government Boundary Commission for England 
  • Northern Ireland Office 
  • Prisons & Probation Ombudsman 
  • Wales Office 
  • Courts and Tribunals Judiciary 
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority 
  • Children’s Commissioner for England 
  • Food Standards Scotland 
  • Crown Estate Scotland 
  • Risk Management Authority 
  • Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales 
  • UK Debt Management Office 
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) 
  • Social Security Scotland  
  • Scottish Housing Regulator 
  • Revenue Scotland 
  • Department of International Trade 
  • Bord na Gaidhlig 
  • Forestry Commission England 
  • Scottish Forestry 
  • Leasehold Advisory Service 
  • Forestry and Land Scotland 
  • UKSV (Cabinet Office) 
  • Disclosure and Barring Service 
  • Veterinary Medicines Directorate 
  • Institute for Apprenticeships 
  • Office for Students (OfS) 
  • Transport Scotland 
  • Accountant in Bankruptcy 
  • Disclosure Scotland 
  • Education Scotland 
  • Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator  
  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) 
  • National Records of Scotland 
  • South of Scotland Enterprise 
  • Trade Remedies Authority 
  • UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) 
  • Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID)

Royal Mail strikes

There are no further strike dates currently confirmed for 2023, but the dispute shows little sign of reaching a conclusion.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has warned “further action will take place in 2023”.

A spokesperson for the union said: “Royal Mail Group keep telling us they have no money. They find it to spend millions on agency staff just for show. Make no mistake – this isn’t about clearing mail, it’s about breaking the spirits of postal workers. They will never succeed.”

Royal Mail, however, urged the CWU to “seriously consider” its latest offer to help “bring the company back to profitability.”

The company tabled its “best and final” offer to workers in late November. It said the offer includes “extensive improvements” that have been made during the negotiations with the CWU, including an enhanced pay deal of up to 9 per cent over 18 months and making voluntary redundancy terms more generous.

The union countered with its own offer. Andy Furey, the CWU’s acting deputy general secretary, said the offer had been “thrown back in our face”.

Ahead of the Christmas strikes, the CWU said: “An offer extended to the company to suspend the strikes and establish a period of calm from now until 16 January, 2023, as well as the union and the company both signing a joint statement incorporating Royal Mail’s latest promise of no compulsory redundancies, was rejected almost immediately.”

Simon Thompson, Royal Mail’s chief executive, said: “Negotiations involve give and take, but it appears that the CWU’s approach is to just take. We want to reach a deal, but time is running out for the CWU to change their position and avoid further damaging strike action.”