Mirror Online: LONDON, England, By Aletha Adu – Teachers and nurses could be the next to stage walkouts, union bosses have warned as the country faces a week of strike chaos on the railways.

The National Education Union said unless teachers received a pay offer closer to inflation it would plan to ballot its 450,000 members.

Unison boss Christina McAnea said the Government had a simple choice, to make a “sensible pay award… or risk a potential dispute” in hospitals.

Labour accused Boris Johnson ’s government of failing to do its job as ministers again refused to step in to help stop the rail strikes due to begin tomorrow.

Industrial action now looks set to spread to schools and hospitals as teachers and nurses demand fair pay.

A wave of widespread railway disruption could spread to hospitals and schools – Image by REUTERS

Thousands of public sector workers rallied in Parliament Square on Saturday to call for more support.

Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy called on Tory ministers to “listen seriously” to workers’ concerns.

She said: “It’s not about whether workers go on strike, it’s about the fact we have a Government that’s currently on strike and not doing its job.

“This is a Government that in 2019 came to power on a promise to level up and instead what they’ve presided over is absolute chaos.

“Chaos at the ports, chaos on the railways, chaos at airports, chaos everywhere you go, and that is because this is a Government that is not doing its job.

From tomorrow, rail services across the country and on the London Underground will grind to a halt amid the biggest walkout in the industry for more than 30 years in a row over pay, jobs and conditions.

Strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators will go ahead tomorrow, Thursday Saturday, and on London Underground tomorrow.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps dismissed calls for negotiations, instead branding the strikes as a “stunt”.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has predicted industrial action could spread to other services as “people can’t take it any more”.

Unison has warned the government there could be industrial action in hospitals without a pay deal close to inflation – Image by REUTERS 

And senior Conservative Jake Berry broke ranks yesterday to warn the Government the “only way out of a dispute is via negotiation”.

Mr Berry, chairman of the Northern Research Group of Conservatives, said: “I would call on all parties including the Government…to get around the table because it’s going have a huge negative impact.”

Teachers and nurses have been offered pay rises of 3%. Inflation is expected by the Bank of England to hit 11 percent this year.

The National Education Union has said unless teachers receive a pay offer closer to inflation, it would plan to ballot its 450,000 members, the Observer reported yesterday.

Unison warned there could be industrial action in hospitals without a pay deal close to inflation.

Christina McAnea, Unison general secretary said: “The Government has a simple choice, either it makes a sensible pay award, investing in staff and services and reducing delays for patients, or it risks a potential dispute, growing workforce shortages and increased suffering for the sick.”

Chairman of the NHS Confederation Victor Adebowale warned a real-terms pay rise for the lowest paid NHS staff was needed to avoid “a worsening of the NHS workforce crisis”.

Union leaders are seeking urgent talks over the future of railway ticket offices amid rumours of mass closures.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said plans to close every ticket office in England from September were “explosive”.

The TUC is calling on the Westminster government to adopt a positive role in the dispute – GETTY IMAGES 

The TSSA, which is balloting members on industrial action over pay and jobs, warned closing ticket offices would increase the likelihood of strikes.

The TUC is calling on the Government to adopt a positive role in the rail dispute, saying it was “inflaming tensions” by threatening to “revoke” worker rights.

TUC boss Frances O’Grady said: “Rather than working in good faith to find a negotiated settlement, ministers are inflaming tensions. Instead of threatening to do a P&O on workers and rip up their rights, ministers should be getting people around the table to agree a fair deal.”

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said demands for pay irises were “understandable”, but the Government had done enough to help lower-paid workers.

Top Feature Photo: The National Education Union said unless teachers received a pay offer closer to inflation it would plan to ballot its 450,000 members – GETTY IMAGES