A new story from Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal
I mentioned inflation over in the UK the other day, 10.1% year on year. It's been above 10% since last July. And food prices over there are up 19% over a year ago, which makes what I'm about to say makes some sense. The latest round of labor strikes and stoppages will happen later this week over their teachers on Thursday and junior hospital doctors are threatening to go out again, not long after their recent four day walk out. The government, though, is planning a crackdown on essential services strikes as marketplaces Stephen beard reports now from London. Why do you want? When do we want it? No. 8 years into her career as a hospital doctor near me done is on the picket line demanding a big increase in pay. At this point in my career I should be able to at least comfortably afford to pay for child care, pay mortgages and you can't pay for child care and you can't meet your mortgage payments. Like a lot of my colleagues, I'm struggling. The doctors earn between 37,078 $1000 a year. They want a 35% increase to make up for what they say they've lost through inflation over the past decade. As a result, says junior doctor Michael mccardell has been an exodus of medical staff from Britain's national health service, putting intolerable pressure on those that remain. Stress and burnout is that an all time high overall morale within junior doctor cohorts are just profoundly bad at managing. Gaps in the workforce have led to overcrowded hospitals and poor healthcare says Naomi done. I was kicking on the back of ambulances to assess patients with hip fractures. And they were then being taken off ambulances to be X rayed and put back on an ambulance because there is nowhere to put them. The government says 35% is unaffordable and could trigger a wage price spiral hospital bosses, meanwhile, have accused the strikers of endangering patient safety, but Naomi done says better pay for doctors will improve recruitment and retention and healthcare. These gaps will be filled and hospitals will be safer for it and patient safety will be better for it. A similar dispute over pay recruitment and retention has been festering in another essential public service. Teachers in public schools will go on strike for two days over the next couple of weeks in a long running campaign for higher pay. My pay in terms in real terms has dropped by 20% over the last ten years. Claire selby has been a teacher for 16 years. She works a 60 hour week for around $50,000 per annum and says she's struggling. But the critics say teachings of vocation. It's about so much more than money, the real reward is the feel good factor. That's very true. It is a vocation, but unfortunately I find that when I go to the shops or when I'm paying a bill, the feel good factor doesn't seem to be legal tender. At this high school language teacher Charlotte Nash is also planning to join the strike for a raise that at least matches the current rate of inflation 10.1%, but the strike will mean more disruption for the kids education which suffered horribly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do not hand on heart field just a little bit guilty about taking this action. Yes, I do. I really do, but it isn't just about pay. It's about recruitment and retention, she says, and ensuring that any pay hike is funded with fresh government money. It's about making sure that our schools are funded properly. Alarmed by the wave of strikes in essential public services, the government has introduced a bill providing that key workers who fail to maintain a minimum level of service during a strike can be fired junior doctor Naomi done. It just makes me extremely angry to stomp down on free speech and people's ability and right to strike. But teacher Charlotte Nash sees the government move as futile. If all of us lost our jobs because we had taken strike action. This school would close. It's not a credible threat, in other words. I really don't see it as such. In fact, the strikes appear to be paying off the rate of public sector pay hikes as more than double to 5% over the past few months, almost catching up with the growth in private sector salaries, it remains to be seen whether all this will give an upward twist of the UK's inflation rate. In London, I'm Stephen beard for marketplace.