UK: Criminal Barristers to go on All-Out Strike

Photo: PA [via The Guardian]

The Facts

  • On Sun., criminal barristers in England and Wales voted overwhelmingly in favor of going on an indefinite strike beginning Sept. 5. The development comes amid ongoing clashes between the lawyers and the UK government over working conditions and pay.

  • Of 2,273 votes cast in the ballot, 79.5% supported industrial action - a strong rejection of the government's proposed 15% pay raise that falls 10% short of the 25% bump in salary requested by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA).

The Spin

Right narrative

The CBA is ignoring a generous pay raise while employees in other sectors - also hit hard by the pandemic and inflation - struggle on with rising living costs. With the government's offer, the average annual pay of criminal barristers will increase to over £80k - the CBA must accept the deal and return to representing the clients they've left stranded in the court system.

Left narrative

There's a reason almost 80% of CBA members supported an indefinite strike. Many lawyers have been working for less than minimum wage for years and it's time the government proposed an appropriate offer. The thousands of backlogged cases aren't the fault of the CBA, they're thanks to the government's continued inaction and underfunding of the justice system.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that England & Wales prison population rate will be at least 135 per 100,000 people (within 5 years), on the condition that Conservatives win the next UK general election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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