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How can public sector strikes be solved more effectively? 

Mike Clancy, Baroness Finn and Kate Nowicki joined us to explore the impact of recent industrial disputes on public service performance.

Panellists on stage at the Institute for Government

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Public services have faced the greatest level of disruption from strikes in more than a quarter of a century. Over the past year nurses, ambulance drivers, teachers, junior doctors, consultants, and civil servants, among others, have all staged walkouts to protest against pay and working conditions.

While improved pay offers from Rishi Sunak’s government have resolved many disputes, some staff are still on the picket line and other disputes could flare up again.

So what impact has recent industrial disputes had on public service performance? What skills do ministers, civil servants, frontline public sector leaders and unions need to effectively negotiate with each other and resolve disputes – and what mechanisms can be used to resolve entrenched disputes? How effective are pay review bodies and do they need to be reformed? And to what extent will the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act help or hinder the management of industrial dispute?

To discuss these questions and more, we were joined by an expert panel, including:

  • Mike Clancy, General Secretary at Prospect
  • Baroness Finn, former Government Adviser on Industrial Relations
  • Raj Jethwa, Chief Executive at UCEA 
  • Kate Nowicki, Director of Dispute Resolution at Acas

The event was chaired by Nick Davies, Programme Director at the Institute for Government.

Photos from the event can be viewed on our Flickr page. 

Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter) @IfGEvents and join the conversation using #IfGpublicservices.

We would like to thank Acas for kindly supporting this event. 

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