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Criminal barristers latest to strike over pay and jobs

Written by: Sarah Davidson
Criminal barristers and QCs are the latest cohort to announce strike action over what they say is an inadequate pay rise of 15% due at the end of September, equivalent to an additional £7,000 a year. 

It follows a wave of strikes over pay across the country, with railway staff, teachers, dock workers and other civil servants all demanding bigger wage increases to help them cope with inflation running over 10%, a 40-year high.

The Criminal Bar Association confirmed its members, who include lawyers both defending and prosecuting in crimial trials in England and Wales, had voted in favour of escalating existing week on, week off strikes and will go on strike full time “on an indefinite basis” from 5 September.

According to the association, barristers have seen earnings plummet 28% since 2006 after taking inflation into account.

The upcoming strike action aims to force government to accept lawyers’ demands for a 25% pay rise, with CBA vice chair Kirsty Brimelow QC calling it “last-resort action”.

A total moratorium on criminal hearings in England and Wales will add to the 60,000 criminal cases delayed by the pandemic.

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