Criminal lawyers in England and Wales have decided to end their strike action, which began in June, after obtaining a pay increase from the government, their union announced on Monday. The profession “came out in favor of the proposal made by the government“, and the movement will end Monday at 6:00 p.m. local time, said the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), the professional organization which represents criminal lawyers.
The strike, which began in June and has been hardened since August for better pay, has worsened an already massive backlog in the courts due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Following negotiations between the CBA and the Secretary of State for Justice Brandon Lewis, the lawyers notably obtained a 15% increase in the allowances they receive when they work for legal aid, financed by the ‘State. Mr Lewis said he hopes this agreement marks the beginning “a constructive relationship as we work to reduce delays and provide victims with faster justice“.
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Despite this agreement, which represents an expenditure of 54 million pounds for the State (approximately 61 million euros), “the criminal justice system remains chronically underfunded“However, pointed out the CBA. In addition to lawyers, postal workers, railway workers, dockers and even garbage collectors have multiplied strike movements since the summer at the call of several unions, demanding wage increases in line with inflation, driven by the surge in energy prices. The new Conservative government, whose leaders regularly denounce the impact of walkouts on the British economy, announced its intention to limit the right to strike to cases where negotiations between unions and employers have “truly failed“.