Further strikes were announced by teachers and nurses in the United Kingdom (UK) on Monday amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and lengthy disputes over pay.

If progress is not made in negotiations by the end of January, February will see the most widespread strike so far by National Health Service, NHS, nursing staff, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said on Monday.

The planned strikes follow walkouts in December and January.

Interim Chief Executive Saffron Cordery at NHS Providers, the membership organization for NHS trusts in England, said the strike escalation was “very worrying.”

Over the last year, the UK has seen record-high inflation, with the consumer prices index (CPI) rising by 10.7 percent in November.

However, wages have failed to keep up. Salaries for experienced nurses are 20 percent lower in real terms than in 2010, due to successive below-inflation pay awards, the RCN noted