British ministers are due to meet with trade unions on Monday to try to bring an end to a wave of strike action across sectors from healthcare to transport as workers demand higher pay.

With pay rises failing to keep up with double-digit inflation, which is now around 40-year highs, nurses, ambulance staff and rail workers are among those who have staged walkouts, with teachers also being balloted over action.

Teaching unions, who will announce the result of their strike ballots later this week, are due to meet with the education minister, while the health minister will hold talks with unions representing ambulance workers and nurses, and the transport minister will meet rail unions.

The government has argued that inflation-matching pay rises will only fuel further price increases and cause interest rates and mortgage payments to go up further.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the talks were a “positive development”.

“We’ve always said that the government is happy to talk about pay demands and pay issues that are anchored in what’s reasonable, what’s responsible, what’s affordable for the country,” Sunak told reporters during a visit to a health centre on Monday.

On Sunday, Sunak said he was willing to discuss pay rises for nurses in England, who are due to go on strike again on Jan. 18 and 19 after walking out for two days in December.

Unions have said they will only call off strikes in the next few weeks if offers are made to resolve the disputes over this year’s pay settlement, while the government wants to negotiate pay rises for next year.

Asked about media reports the government was considering making a one-off payment to nurses to help with the cost of living, Sunak declined to comment on specifics.