Unions take strike action over pay

Teachers are among those due to strike today, Thursday.
Teachers are among those due to strike today, Thursday.

Local government workers, teachers, firefighters and civil servants across the region were due to join a 1.5m strong strike today, Thursday, over pay, jobs, privatisation and terms and conditions.

The strikes were expected to affect schools, waste and recycling collections, courts, tax and benefit offices, airports, the Passport Office and fire stations.

Schools and nurseries due to close were: Appletree Nursery School (whole school closure), Carnforth High (Years 7, 8 and 9 only), Ridge Primary School (whole school closure), Lancaster Road Primary School (whole school closure), Morecambe Road School (whole school closure), Overton St Helen’s Primary School (Classes 2, 3 and 4 only), Skerton St Luke’s (whole school closure), St Bernadette’s (Reception and Years 2 and 5 classes only), Stepping Stones (whole school closure), Westgate Primary School and Children’s Centre (whole school closure) and Holme Community School (Years 1, 3 and 4).

Altogether, 175,000 workers from six unions (including Unison, Unite, GMB, NUT and FBU) were expected to be involved across the region.

Public & Commercial Services Union north west regional secretary Peter Middleman said: “Hard working public servants have rejected the bitter economic medicine that has for four years been killing the patient.

“George Osborne should emerge from his bubble of privilege and wake up to the fact that all but the super-wealthy are suffering at the hands of his failed austerity policies.”

Trades Union Council general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Pay rises way below the cost of living, coming hard on the heels of several years of pay freezes, have left family budgets stretched to the limit.

“The recovery remains some way off for our hard-working, dedicated midwives, nurses, teachers, dinner ladies and other public servants.

“For them several years more of financial worry and frugal living lie ahead.”

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said: “We have tried every route available to us to make the government see sense over their attacks.”

Joint city centre rallies, co-ordinated by the Trades Union Congress, were due to take place at lunchtime in Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston.