UPDATE: Public sector workers go on strike in Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: STRIKE: Today's rally in Centenary Square, Bradford STRIKE: Today's rally in Centenary Square, Bradford

Hundreds of public sector workers, including teachers, firefighters and local authority staff were out on strike today in Bradford as part of a national protest about pay, pensions and working hours.

A total of 122 schools across the the district have been fully or partially closed by the action backed by the National Union of Teachers.

The union was picketing outside the education offices at Future House in Bradford while other Council staff were picketing outside public buildings, including City Hall.

Patrick Kerry, Unite convener for Bradford Council, was part of a picket outside City Hall on the corner of Norfolk Gardens and Bridge Street.

He and Anne Boyce, Unite branch secretary in Bradford district, began picketing at 5.30am. Mr Kerry said: "We have had a fairly good response, and lots of support from the public and the police. People have been pipping their horns."

Mrs Boyce added: "Council workers having their pay cut and losing jobs affects the broader community. Fifty-two pence out of every £1 of our pay gets re-spent in the local economy.

"If Council workers have their pay cut, you lose money for the district and its people. It has a knock-on effect."

By about 9.30am, Mr Kerry said about 40 people were on picket lines outside Council buildings in the city centre.

NUT officials say performance-related pay, working until 68 for a full pension, and a 60 hour week is "unsustainable" for their members.

Bradford NUT Secretary, John Howarth, said: "Children need teachers who are fresh and well motivated not tired and demoralised.

"All the polls show that Michael Gove is out of touch with teachers and parents, he must listen and change direction.

"This strike is his fault, teachers do not like taking strike action but they are prepared to lose pay to stand up for education.

"We do apologise for the inconvenience to parents, but we hope they will support us."

Across the country more than a million people were taking part in the one-day walkout.

The action has been hailed as the biggest strike over pay to hit the Government since it came to power in 2010.

Home helps, lollipop men and women, refuse collectors, librarians, dinner ladies, parks attendants, council road safety officers, caretakers and cleaners are also among those striking.

The dispute between unions and Government is becoming increasingly bitter.

Ahead of the walkout, the Prime Minister and other senior politicians attacked the strikes, arguing that they are based on ballots conducted some years ago which saw low turnout from union members.

But union leaders have insisted that their action is "valid and lawful".

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree