Strikes close three quarters of schools

Today’s industrial action by up to two million public sector workers is thought to have caused the closure of three out of four schools in England.

Scotland and Wales have also been affected by the strikes, which have also impacted on hospitals, courts, Government offices and other services.

The action, which has been spurred by the Government’s call for public sector workers to pay more into their pensions and work longer, has been deemed ‘inappropriate, untimely and irresponsible’ by minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude.

Negotiations are expected to continue following today, after a revised offer of improved accrual rates and protection for staff due to retire within 10 years was refused. Maude has urged public sector workers to look at the offer again, ‘rather than listening to the rhetoric of their union leaders’.

But unions have defended the action, TUC claims that the ‘living standards of millions of low and medium-paid public service workers are being hammered in the name of reducing the deficit.’

The industrial action is due to end at midnight tonight, but if you have concerns, you can read guidance from the Government for those affected by the strikes here.