Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Schools Are Hit by Strike Threat

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Schools Are Hit by Strike Threat

Article excerpt

Thousands of schoolchildren were preparing for an extra day's holiday after council workers voted to strike.

Talks are taking place in a bid to avert the industrial action which could bring major disruption.

If Tuesday's strike goes ahead it could see scores of schools closed, bins left unemptied and streets uncleaned.

Care workers are also likely to be involved in any action.

The proposed national one-day strike is in opposition to changes to the Local Government Pension scheme which, unions say, will remove key retirement rights.

The Government plans to change the Local Government Pension Scheme so workers will lose their right to retire before they are 65.

Nine unions, including Unison and the Transport and General Workers Union, have voted to strike.

Most Teesside schools are yet to decide on whether to close if the strike goes ahead.

Schools to so far confirm they intend closing if the strike goes ahead include Badger Hill Primary School, Brotton; Bader Primary School in Thornaby; Whinstone Primary in Ingleby Barwick; Yarm Primary School; Billingham South Primary School and Seaton Carew nursery.

Others, including Bewley Junior School, Billingham, plan to stay open.

Ken Robinson, headteacher of Billingham South, said: "If it goes ahead, we have made plans to close. It's mainly due to health and safety reasons.

"If first aiders aren't in school and anything goes wrong, we could be left in a difficult situation."

Parents arriving with their children today at Yarm Primary School had mixed feelings about the strike.

Andy Palmer, from Ingleby Barwick, and father of Christopher, seven, and Caitlin, six, said: "It will cause working parents some problems. Working parents who do not have mums and dads nearby will have to find childcare out of thin air."

Mum Jenny Lewis, a civil servant from Yarm, said: "I am not totally against it. …

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