Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Walkout by Teachers Causes Huge Headache for Parents ; Schools Out: Teacher Bridget Chapman Pickets Pimlico School Today. More Than 1,000 London Schools Were Hit by Todays Strike, Causing a Childcare Headache for Parents

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Walkout by Teachers Causes Huge Headache for Parents ; Schools Out: Teacher Bridget Chapman Pickets Pimlico School Today. More Than 1,000 London Schools Were Hit by Todays Strike, Causing a Childcare Headache for Parents

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC HAYES

TEACHERS marched through the centre of London today as their one-daynational strikethe first for 21 years affected more than 1,000 of the capitals schools.

The marchestimated to be 10,000-strongbrought traffic to a stand-still as the teachers headed for a rally atWestminster Central Hall via Trafalgar and Parliament squares.

The one-day walkout by the National Union of Teachers is aimed at forcing theGovernment to improve its pay offer of 2.45 per centbut it created a massive childcare headache for working parents.

Figures from 29 of the 33 London bor-oughs showed that 579 schools were closedtoday, while 490 were forced to cancel classes for some pupils.

A survey by the National Confedera-tion of Parent Teacher Associations showedthat only a third of parents backed the NUTs demand for a pay increase of 4.1per cent, which the union said would keep teachers pay abreast of risinginflation.

NCPTA chief executive David Butler said: It is also clear that many parentshave had to make complex plans to overcome difficulties caused by the strike,including alternative childcare arrangements.

Tory leader David Cameron today warned the striking teachers they were damagingtheir reputation. Speaking on LBC Radio, he said: Teachers I dont believeshould strike. I want peo-ple to look up to teachers and see them alongside GPsand others as great public servants. He revealed his disabled son Ivan was notgoing to school today because of the industrial action.

The British Chambers of Commerce warned that firms across the country facedlosing up to [pounds sterling]68 million because of parents taking time off work or to pay forextra childcare.

Colleges were also disrupted as lec-turers belonging to the University andCollege Union staged a walk-out over their demand for equal pay with schoolteachers. …

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