‘90 per cent’ of Barking and Dagenham schools to shut as a result of Thursday’s strike – NUT

Dominic Byrne, NUT secretary for Barking and Dagenham

Dominic Byrne, NUT secretary for Barking and Dagenham - Credit: Archant

As many as 90 per cent of schools in the borough will be closed as the result of Thursday’s general strike, a teachers’ union has estimated.

Members of the National Union of Teachers are set to walk out in unison with other public sector workers including council employees and firefighters, with picket lines expected outside schools and council buildings.

Disputes centre around government reforms to pensions and salaries, with the GMB, Unison and Unite unions all pushing for an extra £1 an hour for its members.

NUT outer London executive member and divisional secretary for Barking and Dagenham, Dominic Byrne, said the strike’s main aim was to win concessions on changes to the pension age and teachers’ general workload.

“The teachers are angry and the fact they are walking out shows that – because they don’t strike at the drop of a hat,” he said. “They’ve got genuine grievances. They want to be listened to and they want some concessions from the government.”

He added there would be more school closures than in previous years, claiming: “Early indications are that most [schools] are closing – 90pc will be closed, maybe even more.”

Up to 150 of Barking and Dagenham Council’s 2,400 employees are also expected to walk out tomorrow, with picketing set to take place outside Dagenham Civic Centre, Barking Town Hall and the Frizlands Lane recycling depot.

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Unison’s Barking and Dagenham branch secretary Dave Clarke said strike action was part of an “ongoing campaign” against below-inflation pay rises within the public sector.

“We [the public sector] are the biggest employer in the borough,” he said. “The fact is if you want the local economy to pick up you should at least look at giving workers an inflation pay rise.”

He added he hoped the day’s dispute would result in the government coming back to the negotiating table with a “better offer” than the below-inflation pay rise handed out in the Chancellor’s budget earlier this year.

Some local union members are expected to take part in a march in central London.

Read more:

Barking and Dagenham firefighters to strike for eight consecutive days

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