Only four Barking and Dagenham schools unaffected by tomorrow’s strike

Teachers from Barking and Dagenham during a strike in 2011

Teachers from Barking and Dagenham during a strike in 2011 - Credit: Archant

As many as 51 of Barking and Dagenham’s schools will be shut or partially closed as a result of tomorrow’s general strike.

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

Of the borough’s 55 schools, up to 40 are set to shut fully, while 11 will partially close.

Only Becontree Primary, St Vincent Catholic Primary, Warren Junior and Riverside Academy schools will remain fully open.

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.

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“They’ve got genuine grievances. They want to be listened to and they want some concessions from the government.”

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.

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.”

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