Thousands of public sector workers set to strike

By David Lawrence Tuesday 08 July 2014 Updated: 08/07 12:51

TEACHERS, firefighters and carers will be among those set to join Thursday's nationwide walkout over pay.

Up to two million people could be out on strike with a number of unions backing the action which will lead to school closures and picket lines across the county.

Carers, social workers, refuse collectors, street cleaners and teaching assistants will be among thousands of Worcestershire County Council staff taking part. So far about five schools across Redditch and Alvechurch have announced they will be fully or partially closed on the day.

Jim Price, branch secretary at UNISON in Worcestershire, said: “Council workers have kept on going in the face of four years of draconian Government cuts to keep local services in Worcestershire running. They care for our elderly and our vulnerable, keep our streets clean and educate and look after our children.

"They also face the daily threat of privatisation or redundancy. They deserve better treatment than they have had at the hands of this Government.

“Taking strike action is never easy but our members are sending a clear message to the Government that they have had enough."

More than 1,000 civil servants from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will also be taking part in the strike which will affect government departments including tax and revenue offices, Job Centres, benefit offices, courts and driving test centres.

And Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) has urged the public to take extra care during the day of action when there will be a reduced service.

Adrian Elliott, Group Commander of HWFRS, said: “During the firefighter strikes, we want people to be clear about what to do in the event of a fire. The most important point they need to know is that they will still get an emergency response and they should not be tempted to tackle fires themselves.

"Not all of our firefighters are members of the Fire Brigades Union which means some stations will be working normally but people should be aware that it may take us a little longer to respond to calls in some instances."

A county council spokeswoman said: "In these situations, we always put contingency plans in place to ensure, as far as possible, essential services can continue to be provided."

Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk for updates on services affected.

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