More than 1,000 public sector workers to go on strike in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

Kevin O'Daly is going on strike outside Farnham House in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, today

Kevin O'Daly is going on strike outside Farnham House in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, today - Credit: Archant

More than 1,000 public sector workers – including teachers, council staff and firefighters – are expected to go on strike today, Thursday, over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Members of unions including Unison, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Fire Brigades Union are taking part in the one-day walkout which will include pickets at various local government offices including Hertfs County Council’s base at Farnham House in Six Hills Way, Stevenage.

The NUT is taking action over the government’s planned reform of pay and pensions, which they say will have the greatest impact on new teachers.

Secondary school teacher Sarah Anderson, who is an NUT secretary in Central Beds, said: “I love teaching, it is an absolutely fabulous profession but it has become something people do not want to come into which is a real shame.”

Unison is striking about the Government’s proposed one per cent pay rise for workers in local authorities, following a four-year pay freeze, while firefighters from the FBU will be walking out between 10am and 7pm. It is the 11th strike related to proposed changes in firefighters’ pension deals and working conditions.

Kevin O’Daly, support worker at the Adolescent Resource Center (ARC) which outreaches to vulnerable youths and their carers across the county and are based in Steveange, will picket Herts County Council offices Six Hills Way from 6am.

He said: “I don’t want to go on strike but I feel like I’ve go no other way of getting my point across. We do a hard job and haven’t had a pay rise for four years then they offer us this. Most of my colleagues are now looking for other jobs because they’ve had an effective pay cut and unless the council wants to pay a fair wage they will lose their best staff.”

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Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The FBU has wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at Westminster is simply not listening.

“We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on July 10.

The FBU is striking for the 11th time over attempted reforms to firefighters pension deals and working conditions.”

Anyone with children should check with their school or the county council’s website www.hertsdirect.org

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