Staff working in Cambridge for the Open University, which is based in Milton Keynes are going on strike today in protest at plans to close offices.
The support centre on Hills Road is one of seven earmarked for closure, with others in Bristol, Birmingham, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford also set to go.
The Open University wants to consolidate its support centres at three locations - Milton Keynes, Manchester and Nottingham - saying this will be better for students.
The University and College Union say it could result in the loss of more than 500 jobs. It follows a national strike on the 25th of November, which saw staff in all thirteen centres take action.
The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) says there could be disruption to 999 responses today as health workers go on strike in a continued row over pay.
In October thousands walked out over the Government's decision not to accept a recommended 1 per cent pay rise for all NHS staff. Today midwives, paramedics and hospital porters will be among those taking part in four hours of national action, from 7am to 11am.
The EEAST says it does not know how many staff will take part, but that it has been working with the unions to make sure that those who need an emergency ambulance get the service they need.
"A considerable amount of contingency planning has taken place in preparation for this strike. We have been working closely with our union colleagues to ensure that those who need an emergency ambulance response get one...
"As always we are urging the public to think about using alternative services especially during the hours of strike action. "If you need medical help but it is not an emergency, consider your options, such as calling 111, contacting your GP or visiting your local pharmacist. This will help keep ambulances available to those in the greatest need."
Firefighters from our region are set to join a national four day strike from this evening in an ongoing row over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out from 6pm tonight until 6am on Tuesday. Fire and rescue services say they have back up plans in place to respond to emergency calls.
Schools have been closed, firefighters have been on strike and services at job centres, libraries and courts have all been affected in a day of industrial action by public sector workers.
Union members have been marching in places such as Peterborough, Northampton and Cambridge - however they've been criticised for causing inconvenience and the Government claims some unions didn't have a mandate for the action. Tanya Mercer reports from the west of the ITV Anglia region:
Another day of disruption across the region as public service workers staged their latest walkout in their long running dispute over pay and pensions. Schools have been closed, firefighters have been on strike and services at job centres, libraries and courts have all been affected.
Unions members say the strikes have been backed by almost all their members. But, in the increasingly bitter stand off, the Government claim some unions didn't have a mandate for the action. Malcolm Robertson reports on the strike in the east of the ITV Anglia region:
The Government says it is expecting most schools to open and most public sector workers to stay at work during Thursday's industrial action.
A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: “The vast majority of dedicated public sector workers did not vote for today’s action, and early indications are that most are turning up for work as usual.
“We have rigorous contingency plans in place, services appear to be working well. and we expect most schools and job centres to open their doors."
“It is disappointing that, once again, some union leaders have pushed for strike action that will achieve nothing and benefit no one. Union leaders have relied on mandates for action that lack authority – the National Union of Teachers ballot was run nearly two years ago, while other ballots had extremely low turnouts.”
More than two hundred schools across the Anglia region were reported to be closed or partially closed by strike action early on Thursday.
Some teachers are joining other public sectors workers like firefighters, civil servants and bin collectors on a one-day strike over pay.
By 6.30am, more than 80 school in Norfolk were affected by the industrial action with 40 more in both Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. There were also school closures reported in Luton and Northamptonshire.
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