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Thousands in North West stage day of strike action

Public sector workers say they are the forgotten army which provides vital services like teaching, waste collection, firefighting and protecting the vulnerable.

Today many thousands of them took to the streets right across our region in a strike over their pay.

The Government says striking only disrupts people's lives. Many parents left to cover childcare say it's unfair.

Our correspondent Rachel Townsend reports:

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Public sector strikes: your thoughts

Thousands of public sector workers across the North West will walk out in what unions claim is the biggest strike in living memory. Over a million people including council workers, teachers and firefighters are protesting in cuts to pay and pensions. You've been telling us what you think:

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@sarahrogersitv @granadareports I'm sick off a government that's created a situation where people feel their only option is to strike.

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@granadareports I've not had a pay rise for 6 years yet I still have to fund public sector pensions when I can't afford to pay for my own

On Facebook Thomas Wallis says: "Does anyone have any sympathy for these people? We were told that my daughter's class was still ok to attend school in a letter last week and then a letter came home on Tuesday saying the whole school was closed. Thanks for the notice!!!"

Dawn L Foster told us, "I agree with the strikes because the MP's can afford to give themselves an 11% pay rise but can only afford to give people like Nurses, Teachers a 1% pay rise, its disgraceful."

Keep your thoughts coming on facebook, twitter or granada.reports@itv.com

National

GMB: We are 'hoping to get the employers to negotiate'

Striking workers want their employers to enter back into negotiations over their "measly" pay rises with unions, a GMB representative told Good Morning Britain.

Regional Representative Joe Morgan was also critical of proposed changes to the number of votes needed before a strike could be held, saying if the same rules were applied to Parliament, "you wouldn't have one MP elected across the country."

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National

One million public sector workers expected to strike

The Government is set to be hit by the biggest strike over pay since it came to power when over a million public sector workers walk out in a bitter dispute.

Lollipop men and women are among those public sector workers striking today. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Teachers, firefighters, civil servants and transport workers are among the workers downing tools and joining the picket lines over pay, pensions, jobs and spending cuts.

Trade union Unison will stage an early morning demonstration outside Parliament, one of hundreds of events across the country to mark the 24-hour walkout.

Read: One million public sector workers set to strike

National

Gove urges teachers to reconsider strike action

Michael Gove is urging teachers to reconsider taking part in a national strike on Thursday.

The Education Secretary is set to say those taking part in the walkout are putting their own pay and pensions ahead of children's education.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is urging teachers not to strike on Thursday.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is urging teachers not to strike on Thursday. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

In a speech to the Education Reform Summit in central London, Mr Gove is expected to stress that the Government's educational reforms are necessary, and that "our status quo" has not been good enough.

"We can't and we mustn't keep going backwards - and failing the poorest above all," he is due to say.

Read: Is your school affected by the strike action?

National

Union workers in show of strength strike action

A million public sector workers have been called out on strike tomorrow - in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Teachers, council workers, firefighters and NHS staff are among those who are angry about pay and pensions.

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen has more.

More: Poll: Britons split on public sector strike action

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