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Gove: Teachers have 'no excuse' for going on strike

Education Secretary Michael Gove told ITV News there is "no excuse" for teachers going on strike, which has "caused disruption for hardworking parents".

Mr Gove said: "There's no justification for this action and teachers, I hope, will draw the appropriate lesson from today which is that it is their responsibility to put children first and to be in the classroom teaching, not on the picket line striking."

Read: Poll suggests Britons split on public sector strike action

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Public sector workers go on strike across Britain

Public sector workers in Britain have gone on strike today in a row over pay, pensions, conditions, jobs and spending cuts.

Public sector workers and members of Unison gather outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Public sector workers and members of the GMB union make their way through Brighton. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Public sector workers outside Charles Thorpe Comprehensive school in Ryton, Gateshead. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Read: Poll suggests Britons split on public sector strike action

Your view: Are teachers right to go on strike?

Public sector workers are striking today over a row on pay, conditions, pensions and spending cuts.

Here are some of the reactions from Twitter users on the industrial action.

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I'm with the strikers. No pay rise for years while ministers give themselves 11% + expenses? Unacceptable #strikeaction

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Hefty fines if kids aren't at school, yet teachers go on strike when they want? You're not the only ones struggling! #strikeaction #selfish

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As a parent I would be happy if my children couldn't go to school, they are teaching kids to stand up for what's important #strikeaction

Read: Poll suggests Britons split on public sector strike action

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UNISON calls for 'wealthier to contribute more via tax'

Britain's top earners should "contribute a little bit more" so public sector workers can have "decent pay", the head of a trade union told Good Morning Britain.

Dave Prentis dismissed Francis Maude's claims the Government could not afford a pay rise and said, "the top 1% have increased their wealth by 18% in the last year - can't just we ask that they contribute a little bit more, via the taxation system, to enable us to have decent pay?"

David Cameron: 'Time has come' to tackle strike laws

David Cameron said the "time had come" to tighten strike laws and vowed to include this measure in the Conservative manifesto ahead of next year's General Election.

Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to Halesowen College, West Midlands. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Read: 'One million' public sector workers set to strike

The Prime Minister attacked low turnouts in some ballots, pointing out that only 27% voted on whether to strike in a 2012 walkout.

During his weekly questions in the Commons, he said: "I don't think these strikes are right...I think people should turn up for work.

"I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots... The (NUT) strike ballot took place in 2012, based on a 27% turnout.

"How can it possibly be right for our children's education to be disrupted by trade unions acting in that way? It is time to legislate and it will be in the Conservative manifesto."

Read: What schools are affected by strike action in your area?

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Government says most will work through the strike action

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.”

– Cabinet Office Spokesperson
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