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Thousands of teachers expected to strike today

Thousands of teachers expected to strike today Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A day of disruption is expected across the South West as thousands of teachers and other public sector workers are going on strike over pay and pensions

Members of teaching union NUT and also UNITE say they have not had a pay rise in three years. This year the government offered them a 1% rise but the offer was refused.

National Union of Teachers Secretary in Plymouth

National Union of Teachers Secretary in Plymouth Credit: ITV News West Country

The General Secretary of the NUT is coming to Plymouth today a few weeks before teachers go on stike next month. Christine Blower will be attending a question and answers event alongside teachers, parents and politicians.

They'll be debating things why teachers are striking and whether standards in school are failing.

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Thousands of tax workers on strike across region

More than two thousand tax office workers are striking across the West Country today angry about proposed job cuts. The office in Barnstaple is one of those scheduled to close. It's the biggest in the region and thirty jobs are at risk.

Unions are staging walk-outs across the country this week. Twenty three tax offices are on the verge of closing.

Post office workers in strike over jobs

Post office workers on strike last month Credit: ITV News West Country

Post office workers across the country are going on strike today. The action has been called in response to disputes over jobs and pay.

The Post Office plans to close 76 offices which will affect more than eight hundred jobs.

The union is seeking protection for jobs and the service. It also wants to secure a fair pay rise for staff who haven't had one since April 2011.

Today, the strike will affect 373 post offices across the country.

National

Public sector strike threat 'extremely frustrating'

At a time when the private sector is working extremely hard to get the economy back into growth, it is extremely frustrating to see public sector unions going out on strike.

Civil servants already enjoy better pay and pensions than the wider workforce, but Mark Serwotka thinks they should take no share of the pain involved in sorting out the public finances.

It sends an awful message to investors around the world for the PCS to strike on Budget Day in an attempt to prevent the essential work of reducing the deficit.

– Alexander Ehmann, Institute of Directors

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National

Government vows to address employment T&Cs

The Government said it will address some of its terms and conditions for employees after public sector workers called a strike:

While there has been significant recent change in pay and pensions, there are other terms and conditions that have not been updated.

We will address this and ensure a modern employment offer is available to all.

– Cabinet Office spokesman
National

Cabinet defends pay and pensions reforms

The Government said "pay restraint" had helped protect jobs and its pensions remain "among the very best available" after civil servants announced a strike:

The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year.

Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high- quality public services.

In March 2012 we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trade unions.

These reforms will ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for future generations.

– Cabinet Office spokesman
National

Government: Civil servants' strike 'futile' and 'damaging'

The PCS has planned three months of protests against budget cuts
The PCS is planning three months of protests against budget cuts Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The Government said it was "disappointing" that the PCS union is planning three months of industrial action, including a huge strike on Budget day.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "It is disappointing that, yet again, the PCS insist on pushing for futile action which benefits no-one, and damages the services they deliver to the public."

National

PCS union unveils three-month action plan

The Public and Commercial Services union says a Budget-day strike will be the first event in a three-month long protest against budget cuts, to include:

  • An all-day strike on 20 March with rallies and demonstrations in key locations, including Westminster
  • Further national and group strikes of varying durations, including half days and short walkouts, timed to have the greatest impact
  • Industrial action short of a strike, including a national overtime ban until 20 June
  • Disruptive action in groups
  • Strike days interspersed with other protests and campaigning activities around specific themes
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