Hundreds of school children were kept away from their classes today, Thursday, July 10, as teachers joined other public sector unions in a day of strike action.
Nine schools across West Norfolk were fully or partially closed as members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) staged the latest walkout in their dispute with the Government over pay, pensions and working conditions.
The worst disruption affected the primary sector, with the Ten Mile Bank Community Primary, Swaffham Infant and Fakenham Junior schools shut.
Others partially closed included Whitefriars Primary in Lynn, Reffley Community, West Winch and Marshland St James primaries, plus Litcham School and Marshland High in West Walton.
Elsewhere, Lynn’s fire station was closed as members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged a nine-hour walkout on the first of nine days of industrial action planned for this month.
The union plans to stage strikes on eight consecutive days beginning on Monday in protest at proposed reforms to their pensions.
But activists rejected the Government’s criticism that the action was “unjustified” during a rally held in Lynn’s town centre.
Jo Rust, secretary of the Lynn and District Trades Council, said South West Norfolk MP and education minister Elizabeth Truss, along with her boss, education secretary Michael Gove, were to blame for the teachers’ walkout.
She said: “They are not fit to shape policies that affect our children’s future.”
Representatives of the FBU, the GMB, Unison and the Fenland People’s Assembly were among a crowd of around 40 people who marched from County Court Road into the town centre.
And West Norfolk councillor David Collis branded the Government’s offer of a one per cent pay rise for public sector workers as “miserly” and “unacceptable”.