Norfolk

Norfolk school children not affected by strike action

Thousands of public sector workers have gone on strike for 24 hours but children in Norfolk will not be affected by the industrial action.

Arrangements were made 18 months ago to give pupils the day off on Thursday so they could attend the Royal Norfolk Show with their families.

Norfolk County Council expects many schools to hold teacher training days which staff are expected to attend.

PCS members will join teaching unions in a walkout over pay and pensions.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: "Norfolk's schools should be closed to students on 30 June because of the Norfolk show school holiday.

"Thankfully, this means that strike action by the NUT and ATL will not have a direct impact on the majority of Norfolk's children.

"However, very many schools will be holding teacher training days and will therefore expect their staff to attend. We have provided advice to headteachers on what to do if staff choose to go on strike."

Around 70 workplaces in the county will be disrupted.

Services that could be affected by the strike include courts and probation facilities, job centres, tax and benefit offices and driving test centres.

The government says the cost of funding public sector pensions is "unsustainable" and wants most public sector workers to pay more into their pensions, work for longer, and accept a pension based on a "career average" salary, rather than the current final salary arrangement.

'Pensions robbery'

Richard Edwards, who is PCS's Eastern regional secretary and organiser, said union members felt government plans amounted to a "pensions robbery" and there could be a significant strike turnout.

"It is very clearly difficult to predict these things but the feedback we are having from our representatives in the workplaces is that the level of support is very high, higher than we've had in previous disputes," he said.

Rallies are due to take place outside The Forum in Norwich and near Topshop in King's Lynn from midday.

Travellers have been warned to expect delays on arrival at airports on Thursday as hundreds of immigration and customs officers join the strike, but staff at Norwich Airport will not be taking part.

The coastguard service at Great Yarmouth is also thought to be operating as normal.

The court service says it has plans ready to limit the effects of any possible disruption.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites