South Scotland

Borders and Dumfries and Galloway workers join strike

Picket line in the Borders
Image caption Workers across the south of Scotland joined the strike over pension and working condition changes

Public sector staff in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders have joined a UK-wide day of action over planned pension and working condition changes.

Councils in both areas had pledged to try to keep disruption to frontline services to a minimum.

All schools in the Scottish Borders were shut by the action but in Dumfries and Galloway they were already closed to pupils due to an in-service day.

NHS boards in both areas said essential services had been maintained.

Rallies were organised in Dumfries and Stranraer for the workers on strike.

NHS Borders confirmed its services had been affected by the industrial action.

Some 180 outpatient appointments and 15 inpatient procedures were cancelled.

However, Chief Executive Calum Campbell said contingency plans had been made to ensure the "ongoing delivery of essential services".

All schools and council nurseries in the Borders were shut by the action along with community centres at Burnfoot, Coldstream, Langlee, Philiphaugh and St Ronans.

Other centres and halls were open as normal, as were museums and libraries.

Scottish Borders Council said all refuse collections had been operating as usual.

In neighbouring Dumfries and Galloway a total of 24 people had appointments cancelled by the local NHS board.

It said that "core and safe services" had been maintained.

All schools in the region were already scheduled to be closed to pupils due to an in-service day.

However, a council spokesman said it would not know until Thursday at the earliest how many staff had supported the strike.

He said steps had been taken to minimise disruption but was unable to say how many of its services had been affected.

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