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Unions plan second day of strike action

PAY PROTEST ... South Tyneside Council workers on strike earlier this month outside Middlefields Depot.

PAY PROTEST ... South Tyneside Council workers on strike earlier this month outside Middlefields Depot.

A SECOND public sector pay strike is set to hit South Tyneside.

The walkout is scheduled for September 30 and is expected to cause disruption to schools, council buildings and fire services.

The row centres on the pay of public sector workers who are angry over a one per cent offer rise after three years of a pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises.

Merv Butler, branch secretary of Unison South Tyneside, said: “The national committee has decided to announce a second day of strike action. This follows from the first day of action on July 10. We are hoping the employers will engage in talks at national level, but, clearly so far, there has been no movement.

“Locally, we support the fact we should have a further day of action. This action shows our members are serious about protesting for fair pay.”

The strike follows industrial action taken on July 10.

There were pickets outside South Shields Town Hall, Middlefields refuse depot and at the JobCentre in Chapter Row.

More than half of schools in the borough closed for the day – leaving thousands of parents with childcare problems.

All the borough’s libraries were shut, and all council refuse collections cancelled.

Even funeral services were hit, with the crematorium on John Reid Road, South Shields, closed for the day.

Mr Butler added: “We felt, during our last strike, it sent out a strong message with our picket lines. The disruption to council services was widespread, with main services closed to the public.

“But obviously, while the day has been called and we will support it locally, we would like to see employers get around the table – that was what was called for by the politicians and we hope they can make that happen.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa

 

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