Leeds and Wakefield: Strikes to hit schools and bin collections

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SCHOOLS are expected to close and bin collections be disrupted when thousands of teachers and council workers in Leeds and Wakefield take part in a national day of co-ordinated strike action next Thursday.

Carers, social workers, refuse collectors, and teaching  assistants are among the council workers unions expect to support a national dispute over a pay offer of one per cent.

More than 4,000 teachers In Leeds and Wakefield, who are members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), are expected to walk out in a row over excessive workloads, pensions, pay and changes to the education system.

Ricahrd Rafter, assistant secretary of the NUT’s Leeds divsion, said: “We would imagine the majority of schools will be affected.

“If teaching assistants are striking, we anticipate school closures or partial closures.”

Brian Mulvey, secretary of Leeds Unison said he expects more than 13,000 Leeds city council workers who are members of unions Unison, the GMB and Unite, to go on strike next Thursday.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “Parents should contact their children’s school to find out if they are affected, as it is at the discretion of headteachers and chairs of governors as to whether individual schools will be closed.” The spokeswoman added: “We are preparing our continuity plans to try to minimise the impact of the strike on critical services for our most vulnerable residents.”

Unison will stage a rally and march from outside Leeds Art Gallery on the Headrow from 11.30pm next Thursday.

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