Hundreds of teachers strike across region

Gavin Chappell -
Gavin Chappell -

HUNDREDS of teachers went on strike across the region yesterday over pensions, forcing a handful of schools to close.

At least nine schools in the area were affected by the strikes, with no fewer than seven closing for the whole day.

At least two more schools partially closed for the day.

Woldgate College, in Pocklington, was one of the schools that was shut.

Headteacher Jeff Bower said: “There’s no obligation for any member of staff to say if they are going to strike or not.

“We were faced with the proposition of 75 out of 80 teachers we have not being here and five being here.

“Any plan you make is up in the sky.”

Another local school to shut was Pocklington CE Infant School.

Its headteacher, Gill Campbell, claimed the school had to close because it “did not have enough staff to ensure the safety of the pupils.”

Pocklington Community Junior School, St Mary and St Joseph Primary in Pocklington, Mount Pleasant CE School in Market Weighton, North Cave CE Primary and Stamford Bridge Primary were among the other schools to close for the full day in the area.

The Market Weighton School closed its doors to pupils in Years 7 to 11. Sixth form students were allowed in to use the study facilities.

Acting head Gavin Chappell said the decision was “made due to health and safety reasons” as it could not “guarantee the adequate supervision of students.”

Market Weighton Infant School was also partially closed.

These schools were among roughly 145 of the 268 primary and secondary schools in the East Riding where strikes took place.

Teachers who went on strike were not legally obliged to give notice before they walked out.

Strikes by teachers went ahead after members of the National Union of Teachers, teaching union NASUWT and the National Association of Headteachers all voted to take action and they were joined by thousands of other public sector workers.

In total, 23 unions successfully balloted members for strike action, including Unison, Britain’s biggest union.

The TUC, which co-ordinated the day, organised several rallies across the Yorkshire and Humber including one in Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford.

Humberside Police staff were among the public sector workers at the rally in Hull City Centre.

The strike also disrupted councils, courts, government offices and job centres.

The TUC argue the strikes were in response to the Government’s proposals to make employees in the public sector pay more, work longer and receive less in relation to their pension.