Many borough schools deserted as strike bites

More than half the schools in Newham are deserted as the boroughs teachers join in a national day of protest against pension changes.

More than 1,500 of the borough’s teachers heeded the call from the National Union of Teachers to strike today. Some accompanied their colleagues from across the capital and further afield to take part in a rally in central London. They set off from East Ham and Stratford stations armed with banners and placards voicing their opposition to the changes being proposed by the Government.

Their action means 53 of the boroughs are completely closed, a further 30 are partially affected while just six are open. Newham Council has published list of all the schools on its website.

Tens of thousands of parents have been told of the closures through SMS text messages.

Peter Smith, Secretary of the Newham Teachers Association told the Recorder: “We always regret having to take strike action but the negotiations (with the Government) have been demonstrated to be a sham.

“The strike is about the fact that the Government is unilaterally demanding our members pay more into their pensions, work longer and get less at the end.”

He said the younger the teachers, the more they would lose. One teacher had calculated that she would be �250,000 worse off as a result of the changes.