It’s all Greek to us! Teacher sends ‘solidarity’ message to her striking colleagues from sunny GREECE while others pose for selfies and attend Trafalgar Square demo (while parents are forced to WFH)
- Teacher Vix Lowthion posted online that she was supporting strikes from Greece
- Hundreds of thousands of workers have been striking today in pay disputes
- Teachers, doctors and Tube workers are among those striking on budget day
A teacher has sent a ‘solidarity’ message to her striking colleagues from sunny Greece – as others posed for selfies and attended the Trafalgar Square demo while parents were forced to work from home.
Teacher Vix Lowthion was pictured smiling and sightseeing as she posted on Twitter in support of the strikes while on a school trip with 30 students and two colleagues.
Around seven million school pupils are being hit by the walkouts as their teachers withdrew across the country in a dispute over pay.
Today, union members took to Twitter to share their journeys to London to join protests – while Ms Lowthion supported the strikes from a school trip to Greece.
The teacher wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m working away in Greece with 30 students & 2 colleagues, supporting them 24/7.
Teacher Vix Lowthion has sent a ‘solidarity’ message to her striking colleagues from sunny Greece – as others posed for selfies and broke out in song while parents were forced to work from home
The teacher expressed her support for the strikes from a trip to Greece
Ms Lowthion was pictured smiling and sightseeing as she posted on Twitter in support of the strikes while on a school trip with 30 students and two colleagues
‘My first every time running a trip abroad. Big responsibility! Teachers don’t just teach in the classroom.’
But parents have complained about having to juggle their work with childcare as their lives were again upended by industrial action.
Today also saw walkouts by junior doctors, civil servants, lecturers, Tube drivers, BBC journalists and Amazon workers in what is set to be the largest industrial action since a wave of strikes began last year.
The teacher posted pictures of stunning sights in Greece while colleagues striked in the UK and parents were forced to work from home
Ms Lowthion wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m working away in Greece with 30 students &2 colleagues, supporting them 24/7’
Strikers held placards picturing Britain’s Education Secretary Gillian Keegan as they take part in a protest called by different British trade unions amid a dispute with the government over pay, in Trafalgar Square
Union leaders addressed a rally in Trafalgar Square and strongly criticise the Government over its handling of the public sector disputes
Thousands gathered today to fight for better pay as around seven million school pupils were hit by the walkouts as their teachers withdrew across the country
Today, union members took to Twitter to share photos of them protesting in London
Union members from Birmingham came with t-shirts with the slogan ‘Tories lie bab’ after enjoying a singalong on their coach
But parents complained about having to juggle their work with childcare as their lives were again upended by industrial action
WHO IS TAKING PART IN THE BUDGET DAY WALKOUTS?
These are the sectors affected by the Budget Day walkouts.
Around 130,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union and thousands of civil servants in Prospect are involved in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
More than 130 Government departments, agencies and sites – including the British Museum and British Library, as well as the Border Force – are being affected.
Members of the National Education Union in England are striking as part of a long-running dispute over pay.
The strike will continue tomorrow, causing huge disruption to schools.
More than 70,000 staff members of the University and College Union (UCU) are beginning the first of three successive days of strike action across 150 universities in the UK.
The UCU is currently in negotiations with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which represents 144 employers, via the conciliation service Acas.
UCU members are set to strike for another three days from Monday next week.
Drivers in Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are striking in a dispute over pensions and conditions.
Tube services will be crippled all day, with a knock-on effect likely on Thursday morning.
Junior doctors in the British Medical Association are striking for the third successive day in a row over pay.
Members of the National Union of Journalists at BBC Local in England are striking in protest at programme cuts.
Today’s strikes come as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reveals his first Budget.
The Chancellor unveiled plans for free childcare and extended the energy bill price guarantee, but did not announce any new cash for public sector workers which might help to break the deadlock.
Despite talks being held between unions and the Government, the public sector strikes remain deadlocked.
Some of the strikes, such as those by teachers, are only being held in England as progress has been made in Wales and Scotland.
Huge numbers of strikers joined a protest outside Downing Street while the Chancellor was delivering the Budget in the nearby House of Commons.
Union leaders will address a rally in Trafalgar Square and strongly criticise the Government over its handling of the public sector disputes.
Talks are continuing over the row with nurses, ambulance crews and other NHS workers, but there has been no progress in resolving the disputes with junior doctors, teachers and civil servants.
Tube stations in London were locked as services were crippled when drivers in Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union went on strike amid union warnings of cuts to pensions and conditions.
Finn Brennan of Aslef told the PA news agency that further strikes were ‘inevitable’ if the dispute is not resolved.
National Union of Journalists’ members at the BBC in England walked out in protest against proposed cuts to the broadcaster’s local radio output.
Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, has donated £3,000 to a strike fund for teachers and support staff in the area.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), told Times Radio he did not see parents as collateral damage in the strike.
‘But I do sincerely apologise to parents for the disruption to education today, and the disruption to their home and their working lives.
‘We think that parents understand the point that we’re making – that this generation of children, so hard-hit by Covid, has been ignored by this Government.’
He added: ‘It is no good politicians saying ‘Oh, the economy is not doing well, we’ll invest in five or six years time’.
‘This generation of children are in school now and they are losing out compared with other generations of children, and we are demanding investment for them.’
Striking members of the National Education Union (NEU) on Piccadilly march to a rally in Trafalgar Square
Junior doctors protest outside Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester as they strike amid a pay dispute with the government
A member of the Public and Commercial Services Union holding a banner reading ‘workers stand together’
Parents across England were having to make arrangements to look after their children because of the NEU strike.
Meanwhile junior doctors in the British Medical Association were on the third day of a 72-hour strike.
Up to 150,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union and Prospect walked out in what was said to be the biggest civil service strike.
Members of the GMB working for Amazon in Coventry are striking all week over pay.
Members of the Aslef union at a picket next to Rickmansworth Underground Station during the Tube strike today
Rail workers from the ASLEF and RMT unions on strike outside Brixton Station in south London this morning
Last year the number of days lost to strikes totalled 2.47million, the highest level since 1989 when Margaret Thatcher was in power and more than 4million days were lost.
Schools forced to close
Hundreds of schools in England are set to close today as teachers join university staff in two days of mass pay strikes dubbed ‘Walkout Wednesday’.
Members of the National Education Union will join 70,000 members of the University and College Union also staging industrial action at 150 sites.
GCSE and A-level pupils will be among those facing disruption while thousands of parents face taking days off work to look after their children.
NEU leaders have spurned Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s pledge to enter formal talks on pay and conditions if they pause the strikes.
But they face new pressure after two other unions said they had positive talks with Mrs Keegan on Monday and believe progress can be made.
It was even worse earlier in the decade with more than 27million days lost in 1984. The disruption peaked in 1979 with more than 29million days lost, including 12million in September alone that year. The new figures pale in comparison, but show a steadily worsening pattern since last summer.
In August, 357,000 days were lost and in September it was 210,000 while October saw the number tick up to 422,000.
Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union said ahead of Wednesday’s walkout: ‘We do not want to go on strike – we want to be in the classroom, teaching and supporting children and young people.
‘It continues to be a regret that our members have to take strike action, but we know that parents and the public understand the gravity of the situation around school funding and teacher recruitment and retention.
‘The NEU, as we have always stated, is prepared to enter talks at any point, and as and when through negotiation a reasonable offer from Government is made we will pause strike action while the offer is put to members.
‘This is exactly what happened last week in Wales. Gillian Keegan (Education Secretary) needs to take a leaf out of the Welsh Government’s book, stop playing politics and get down to serious negotiation.’
Passengers have been urged to check before travelling by Tube in London because of disruption caused by a strike by members of Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).
Commuters queue for a bus at Euston Road in London as the Tube closures cause traffic chaos
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