Schools close as teachers and civil servants strike in Burnley

Burnley College lecturers on their offical picket line over proposed changes to their pensions. A300611/1
Burnley College lecturers on their offical picket line over proposed changes to their pensions. A300611/1

TEACHERS, lecturers and civil servants downed tools today in Burnley as part of a national day of protest at government plans to cut public sector pensions.

The dispute saw most workers at the Pensions Centre in Simonstone, the leaflet delivery centre in Brun House, Burnley JobCentre and the courts in Burnley walk out.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), University and Colleges Union (UCU) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) were striking over cuts to their jobs, pensions and pay.

The government is planning to implement Lord Hutton’s proposals on public sector pensions, meaning civil and public servants face a doubling or tripling of their contributions and will have to work longer for less in retirement.

Rachel Barrowclough, East Lancs branch secretary for the PCS, said: “People are very angry that they have worked so long in the civil service and have now seen the goal posts changed.

“The changes will affect different people in different ways. The older workers will now have less time to pay into the new scheme while younger colleagues will have to work for much longer and get less back.

“Most people accept there has to be some changes but the government has so far not been willing to compromise.”

Picket lines were seen outside the Pension Centre in Simonstone and Burnley College.