Strike action could hit Rye and Battle area

SCHOOLS are set to close, hospital nurses walk out and council workmen down tools across the Rye and Battle area as part of national strike action opposing Government cutbacks.

The mass walk-out by the main teaching, civil service and other public sector unions is set to take place on Wednesday (November 30).

It is in protest at the Government’s proposed changes to public sector workers’ pensions and could mean schools across 1066 Country may be closed for the day, as well as the magistrates’ court, job centre and council services.

Members are picketing against Government proposals to make them work for more years before retirement, pay higher contributions towards their pension and the removal of payment calculations based on final salary.

Wednesday’s strike is part of a nationwide day of walk-outs by public sector workers and civil servants.

The National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) also voted on strike action. Other unions taking part are Unison, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), as well as the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the civil service union Prospect.

A spokesman for East Sussex Council said the decision whether or not to close schools would be taken on an individual basis by headteachers to make sure they have enough staff.

Becky Shaw, chief executive at East Sussex County Council said: “We recognise that the proposed changes to pensions are of concern to many of our staff. However, we must ensure that essential services are maintained throughout any industrial action because of the potential impact on those in the community who depend on our services.”