Public sector pension protest - Live coverage - The Independent

Public sector pension protest

  • PA: A headteacher kept her school open despite today's strike by inviting community leaders to take classes. A doctor, politician and journalist were among those who helped keep the Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich open, despite about half of the school's teachers joining the industrial action.
    11/30/2011 11:36:55 AM
  • Slight consequence of today's strike: my store is full of children. For the greater good! #n30
  • Unions said an estimated 30,000 teachers across Merseyside were taking part in today's strike. Just two secondary schools, out of a total of 31, were partially open in Liverpool and a "small number" of the 122 primary schools.
    11/30/2011 11:38:22 AM
  • 11/30/2011 11:38:56 AM
  • Striking public workers outside the Houses of Parliament (PA)

    11/30/2011 11:39:53 AM
  • Hoglunds Park Southampton filling up with lots of unions, banners and noise as Southampton Public Servants protest pensions cuts #n30, Benm
  • 11/30/2011 11:42:30 AM
  • Our reporter Paul Peachey on how the Stephen Lawrence trial is the only case of sanctioned strike-breaking in Britain today.
    11/30/2011 11:43:02 AM
  • Update from our reporter @kevinjrawlinson: "Walking down through London from Euston towards Lincolns Inn Fields, various buildings with small pickets outside. Some will be starting to think about heading to the main march starting point."
    11/30/2011 11:47:42 AM
  • Jon Brown has been speaking with Solidaritea volunteers who are support strikers at St Lawrence Church Hall in York. Here's what they had to say:
    11/30/2011 11:50:39 AM
  • A translink notice stands in the empty central station in Belfast, Northern Ireland (AFP)

    11/30/2011 11:52:34 AM
  • PA: Thousands of strikers have gathered in Liverpool Road, Manchester, for a noisy march and rally. Parts of the city centre were brought to a standstill as workers blowing horns and whistles converged at the start of the march, each group waving flags from their respective unions.
    11/30/2011 11:54:51 AM
  • Lotsa heavily armoured cops at Commons today. Are #n30 strikers tempted to play Arctic Monkeys' 'Riot Van' thru loud hailers?
  • Live streaming and @MPSonthestreet tweeting launched by the Met today. For more info: #n30 #nov30 #strike
  • PA: Pickets were in place at both the front and back of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) headquarters in Waterloo Road, but they stressed they were not seeking to stop people or ambulances going in or out.
    11/30/2011 11:56:00 AM
  • #Preston flagmarket a sea of flags. Hundreds more piling in. Rally spilling back onto Friargate as square literally packed. #N30
  • Here is a video of George Osborne urging unions to resume negotiations and telling strikers that today's walkout will not "achieve or change" anything -
    11/30/2011 11:58:34 AM
  • 11/30/2011 11:59:31 AM
  • Unison branch chairman for LAS Eddie Brand said: "This is a peaceful demonstration to let people know about the theft of our pensions. LAS has been quite supportive of what we are doing - we've both got the same goal, their pensions are affected too."
    11/30/2011 12:01:13 PM
  • He added: "This could be the first of many days of action. We can only hope that things are changed, and we don't have to do this again. We don't want to see people take any form of action, we want to see people have their pensions protected and work normally."
    11/30/2011 12:01:27 PM
  • 11/30/2011 12:04:11 PM
  • Marchers gather in central Manchester, England, during public sector strikes (AP)

    11/30/2011 12:04:39 PM
  • 11/30/2011 12:04:42 PM
  • Kevin Rawlinson's article 'Brendan Barber 'regrets strike disruption'' can be read here:
    11/30/2011 12:05:31 PM
  • David Cameron's official spokesman has spoke about the strikes. He said the Prime Minister would "praise" public sector workers who ignored the strike call and went in to work.
    11/30/2011 12:06:49 PM
  • The spokesman added that Mr Cameron regards the pension offer as "fair" to both public sector workers and taxpayers and believes it will deliver pensions which are "amongst the very best available", with some low-paid workers receiving more than under the current system.
    11/30/2011 12:07:31 PM
  • TwitPics from Cardiff: Brum: Manc: & London #n30 #strike
  • The PM's spokesman said "The Government had not imposed a pay freeze, followed by a 1% annual cap, on public sector workers then more jobs would have been lost. By freezing and capping pay, we are preserving jobs in the public sector." He added: "There will be more jobs than there would otherwise be."
    11/30/2011 12:09:37 PM
  • 11/30/2011 12:10:07 PM
  • 11/30/2011 12:11:55 PM
  • Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "Local government is the most reliable and efficient part of the public sector and some of the most vulnerable people in our communities depend on the vital services we provide. Councils have contingency plans in place and will do everything they possibly can to minimise disruption. Whilst inevitably some services will be affected, we will work hard to make sure the elderly are cared for and vulnerable children are protected."
    11/30/2011 12:13:03 PM
  • At Prime Minister's Questions David Cameron said "The reason people are going on strike is because they object to the reforms we are making to public sector pensions, but I believe those reforms are absolutely essential,"
    11/30/2011 12:16:04 PM
  • The Prime Minister added: "What I would say above all to people on strike today is that they are going on strike at a time when negotiations are still under way."
    11/30/2011 12:16:39 PM
  • Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Labour Party asked Cameron: "Why do you think so many decent, hard-working public sector workers, many of whom have never been on strike before, feel the Government simply isn't listening?"
    11/30/2011 12:17:16 PM
  • The Prime Minister then branded Mr Miliband "irresponsible, left-wing and weak" for backing industrial action, and insisted: "I do not welcome these strikes one bit."
    11/30/2011 12:17:37 PM
  • Problems are being reported on Gatwick Express train services, although it appears to have nothing to do with the strike. The normal15-minute service has now been reduced to a half-hourly one due to a signalling problem in South Croydon. All other Gatwick services currently running well.
    11/30/2011 12:19:45 PM
  • David Cameron: "I do not welcome these strikes one bit." (PA)

    11/30/2011 12:19:57 PM
  • The PM's spokesman has confirmed that "a handful" of staff at 10 Downing Street have joined today's strike action.
    11/30/2011 12:20:52 PM
  • The spokesman also confirmed that a "small number" of Downing Street staff have volunteered to help out manning the borders today, though they are not thought to include any prominent figures. Others have been affected by strikes at their children's schools, said the spokesman.
    11/30/2011 12:21:41 PM
  • Another update from our reporter Kevin Rawlinson: "Large crowd gathering at Lincoln's Inn Fields. Getting ready for the London march, which will leave from there and head south to the Thames, before turning west and marching to Westminster. We're due to set off at 1pm."
    11/30/2011 12:22:35 PM
  • Reports are coming through that around 50 people have been arrested in Dalston.
    11/30/2011 12:29:35 PM
  • The Dalston arrests are thought to have occurred around the CLR James Library.
    11/30/2011 12:30:53 PM
  • A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said "no planned operations have been cancelled" and a "minimal amount of appointments have been affected".
    11/30/2011 12:33:26 PM
  • The House of Commons chamber is operating as normal, but many facilities across the estate have been affected. Five canteens, bars and restaurants have been closed, including the Jubilee cafe that is usually open to the public. The Strangers' bar, reserved for MPs and their guests, remains open.
    11/30/2011 12:34:45 PM
  • Police man the cordon outside Panton House in front of an LED screen, which is now saying that kettled protesters can be released (AFP)

    11/30/2011 5:23:23 PM
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