STRIKING teachers took to the streets of Huddersfield in their battle over pensions.
They held demonstrations outside schools including Salendine Nook High School and Huddersfield New College, and hundreds attended a rally at the St Patrick’s Centre in the town centre.
It was part of a huge nationwide protest over Government plans to change pensions.
But the action meant more than 114 Kirklees schools were either closed or partially closed.
That caused disruption for many thousands of families, who had to find childcare cover for the day.
There was also disruption at the town’s Jobcentre and at the driving test centre, as civil servants joined the day of action.
Declan O’Neill, one of the NUT reps at Huddersfield New College where there were around 20 pickets, said: “The Government is trying to make us work a lot longer and pay on average an additional £1,000 into our pensions.
“It is a panic reaction by the Government to claw back money they have spent.”
Jonathan Hood, ATL representative at the college, said: “All these changes have been done without negotiations and discussions.
“Many of our members are parents as well, and we realise people are angry but the day has been carefully selected to minimise any disruption to children’s education.”
Mr O’Neill added: “If the Government continues like this the long-term future of education is under threat.”
He said that without a change to the Government’s attitude the threat of further strikes could not be ruled out.
Richard Murgatoryd, of the NUT, said the message which the strikers were getting from staff who were crossing the picket line, but who were not a member of one of the unions taking action, was of complete support for the day of action.