UNION campaigners in Huddersfield are preparing for a national strike which could close every school and college in the land.
Teachers and lecturers look set to take industrial action next month to fight Government plans to cut their pensions.
A strike looks set to be called for June 30 – meaning schools across Huddersfield could be closed.
Kirklees Save Our Services, which is campaigning against spending cuts, backs the industrial action.
Chairman Ian Brooke said yesterday: “Whilst the banks have been bailed out to the tune of trillions and bankers continue to receive bonuses, workers are having their pensions schemes plundered and now public servants will be expected to pay more contributions, work longer and get a smaller pension.
“We held a meeting last week at which Unison members voiced their dismay that they are not yet been balloted for strike action along with other unions.
“The planned coordinated strike action at the end of June will be the largest public sector strike for years and a rally could be planned for the town centre to involve all workers fighting cuts in pensions, wages and services.”
Labour peer Lord Hutton carried out a review of public sector pensions earlier this year.
He suggested that nurses, teachers and most other public sector staff should have to work until 65.
Lord Hutton also recommended that pensions should be linked to average career earnings rather than final salary – meaning a cut for most workers.
The Government believes the changes are necessary to cope with an ageing population where a growing number of workers live for decades after retirement.
However, public sector unions oppose the changes.
The National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers; the Public and Commercial Services Union and the University and College Union all look set to strike on June 30.
Meanwhile, women have been urged to join a protest against the Government’s plan to raise the state pension age to 66 in 2020 – six years earlier than originally planned.
The move will affect 43,000 women in Yorkshire born between April 6, 1953 and April 5, 1960.
Age UK has organised a protest against the proposals at Westminster tomorrow.
The charity’s director Michelle Mitchell said: “Women up and down the country are angry that the Government is trying to take away something they are entitled to after a long working life during which they have provided care and paid national insurance for 35 to 40 years or more.
“These changes will leave many facing poverty and uncertainty as they enter retirement.
“We want as many women as possible to join us at the lobby to urge MPs to vote against these plans and give women the retirement they deserve.”
For more information visit www.ageuk.org.uk/spa