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Now schools face strikes after fire service action
12:37pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
PARENTS and pupils are preparing for a one-day strike by members of teaching unions NUT and NASUWT on Tuesday.
Among the schools which will be shut are the Chase, Colwall Primary and Malvern Wells Primary as teachers strike over pay and terms and conditions Chase headteacher Richard Jacobs said in a statement to parents: “It is a decision I have been forced to make with great reluctance – no headteacher enjoys having to take a day of learning away from students.”
Dyson Perrins will be closed for students in years seven to 10 and 12, but open for year 11 and 13 students, who are working towards exams. Acting headteacher Stuart Wetson said: “I fully understand the inconvenience that this may cause but I am not at liberty to question individual teachers’ intended actions and similarly, I must ensure the health and safety of our students.”
Hanley Castle will be open for sixth-formers only. Headteacher Lindsey Cooke said: “We took the decision to close years seven to 11 with a heavy heart, and I believe the teachers who are taking strike action are dong so with a heavy heart. They feel they have been pushed into it by the intransigence of the Government.”
At Queen Elizabeth Humanities, College, Bromyard, only years 10 and 11 will attend. Other schools which will be partially closed are Northleigh Primary, Malvern Grove Primary and Great Malvern Primary, and parents of the affected classes have been informed.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s strike by firefighters upset about proposed changes to their pensions passed off without incident in the Malvern area. Members of the Fire Brigade Union downed tools between noon and 4pm as a protest against the proposals, which they fear means they will have to work until they are 60 and get less when they retire.
There were no call-outs around Malvern and only two in the wider area – a crash in Droitwich and a small fire in Worcester. Both were attended by non-union crews. The fire brigade strike comes against a background of proposed changes to coverage, as Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service seeks to save almost £5 million over the next three years. Among the proposals are removing one of the two on-call fire engines from each of Bromyard and Ledbury stations. The fire service says Ledbury has 169 callouts each year on average, with three-quarters of those within its station area.
It says there is a “very low probability” firefighters would arrive any later to fires in buildings and RTCs than they do currently.
It admits, however, the plan would have knock-on effects elsewhere.
“By removing one of the two on-call fire engines from Ledbury fire station, the fire engines at Malvern, Hereford and Upton would become busier,” it said.
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