Preparations for mass strike

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SERVICES across Scarborough will be hit on Wednesday as the town’s public sector workers join millions across the country in a mass walkout.

Schools, hospitals, libraries, courts, transport and police services are among those that will be affected by strike.

The action follows a row over public sector pensions, which has resulted in what is set to be the biggest walkout since the 1926 general strike.

More than two thirds of the country’s schools are expected to close.

Twelve Scarborough schools have already announced they will be closed, with more set to notify North Yorkshire County Council of closures over the next two days.

The county council says it does not know exactly to what extent services will be affected.

A statement from the authority said: “We have now received confirmation that all unions locally will be on strike, including the teaching unions. This means that there are likely to be school closures across the county. We will not know until early on in the week of the strike the extent or location of these.

“Other than schools we are not anticipating service closures but there may be a reduction in service provision or a delay in response and we ask that the public bears with us. Our focus will be on maintaining essential services where individuals and the public really need our input and support.

“We are still in negotiations with trade unions on exemptions and these focus on essential areas such as residential elderly care, residential special schools and home care.

“Where posts are agreed as “exempt” staff can still strike if they choose to, so it does not necessarily limit the impact.

“We are aware that staff members feel strongly about the Government proposals to change their pension provision and we are expecting a reasonable level of support from staff for the strike next week.”

Patients have already had notifications through of hospital appointment cancellations as Scarborough Hospital prepares for the walkout.

A Trust spokesperson said: “We recognise staff’s right to strike over their concerns to the proposed changes to the pension scheme. Contingency plans have been put in place to ensure that there are minimal effects to services at Scarborough and Bridlington Hospitals.”

Equally Scarborough Council does not know how many staff will strike and what departments will be hit. However the authority says it has plans in place to reduce the effects of the action.