First picket line at school in decades

PICKMI''Pickets at Bradfield school,Worrall, Tim Miskell,Ben Miskell and Jen Mills with Tess and Holly

PICKMI''Pickets at Bradfield school,Worrall, Tim Miskell,Ben Miskell and Jen Mills with Tess and Holly

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TEACHERS gathered well before dawn with banners and placards outside Bradfield School on the edge of moorland close to Sheffield’s north west border.

Conditions may have been bleak but the mood was determined on the first picket line to be seen outside the secondary for decades.

Citizenship teacher Ben Miskell, 28, said the strike at the school had been solid.

“The school was closed with almost all staff taking part in the action.”

“This is the first picket line at Bradfield for many years - traditionally it’s not a school that gets involved in industrial action.

“The announcement by George Osborne that we are going to have a one per cent pay freeze imposed upon us has just added salt to the wound.

Huw Thomas, head at an inner city Sheffield primary school, said: “As a head, going out on strike is not something I do lightly and it’s always a tough decision.

“Your decision has implications for your whole school and I gave it a fair bit of thought.

“The biggest factor for me was the big challenge I face trying to recruit the best people to teach in my classrooms - if decent pensions aren’t there, the best graduates may opt for a different profession.

“So I see this attack on our pensions as an attack on the future of teaching itself.”

At the march in Sheffield city centre, High Storrs mum-of-two Julie Eades, aged 34, a physiotherapist at the Northern General Hospital’s spinal injuries unit, said: “David Cameron said the NHS would be safe in his hands, but it is going down the pan. The pensions issue is the last straw for me.”

Her colleague Nick Sellers, said: “The Government is changing a perfectly good pensions system because of problems created by the banking sector.

“If they put all that money to one side, we could stick with the pensions we have got. While banks are doing well, we are penalised.”

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