Council bosses have insisted they are prepared to cope with a day of strike action, which will see more than a hundred schools across Norfolk close their doors and other services disrupted.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Following a national ballot, members of public sector unions, including teachers, council staff and health workers, will be taking a day of action tomorrow over proposed changes to government pensions, which union leaders say could be the biggest action since the 1926 General Strike.

While bosses at Norfolk councils insisted they would stay open and disruption to services would be kept to a minimum, unions said the action would mean some services would grind to a halt.

More than 120 schools across the county have already indicated they will be closed or partially closed.

At Norfolk County Council, people are urged only to contact the authority with emergencies. County Hall will be open, but the customer service department will give priority to emergency social care and highway calls.

The council also warned because some of the gritting team would be taking part in strike action, drivers should take extra care in case of frost or ice because some roads might go untreated.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “It is disappointing that no exemptions have been granted for road gritting and, although not all gritter drivers will be on strike, we cannot be certain which parts of the network will be affected.

“We will keep the situation under review, but we have to advise people to assume the roads are not treated and drive accordingly.“

Jonathan Dunning, Norfolk County UNISON branch secretary, said: “Our members regret having to take industrial action, but the approach being taken by the government is penalising ordinary working people, exaggerating how generous pensions are to justify their actions and refusing to engage in meaningful negotiations with union leaders. They have left us with no alternative.”

Cliff Jordan, the county council’s cabinet member for efficiency, said: “I would like to reassure people we continue to do our utmost to limit any effect on front-line services and will try to keep essential services running, wherever possible.

“We are working hard to assess and understand the potential impact of Wednesday at a local level and are directing resources to support the most vulnerable service users in line with our well established business continuity plans.

“Outside of schools we expect most county council services, such as care services, park and ride, recycling centres and libraries, to be open for business, but we will try to let people know of any disruption as soon as possible.”

Norwich City Council said about 370 of its 830-strong workforce had indicated they would be absent due to strike action.

A spokeswoman said City Hall would be open for business, but would be closed between midday and 2pm because of a Coalition Against The Cuts march and rally, which culminates with speeches on the steps of City Hall.

The council said they were expecting their contractors to deal with waste as normal. A spokeswoman said: “Plans have been put in place to minimise the impact of the strike on essential services.

“These are being reviewed regularly but the council doesn’t anticipate any major disruption to council services.”

A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said some services, including those provided at the Cromer and Fakenham council offices, could be hit and waste and recycling collections could be disrupted.

Bosses at West Norfolk Council, South Norfolk Council, Waveney District Council and Breckland Council said they were aiming to deliver all their services, but warned there could be some disruption.

At Broadland District Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, there were concerns the closure of schools could have a knock-on effect on the workforce. But they said they expected most services to run as normal.

Suffolk County Council said “essential” services such as adult care services, social work, home care and residential care would be largely unaffected, as would the fire service.

Its offices will open as usual with the majority of libraries open, although Lowestoft Record Office will be shut.

Parents across the region will be wondering how to cope with the prospect of school closures and a lack of childcare.

So far, Norfolk County Council has been informed of 120 full or partial school closures, but this could be substantially higher on the day.

A significant number of Suffolk’s schools are set to close and both councils will be posting the very latest information on their websites, but parents are being urged to make alternative arrangements.

Prime minister David Cameron has called for parents to take their youngsters to work with them but those who are not keen on their offspring spending the day in the office may find that last-minute childcare is scarce.

Cliff Jordan, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for efficiency, said: “We anticipate a large number of Norfolk’s schools will be closed on Wednesday and parents and carers should expect to be kept informed by the head teacher concerned. We have asked schools to inform families as soon as possible about their plans. I would urge people to contact their school direct if they need further clarification.”

Members of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), which represents lecturers and some support staff at the University of East Anglia and at City College Norwich, will also be taking strike action. One school which is aiming to stay open is the Ormiston Victory Academy, in Costessey. Principal Rachel de Souza is determined to keep the doors open and has enlisted former armed forces personnel, West End performers, and even South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon to visit the school to give talks and run ‘summer school’-style activities with the students.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is not affected but Job Centres could be closed.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We have business continuity measures in place to deliver and maintain a service for the public. We expect everyone who is entitled to benefits will receive them.”

The precise details of the number of health staff likely to take action is not yet known, but the NHS is working with unions to ensure that essential services are maintained.

Patients whose appointments have been altered will have been contacted in advance.

The public are being asked to use NHS services sensibly and appropriately on the day to ensure emergency care does not become overstretched.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney does not anticipate that GP services will be significantly affected.

The East of England Ambulance Service is planning to run patient services and the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust expects to run inpatient services and many important community services as normal on a similar level of service to a bank holiday.

Norfolk Community Health and Care services are expected to continue broadly as normal, but services most likely to be affected are physiotherapy and podiatry clinics, and patients are being notified if their appointment needs to be rearranged.

Hospitals in Norfolk are hoping to run at least a bank holiday level of service and while in some areas it will be normal business, some appointments and non-emergency procedures will have to be rearranged. Patients are asked to attend as normal, unless contacted by their hospital.

Patients are being reminded they can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47, and they can also get advice from pharmacists.

Patients who need to be seen immediately but do not have a serious illness or injury, can access the Timber Hill Health Centre in Castle Mall, Norwich (7am-9pm) or the Minor Injuries Unit at Cromer from 8am-8pm.

Visit the Choose Well section of the NHS Norfolk website at www.norfolk.nhs.uk

• School closures can be viewed at www.norfolk.gov.uk or at http://schoolclosures.suffolk.gov.uk

47 comments

  • After years of governments borrowing play money to give us all treats and bribe us for our votes they're now uncreditworthy so they're reverting to 'divide and rule' and judging from this thread, it seems to be working!

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • The other man's grass is always greener! One obvious point that seems to be missed all the time in the argument of protection of the pensions. When your pension scheme was joined you probably had the chance of enjoying it for ten years if you retired at 60 and contributions were made accordingly. As time goes on the person who now retires at 60 can realistically look forward to twenty years of pension payments. When are those who made the contributions in early life going to pay the shortfall that they paid then as they now can expect twice the number of payments now? There's no such thing as a free dinner!

    Report this comment

    Locallad

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • @john norton - your prerogative. Unfortunately my blindness means that I can no longer see your wisdom.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • the dead wood and non jobs should be forced out.the rest should be glad to have secure jobs over the minimum pay.also flex time and paid sick leave--up to 6 months full pay are paid if someone is off ill.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • @Thoreauwasright - Based on "life experience". No-one likes to take a pay-cut. Would you turn down a pay-rise? If only there were more teachers like you. "Liking" more money does not mean that I am greedy. My pay has been frozen for over 3 years - with inflation this is effectively a pay-cut, but to strike would not solve anything...

    Report this comment

    Mark Adams

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • What a sorry lot of comments in general, yes just sit back and take everything that is thrown at you. So the county is in debt , but it doesn’t stop us wasting huge amounts of money on futile wars, nuclear weapons, and all manner of unjustifiable expenses. So some of the private sector has had their pension schemes revised ? It doesn’t make it right, does it ? It just means they are too lily livered to take any action. So does the future mean that our youngsters have to be wage slaves until they are seventy, or until they die, whichever comes first ? In my opinion this is nothing more than a distribution of wealth where money is being transferred from the low to middle classes and given to the rich, because it certainly isn’t helping the economy as we slip further into recession. You only have to look at the useless measures our dear chancellor is taking today. If you can’t see through this lot then you are bigger fools than I thought.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • judging by the comments here you would think private pensions are all bad. . . maybe you should have joined a union ! or use the same tactics as the bankers their pension isnt suffering !!

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • 61% of the 1,000 people phoned by left wing polling agency agreed with strike. Great majority of normal working people wish they would join us in the real world. Its only a day, hopefully disruption can be kept to a minimum and then the argument will be "Why do we need so many of these workers at all"

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • @bookworm - "I have much to say" - that has not gone unnoticed.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • ....Sorry blister I meant Bazza46

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Figures quoted in the Telegraph say there's more people taking out public sector pensions than those paying in. Simple maths here shows the public sector needs to catch up. Can't think a strike will help. If anything it worsens... one day of docked pay means less to spend and so less money in the economy.

    Report this comment

    The_Route_To_Market

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • @john norton - as a fool looking up to your wisdom, please help me understand a) where the money would have come from in the private sector had I not been lily livered and had striked against the reforms a few years ago and b) how I can convince myself that it would be fair for me to contribute to public sector pensions through my taxes as well as funding my own pension contributions. Thanks in anticipation.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Sorry - the page you require cannot be found.......this is what parents get from NCC concerning school closures, are they working in collusion with the teacher unions for maximun inconvenience to the public? Also where did the EDP get their list of school closures from?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • A lot of the bad feeling which is being exhibited towards those who work in the public sector is being whipped up by the media. Ask yourself why? Ask yourself who elects the media tycoons? Ask yourself why this coalition government of which no one party held a majority then hypocritically denounces the unions for not having a majority consensus to strike? Ask yourself if the financial cost to this country by less than two million workers for one day is anywhere near the cost of giving everyone a day off as a Bank Holiday? Of course the answer is politics? The private sector doesn't have people to speak up for it and unions in the private sector are few and far between. If the government wins the fight with the unions over pensions in the public sector it will be because it feels it can crush the unions. 'If' the government succeeds how long will it be before more drastic 'reforms' are made to working conditions for all of us in both the public and private sector?

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • finally--public sector have much more paid "sick" leave compared to private workers.You know why this is.the culture in these offices say you must use up your quota of sick days.it is expected of you.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • have worked in both private industry and as a public employee and would say that public workers have a much easier life with better pay and conditions it seems very wrong that poorly paid workers in shops, industry etc should have to subsidise the generous pensions of the public sector, my 10 years of pension from a low paid public employment is vastly more generous than those of friends who have had to make their own arrangements

    Report this comment

    blister

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Have to work longer and pay in more to get a pension back at the end of it. Simple figures.. obvious. Alternatively, go on strike, cause havoc & disruption in the process of being selfish. Fine. Result, more economic stress and problems. Thank you to the small percentage of union members who voted for this.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Bookworm, you should not use the occasional example that you may have uncovered as a mass generalisation for the entire public sector. Yes, some people have gone too far with sick pay but it is a small minority - blame human resources lawyers and the last Labour government for giving workers all this "protection". And for all the non-teachers on here, how about you try and teach several classes of school children, just for one day - I imagine your tune will change pretty quickly.

    Report this comment

    Peter J

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Heaven forfend that anybody actually gets sick, injured or suffer any other form of morbidity huh? Work until you drop, retire feet first and for Goodness sake keep the libraries open 247, 365 days a year! Would you be happy them Bookworm? Personally I always try to walk a mile in someone elses shoes. (It means that after twenty minutes you're a mile away with somebody elses footwear!) Seriously though, life in the public sector must be hard. Why else would all the Chief Execs. be awarded well into 6 figure salaries, 15 times the value of the vast majority of public servants?

    Report this comment

    ThePresence

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Some interesting comments here Here's mine, and I am not a teacher! Schools cannot at the present time attract enough teachers, our local school uses teaching assistants as teachers because they're cheap. Does anyone really think that making teaching less attractive will help? Why don't some of the people commenting get their degree, and their teaching certificate and help out the country. Personally I wouldn't get up in front of class of very near feral kids for twice what teachers are paid.

    Report this comment

    Bazza46

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • i thank yew!!!!

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Have to work longer and pay in more to get a pension back at the end of it. Simple figures.. obvious. Alternatively, go on strike, cause havoc & disruption in the process of being selfish. Fine. Result, more economic stress and problems. Thank you to the small percentage of union members who voted for this.

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • What's the betting that plonker Osborne takes the credit for an upturn in the takings which the shops are likely to see tomorrow ?

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • It's obvious that the people who pay for these ungrateful idiots with ever increasing taxation have absolutely no sympathy for them. Strike action will only serve to further isolate them-they have completely misread the mood of the public in general.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Teachers not working for a day may inconvenience a few people, but it won't change their employers stance. They'll just lose a days pay and gain no sympathy from Private Sector workers who are also suffering pay-cuts and job losses. I'm not a banker, but it takes two to tango. People were happy to take 100% mortgages and make a quick profit on the property boom of a few years ago. We would all like more money, but the Government is simply copying the actions of every other employer in the country and cutting its costs.

    Report this comment

    Mark Adams

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • popeye - a link to their list is on their homepage - www.norfolk.gov.uk - under 'latest news'. Working fine for me.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • i knew a woman with"depression"and was off sick for 6 months.on the very day the 6 months was up she came back to work as they were going to halve her sick pay.thus was a civil service office i cannot name for legal reasons. another woman i knew abused the flex time system by writing down that she began at 730am when in reality she started at 930am.the boss chose to ignore this.she accrued enough time to have several days off holiday.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Throw them in the gutter where they belong hey Bookworm! You certainly have a lot to say, but not much to listen to.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • I fail to see the difference between being obliged to take a day off through strike action or because of a royal wedding, except that the TV might be a bit less boring tomorrow. Stop whinging and go and do something useful like shopping.

    Report this comment

    Richard Kelham

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Fact: Teachers Pension balance is £46.2bn in the black from what has been paid in since it began and what has been paid out. So what have the politicians done with it? Oh of course used it to rescue the hopelessly useless bankers. All these arguments re-public versus private are futile and quite frankly ignorantly pathetic. Some commentors seem to think that private companies solely have the answers ....REALLY. Great private rail service, bus transport, utility companies......need I go on! The reality is that there are some great private companies and services and ditto state services so let's stop knocking the public sector workers in this ignorant, jealous fashion and be sure of our facts. Remember too why the state had to be set up .............wasn't it to protect the weak. Germany has a powerful economy and a huge welfare state which mutually support eachother and certainly don't jealously attack the state sector as so many cheated private workers do in these comments. The REAL world is that private pensions are a con; politicians for decades have mismanaged the economy; the private sector hasn't matched the wealth production of the best manufacturing countries and the public sector USE to be bloated and inefficient in the 1970's. The solution is that there needs to be honesty and transparency from the Government; the private sector needs to get it's act together by starting to produce and stop conning private pension pots; all this misinformation about wages and pensions needs to end and everybody needs to stop being so bitter and jealous about the perceived riches in either sector.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • I always thought that teachers were meant to be intelligent. Why is it then that they cannot understand relatively simple economics and accept what many of us in the private sector went through several years ago?

    Report this comment

    AE

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • I thought we brace ourselves against natural disasters like storms, not strikes?

    Report this comment

    Gary Dickenson

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Norwich city council should dismiss the 370 who dont report in Wednesday.....theres 370 unemployed who will work for a lot less than Greedy council workers!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • So what if the teachers do strike. Ninety percent of pupils leave school barely able to write their own name properly, or do simple arithmetic. I'm pretty sure them having an extra day off won't make the slightest difference to their exam results.

    Report this comment

    boom

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • @Thoreauwasright - like I said, I'm a fool.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Thoreauwasright - the naivity of it all. I hate to break this to you but we all live in a very materialistic, greedy, selfish society. Unfortunately this comes from being the children of the eighties and the parents of today. Personally I work for a very low wage but still give much time to others but I find I am becoming very lonely as the number of people who are prepared to give some of their time to other people is diminishing greatly. The day of the volunteer is numbered. Perhaps readers on here should ask themselves 'when did I last do something for somebody else...... for nothing.'

    Report this comment

    Locallad

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • This idiots who strike are very selfish people.Theyve had it easy for far too long yet they whinge and strike when alot of us doing other essential jobs cant strike or are not allowed.Get in the real world folks!

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • please read my comments on EEN site.i thought they would be repeated on this site.I have much to say.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Boom, I am sure that you must have some statistics to back up your claim that 90% of children leave school barely being able to write their own name. Exactly where did you get such nonsense from? You cannot criticise teachers for not teaching basic arithmetic when you yourself exhibit such blind ignorance when it comes to using figures.

    Report this comment

    Peter J

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • carry on voting for the three main parties and they will carry on wasting your taxes on everything ,but you and your families

    Report this comment

    running bear

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • AE, I think I will just leave you looking up to my wisdom, as there's none so blind as those who will not see.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Schools cannot at the present time attract enough teachers.......Looking in the Times Educational Supplement I found one Main Pay Scale teaching vacancy within 20 miles of Norwich. It really looks like schools are so short of teachers that they have stopped advertising vacancies. Well spotted blister!

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Issue a final warning for all those who strike on Wednesday!!! Get off your Lazy ...... and do your job,if it was me id be fired by 5pm!! Far to easy for far to long teachers!!!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Sorry forgot to mention that ul be home by 5pm!!! Public sector not private!!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

  • Mark, "We would all like more money". On what do you base this assumption of greed? Many are happy with enough money surely.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  • Teachers not working for a day may inconvenience a few people, but it won't change their employers stance. They'll just lose a days pay and gain no sympathy from Private Sector workers who are also suffering pay-cuts and job losses. I'm not a banker, but it takes two to tango. People were happy to take 100% mortgages and make a quick profit on the property boom of a few years ago. We would all like more money, but the Government is simply copying the actions of every other employer in the country and cutting its costs.

    Report this comment

    Mark Adams

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT