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Harrow public sector workers join national strike
Public sector workers joined a national day of industrial action over pay.
Members of unions Unison, GMB, Unite, the NUT and the FBU from across the country have taken industrial action today.
At the heart of the dispute is pay, after the government froze public sector salaries in 2010 and introduced a one per cent cap on pay rises in 2012 which remains in place.
More than a dozen schools across Harrow are closed today and bin collections have also been affected by the strikes.
Daren Butterfield, from Harrow Unison, said: “We are taking part in this nationally organised action because our members have had enough of four years of pay freezes.
“As a result some of our members are on pay at the same level as it was in the 1990s.
“We work hard, day in and day out, trying to make Harrow a better place for everyone and we have made a contribution to £100million worth of savings made by the council in the last five years.
“Let’s not forget about 60 per cent of our members are residents in the borough and some are struggling to pay the bills and get by.
“There is also a degree of anger when our members see MPs giving themselves a 11 per cent pay rise which is not reflective of performance.”
More than 35 members of Harrow Unison and GMB union picketed outside Harrow Borough Council’s civic centre today calling for pay rise of £1 an hour.
Speaking outside Harrow-on-the-Hill station Harrow NUT president Simon Sackwild said: “These strikes today are part of teacher's continued action to show the government is not prepared to negotiate.
“We are willing to sit round a table but we aren't being listened to. The prospect of a less than one per cent pay rise is just insulting to teachers who work hard.
“It's not fair for MPs to take an 11 per cent pay rise while the government say we're all in it together.”
The strikes have been condemned by the Harrow Conservative group while Harrow Borough Council’s Labour administration said they recognised the unions’ right to strike.