WIDESPREAD disruption is expected across Wirral today as teachers and public sector workers stage a one-day strike in a row over pay and working conditions.
The majority of schools are set to close during today's industrial action, with libraries, leisure centres, tourist information centres, children's centres and day centres also expected to shut.
Wirral Council said this week that the action will have a "significant impact" on the delivery of its services.
Courts are also expected to cancel a number of cases with job centres and tax offices also set to remain closed for the day.
Chief officers at the Wirral authority met on Monday afternoon to study the impact of the strike on services across the peninsula.
A spokesman said the authority has asked for a number of employees to be granted exemption from strike action to “provide an emergency response and maintain those services considered critical for public safety”.
Services delivered on the council’s behalf by private contractors – such as bin collections and highway maintenance – are not expected to be affected.
The National Union of Teachers – the biggest teaching union – claim the majority of schools across Merseyside will have no option but to close during the strike.
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum will close as will Birkenhead Priory and visitor centres at Wirral Country Park and Birkenhead Park.
The industrial action – triggered by growing union anger over Government austerity measures – also involves members of Unison, Unite the Union, GMB, PCS and the Fire Brigades Union.
Peter Glover, NUT executive member for Cheshire and Merseyside, said: “Teachers don’t want to strike, they just want to do their best for children. But enough is enough.
“The July 10 strike is an opportunity for teachers and other workers to fight back against a government that does not care about the public sector and is doing its level best to destroy it.”
And he warned: “If head teachers are planning to stay open it’s reckless folly because firefighters will also be on strike. We’re asking head teachers to think very carefully because safety should come first.”
During the March NUT strike 90% of schools closed or were partially closed.
Unison said successive years of pay freezes and pay caps had left low-paid staff worse off than ever before with increasing numbers resorting to using food banks.
John Lewis, Unison North West’s head of local government, said: “A decent pay rise for local government and school support staff is long overdue. People are really struggling on poverty pay.
“People don’t go on strike lightly, but our members see no alternative to taking action now. It shows there is a groundswell of opinion that people have had enough of austerity and are not prepared to tolerate it any longer.”
Peter Middleman, regional secretary of The PCS union, which represent civil servants, said members rejected the “economic medicine” that had, for four years, been “killing the patient.”
He commented: “George Osborne should emerge from his bubble of privilege and wake up to the fact that all but the super-wealthy are suffering at the hands of his austerity politics.”
Wirral schools that are fully open
Barnston Primary, Brackenwood Infant, Church Drive Primary, Foxfield, Gayton Primary, Greasby Infant, Greasby Junior, Heswall St Peter’s CofE Primary, Holy Spirit Catholic and Church of England Primary, Irby Primary, Ladymount Catholic Primary , Moreton Christ Church CofE Primary , Overchurch Junior, Oxton St Saviour’s CofE Aided Primary, Pensby High School for Boys, Pensby High School for Girls, Pensby Primary, Portland Primary, Ridgeway High, Riverside Primary, Somerville Primary, St Anne’s Catholic Primary, St John’s Catholic Infant, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, St Werburgh’s Catholic Primary, Thornton Hough Primary, Thurstaston Dawpool CofE Primary, West Kirby Primary, Woodchurch CofE Primary.
Wirral schools that are partially open.
Birkenhead Christ Church CofE Primary, Black Horse Hill Infant, Black Horse Hill Junuor, Brackenwood Junior, Brookdale Primary, Brookhurst Primary, Castleway Primary, Cathcart Street Primary, Eastway Primary, Great Meols Primary, Greenleas Primary, Grove Street Primary, Heswall Primary, Higher Bebington Junior, Lingham Primary, Raeburn Primary, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Primary, South Wirral High, St George’s Primary, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Wallasey, St Mary’s Catholic College,
The Mosslands School, Thingwall Primary, Townfield Primary, Wallasey School, West Kirby St Bridget’s CofE Primary.
Wirral schools that are closed.
Bebington High Sports College, Bedford Drive Primary, Bidston Avenue Primary, Bidston Village CofE Primary, Brentwood Nursery School, Christ The King Catholic Primary, Clare Mount Specialist Sports College, Devonshire Park Primary, Egremont Primary, Elleray Park, Fender Primary, Ganney’s Meadow Early Years Centre, Gilbrook School, Hayfield School, Heygarth Primary, Hillside Primary, Holy Cross Catholic Primary, Hoylake Holy Trinity CofE Primary, Kilgarth School, Kingsway Primary, Leasowe Early Years and Adult Learning Centre, Leasowe Primary, Liscard Primary, Manor Primary, Meadowside School, Mendell Primary, Mersey Park Primary, Millfields CofE Primary, Mount Primary, New Brighton Primary, Orrets Meadow School, Our Lady and St Edward’s Catholic Primary, Overchurch Infant School, Park Primary, Poulton Lancelyn Primary, Prenton Primary, Rock Ferry Primary, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, Sandbrook Primary, St Alban’s Catholic Primary, St Andrew’s CofE Aided Primary, St John’s Catholic Junior School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Birkenhead, St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary, St Paul’s Catholic Primary, St Peter’s Catholic Primary, Stanley School, Stanton Road Primary, The Lyndale School, The Observatory School, The Priory Parish CofE Primary, Town Lane Infant School, Wasp, Well Lane Primary, Woodchurch Road Primary, Woodlands Primary, Woodslee Primary.
Children’s Centres / Nurseries
All Wirral Children’s Centres will be closed, including their associated nurseries, with the exception of private-run nurseries: Jack and Gill’s at Seacombe Children’s Centre and Bluebells at Bromborough Children’s Centre.
All day centres run by Wirral’s Adult Social Services department will be closed
Parks, leisure and cemeteries
Floral Pavilion Theatre and Conference centre – the café and public toilets will be open but the Box Office will be closed.
All Wirral libraries will be closed.
All Wirral leisure centres will be closed.
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum and The Priory will be closed.
Parks – visitor centres at Wirral Country Park and Birkenhead Park will be closed and any Ranger-led events will be cancelled.
Landican Cemetery and Crematorium – no funeral services are scheduled for Thursday. Gates to the cemetery will be open but no staff will be on site.
All Wirral One Stop Shops will be closed.
Other key details
Staff who do not wish to strike will be asked to attend an alternative place of work if their regular place of work is closed.
While a number of Council buildings will be open to enable staff to work, they will not be open to the public.
Bin collections will take place as scheduled so people should leave the relevant bin out on Thursday if that is their scheduled collection day.
Highway maintenance services will be unaffected by strike action.