STRIKE: Gwent hit by day of action
7:25am Thursday 30th June 2011 in News
PUBLIC sector workers across Gwent joined the 24-hour walkout in protest at controversial plans to change their pensions, cut jobs and freeze pay.
We will be giving you updates throughout the day on what public services are affected in Gwent and news about the strike.
40,000 join strike in Wales
An estimated 1,000 Welsh schools closed as more than 17,000 teachers walked out and dozens of Government buildings and services were also shut.
The ATL union say 1,133 of their members went on strike today in Gwent.
Pensions strike hits schools
PCS said 2000 of their members in Gwent went on strike today. They also claim a 90% turnout at the Passport Office and the Newport Department of Work and Pensions contact centre.
Around 1000 NUT staff joined the strike today in Gwent.
Parents are coping with the disruption to schools, but their tolerance will not last long, it has been claimed.
Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of parenting website Netmums said parents did not want to be dragged into the politics of the walkout, although many were supportive of their children's teachers' right to take action. PA
Strike rally in John Frost Square, Newport
Around 200 attend strike rally in John Frost Square, Newport.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "These strikes are wrong at a time when negotiations are still going on but parents and the public have been let down by both sides because the Government has acted in a reckless and provocative manner. "After today's disruption, I urge both sides to put aside the rhetoric, get round the negotiating table and stop it happening again.’’ PA
Clash over 'best supported strike'
Beat officers help to man 999 lines http://bit.ly/mMh8KG
The PCS union claimed it was the "best-supported strike" they have ever had, but the Government said early signs were that less than half of PCS members took part in the action. PA
Passport office - limited service today. PCS says most of their members have voted for strike action - job losses on way. ArgusDavidDeans
Newport Job Centre: no picket, but...
DWP Pensions Centre in Cwmbran - 'around 40 staff had come to work out of a possible 400' said branch union and Sarah Kamrowski.
PCS branch organiser for South East wales Clive Taylor said many workers felt strongly about the governments proposals, as their Cwmbran office deals directly with pensions. ArgusMelissaJones
Pontypool's Coleg Gwent campus - Rachel Merriman ran from Cwmbran with a banner strapped to her back, while teacher David Garner, one of six people outside the Pontypool gates, said he "could not imagine teaching students into his late sixties".
Elsewhere in Pontypool there was no visible strike action at the town's job centre on Park Road, with some staff turning up for work as normal. ArgusMelissaJones
This is Phil Deacon, the single NUT picket outside lliswerry high school. 7 teachers on strike here. ArgusDavidDeans
Department of Work and Pensions staff on the picket line outside the Kingsway shopping centre in Newport
PCS members were stationed outside the Royal Courts of Justice - where the High Court and Court of Appeal judges sit - in central London.
Joint ONS IPO picket in Newport manned by around 20 people. They're saying pension changes 'the shabbiest and most virulent' attack. ArgusDavidDeans
A handful of people gathered outside Coleg Gwent's Crosskeys campus this morning, but this did not represent the level of support the strike action was getting, according to union representatives.
Wayne Gronow, union secretary at the campus, said all of the 160 union members there were on strike.
'There's been a very good response. The general public going by have also been supportive, putting their thumbs up to us. This is about pensions specifically, we want the government to stop robbing us of our pensions'. ArgusMelissaJones
Strike on at the ministry of justice service centre. One worker says government cuts will hit areas 'especially like newport'. ArgusDavidDeans
Picket line at the University of Wales campus in Newport
PCS members are striking at the Office for National Statistics, the Intellectual Property Office, the Newport Passport Office, the Department of Work and Pensions contact centre in the centre of the city, the Cwmbran DWP pension Centre and the National Shared Service Centre for the prisons service in Celtic Springs, Newport. Job Centres across the region will also be hit.
Queues at Border Control in Terminal Five of London's Heathrow Airport where some immigration and customs staff have joined a day of strikes
Lecturers at the University and College Union are taking action at Coleg Gwent campuses in Ebbw Vale, Cross Keys, Pontypool, Usk and Newport, as well as University of Wales, Newport campuses in the city centre and Caerleon.
Union leaders said early indications were that the 24-hour walkout was being strongly supported, forcing the closure of thousands of schools, courts and offices and disrupting government services and travel.