Mixed reactions to strike over pensions

Ros Barham, from Horsham, with her children. She agrees with the strike
Ros Barham, from Horsham, with her children. She agrees with the strike

THE County Times headed to the streets of Horsham to get reactions to today’s strike.

Some of the largest schools in the district including Tanbridge House, Millais and Forest, in Horsham, and Steyning Grammar are completely closed.

Many parents will be faced with taking a day off work or forking out for childcare.

Unions say pension changes will mean they will have to work longer, pay more and get less when they retire.

But today’s move has received a mixed reaction from Horsham residents.

Ros Barham said: “I agree with the strike. The terms imposed on teachers by the Government were unfair. I didn’t have to take a day out of work to look after the kids but I know other mums who did.”

Joanna Wallis disagreed with the strike. She said: “Teachers get longer holidays than anyone in the private sector. They should have held the strike on an inset day to avoid disruption.”

Another resident, Tonia Chantler, added: “I am supportive of teachers insomuch as their pay, but today was disruptive because I can’t work. The private sector had to adjust to support the current climate regarding pensions. But it is difficult to compare the sectors.”

Sarah Gratton, a teacher herself, said: “Obviously I agree with the strike, but I think people get the wrong idea about it. Teachers are not against the changes that are being made, just against the speed at which they are happening. When the changes take place, £100 of our monthly salary is effectively gone.”

Karen Bradshaw agreed with the strike saying “It’s fair that people can strike for the conditions of their employment. There is more discussion and co-operation between employers and employees in the private sector than in the public sector. Teachers do not get to negotiate with the Government about their pensions. There was no inconvenience for me.”

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