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In my borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, eight out of ten of our non-school staff work as usual – many providing services to the vulnerable. Among schools 50% of teachers worked and 75% of school-based support staff. As noted yesterday academies and free school were much less likely to strike than council run schools.

In some ways defining public sector staff is rather complicated these days. Our borough's dustmen and road sweepers were working yesterday – they are employed by Serco. the gardening and maintenance in our parks continued as normal – the work is carried out by Quadron. I suspect services carried out by private contractors in councils across the country were more likely to be maintained yesterday than those by Council staff. But that in any case even staff directly employed by councils mostly turned up for work. 

Of course political control will make a difference. In Newcastle the Labour-run Council did what they could to bring services to a halt by announcing that the days pay being deducted for strikers would only come off pay packets in February. In Barking and Dagenham the Labour council leader joined the picket line.

In some councils wedding and civil partnerships  scheduled for registry offices were cancelled. (What does my old friend Ben Summerskill of Stonewall make of that.)

I'm afraid a lot of libraries closed. Something to consider when deciding to follow the Big Society model of libraries being maintained by volunteers, retired librarians and community groups. Would those ones have closed for the strike?

17 comments for: Most Council workers defy the strike

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