POLITICAL leaders in St Helens have expressed support for those who have taken part in the biggest day of industrial action in more than a decade today.

Thousands of teachers in England and Wales have been on picket lines and striking today (Wednesday, February 1), after the National Education Union (NEU) announced seven days of action over the next two months.

The walkouts, which could see more than 100,000 teachers take action in a dispute over pay, come on the same day that university lecturers, train drivers, civil servants, bus drivers and security guards are also going on strike.

If the matter is not resolved, teachers that are part of the NEU will strike again on February 28, as well as March 15 and 16.

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Local political leaders give support to striking workers

St Helens Star: Marie Rimmer MPMarie Rimmer MP (Image: Marie Rimmer MP)

Noting the significance of the day, St Helens South and Whiston MP, Marie Rimmer, said: "Nobody wants to see teachers go on strike. Yet they were left with no alternative as the Government refuses to negotiate a fair settlement.

"It's the first time in 40 years that teachers are going on strike. It is not a common occurrence. The Conservative Government has mishandled this so badly.

"I want to see teachers, nurses, and all others forced to go on strike to be given the respect they deserve by the Government.

"The Conservatives clapped key workers during covid and now they won't give them a fair deal."

St Helens Star: Cllr David BainesCllr David Baines (Image: St Helens Council)

Leader of St Helens Council, Cllr David Baines said: "Solidarity with all those teachers taking action in the coming weeks.

"My own children will be affected, but I support the action. I want my children to be taught by properly paid and respected staff, in properly funded and resourced schools."

St Helens Star: Cllr Seve Gomez-AspronCllr Seve Gomez-Aspron (Image: St Helens Council)

Deputy Leader of St Helens Council, Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron said: "Teachers enlighten and enrich our young generations

"They’re also worked into the ground, with no real pay rise, and changing working conditions and have been forced to go on strike.

"I support Teachers in this and hope the government sober up to funding education properly."