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Mass strike sucked £3MILLION out of Derbyshire’s economy

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The Government estimates yesterday’s mass public sector walkout cost Derbyshire’s economy more than £3million.

Hundreds of workers went out on strike – paralysing services across Derbyshire.

Members of six public sector unions – including council workers, teachers, firefighters and civil servants – walked out as part of the national revolt.

They are unhappy about a number of issues including pay, pensions and job cuts.

The strike closed schools and leisure centres across the county and caused disruption to bin collections.

Speaking at a rally in Chesterfield town centre, Jeanette Lloyd, Unison branch secretary for Derbyshire, said: “Nobody wants to strike but we need to make a stand.

“For many local Government workers, pay is back to the level of the 1990s.

“After all these years we deserve a decent pay rise.

“We’re also fighting for private sector workers who are in a similar position – we’re all in this together.”

Figures from the Treasury suggest the walkout sucked £3.25m out of the local economy.

Chris Hobson, head of policy and information at Derbyshire chamber of commerce, said: “These strikes were a real inconvenience for business at a time when the economy is returning to growth and stability.

“With the teachers walking out parents were forced to take time off work to look after children and there are industries which serve the public sector which will have lost productivity as a consequence of this action.

“Striking should always be a last resort and we would call on both sides to ensure they are doing everything possible to prevent this dispute escalating.”

On the Derbyshire Times’ Facebook page, opinion was divided.

Martin Wood said: “I agree with this strike – public sector workers deserve better.”

Steve Barnett said: “Sack the lot then they can get a job in the private sector – worse pay, worse pension.

“What on earth are they whining about?”

Firefighters are set to strike for eight consecutive days next week. Members of the Fire Brigades Union will down tools on Monday between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm; Tuesday between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm; Wednesday between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm; Thursday between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm; Friday between 6am and 8am and 11pm and 1am on Saturday; Saturday between 11am and 1pm and 11pm and 1am on Sunday; Sunday between 5pm and 7pm and Monday between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm.

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